By now everyone is familiar with the term “Driving while black”. The phrase implies that a black driver may be pulled over by the police simply because he is black due to racial bias.
Now, we can add another phrase, “Driving while being a knucklehead” to the jargon. In fact, there are so many knuckleheads on the roads that it is surprising the police have time to patrol neighborhoods.
Last Friday, a driving while being a knucklehead incident occurred. The Oak Lawn police were on patrol in the 9600 block of Cicero Avenue when they saw a silver Chevy traveling on Cicero without a license plate on the front of the car. In Illinois, you need a license plate on the front and the back of the vehicle.
The officer made a U-turn to find out if the driver had a rear license plate. Instead of a plate, the driver had a red placard in its place and the car didn’t have any temporary plate in the window or in the plate holder. So, the officer must have thought, “I’ve got a knucklehead” and pulled the car over at about 92nd and Cicero.
The police talked to the knucklehead driving the car and he allegedly told them he bought the car and was getting it registered tomorrow. There is no grace period that allows a driver to roll up and down the streets without plates. But, that was the least of the knucklehead driver’s problems.
When he was asked for his driver’s license, he provided and Iowa Identification Card and told the officer his license was suspended. The officer probably had to feign shock at that point but most certainly did when the driver, identified as Jason Morton, was able to provide an insurance card and policy showing the car as insured under Jason’s brother’s name.
Jason allegedly explained to the officer that while the car is really his car, his brother, who was listed on the policy, was going to insure it because Jason lacks a driver’s license. A check of Jason’s brother revealed that he also lacks the basic tool for driving: a valid driver’s license.
The officer informed Jason that he was under arrest and placed the cuffs on his wrists. The car was towed and unfortunately for Jason, only happens to knuckleheads. Whenever an arrest is made and a car is towed, the police conduct and “inventory search”, which basically means they go through knuckleheads’ cars looking for illegal contraband such as drugs and weapons.
As unbelievable as it may seem, the police conducted such a search and found a clear bag of a green leafy substance. The police also found a white plastic shopping bag that allegedly contained four individually wrapped bags of a green leafy substance. Based on training and common sense, the officer thought that the substance was probably marijuana.
After the bags were weighed, the police alleged that the total of all bags of marijuana was 35 grams. Jason Martin was charged with a felony of delivery/manufacture of cannabis of more than 30 grams but less than 500 grams. Not that it mattered much at that point, but he was also hit with the knucklehead citations of driving with a suspended license, not having insurance, not having front and back plates and not having a valid registration for the car.
Jason Morton is a 33 year old black male with a Chicago address.