I was stopped once on suspicion of robbery. It was because we were driving through the town where it happened, early in the morning, in a van of the suspect color, piled full of furniture. Yes, the pretext for stopping us was that we were “following that next car [an idiot going 10 mph under the speed limit] a little too closely.” And yes, because we were a White couple, no gun was drawn (this was also 40-some years ago).
I’ve been stopped many other times on thin traffic pretexts (only one ever leading to anything substantive), especially when I drove a sleeker coupe or an SUV, and I assume it’s because, from the back, my hair looks as though it might come with a Black face. I assume that because the cops always do a double-take when they get up to the driver’s window and see my very, very pale face. Um, eh, and a couple of times, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize …’
Most of all, we have to dial back the fear on all our parts.