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Over the last three decades, Jay Pearson, a professor of public policy at Duke University, has endured more than 65 traffic stops.

The stops resulted in four tickets total, and he successfully contested two of them. Pearson, 55, is Black.

“[Traffic stops] provide the legal justification for a conversation and a mini investigation for any member of the public that the police wants to interview,” said Frank Baumgartner, a political scientist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of Suspect Citizen.  “They’re too tempting because everybody’s breaking the traffic code….It’s like God’s gift to the police, you know, the traffic code.”