School Board Member Calls Chief Skinhead

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 17, 2018

A New Jersey board of education member is being called to resign after she allegedly tried to "manipulate" a police officer and attempted to use "civic privilege" to avoid a ticket.

South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll "a skinhead cop".

"Ms. Lawson-Muhammad must issue a public apology to this officer".

The incident began after Officer Shaun Horst pulled over Lawson-Muhammad for "doing 37 in a 25".

She is later heard saying, "and I'm scared of cops, because you might hurt black people", according to the dashcam video.

She is heard arguing with police and stating "my name is Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad, I'm on the school board, I'm a community member of this town and I am sorry if I was speeding, I didn't realize I was speeding". "I'm sorry if I was speeding", she is heard telling Horst, before asking him if it's OK if her daughter can exit the vehicle to continue on her way to school.

When the police officer asks for her driver's license and insurance card, she can not find the license initially and only an expired insurance card, according to the dashcam video.

"No I don't want you to call me an ambulance", Lawson-Muhammad snaps back at the officer.

The officer hands a summons to the woman for speeding and failing to have a valid insurance in her possession - which calls for a mandatory court appearance. "That was a f--g insult".

When handing over her license and insurance, Muhammad is unable to find her most current copy of the latter and shares that she is "freaked out" by the encounter. I don't wanna go to court - I have insurance, he can text you a picture of it right now, ' says Lawson-Muhammad, whose husband can be heard in the background offering to send a picture of it. "I don't want to go to court, I have insurance".

But once the officer tells her that he can't void the summons since it's already been written, Muhammad blows her cool.

TAPinto/SOMA reached out to Lawson-Muhammad via email and phone for comment, but she did not respond.

Along with his scathing condemnation of Muhammad, Field also accuses the board's president - Elizabeth Baker - of failing to act when he first informed her.

'Board Member Lawson-Muhammad also infers that she is afraid of police, a reference that I believe attempts to manipulate the officer given the tensions between the African-American community and law enforcement'.

SOMA Black Parents Workshop, on its website, describes itself as being "established in 2014 by Black parents determined to address patterns of racial discrimination in the South Orange-Maplewood School District". "Ms. Lawson Muhammad must resign her position".

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would contact South Orange Village President Sheena Collum in response to the traffic stop, according to police dashcam video of the incident obtained by TAPinto.

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