John Wall Says He’s Scared of Getting Pulled Over: ‘Never Know What Can Happen’

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 27: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards shoots in front of Jonas Valanciunas #17 of the Toronto Raptors in the second half during Game Six of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Capital One Arena on April 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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Washington Wizards point guard John Wall told former NBA forward Caron Butler that he’s “scared of getting pulled over” by police and relayed an encounter that occurred in Washington, D.C.

Wall said he got pulled over for not using his turn signal. The police officer, who recognized Wall, asked the point guard to pull the tint off his windows, which Wall didn’t know how to do. The officer then took Wall out of the car.

“I’m just sitting on the curb in handcuffs in front of everybody,” Wall said. “Everybody know who I am in D.C., and I’m like, ‘For a tint?'”

Wall added:

“That’s why I always say I’m scared of getting pulled over, and I’ve seen some people on Twitter when I say that like, ‘Well, what you scared of getting pulled over, they might want an autograph?’

“I said, ‘No, it don’t work like that.’ I’m still a Black African American in this world, and I know how it’s going. And I’m just like…if I gotta get pulled over, I’m going to a gas station, I’m going for where a lot of people are and a lot of lights at. And I’m scared of getting pulled over on the highway…dark at night and get pulled over on the highway, you never know what can happen.”

Wall spoke with Butler about racial oppression, systemic racism and police brutality as part of the NBA’s celebration of Juneteenth.

Wall’s comments came on the same day he and teammate Bradley Beal participated in the “Together We Stand” march in D.C. alongside fellow Wizards and the reigning WNBA champion Washington Mystics, per Eric Woodyard of ESPN.

Wall and Beal marched from Capital One Arena to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in support of Black Lives Matter.

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John Wall and Bradley Beal led a protest in Washington D.C. today.

(via drewtheabstract/IG https://t.co/RRHINMBElz

Like Wall, Beal shared a story of a frightening encounter with law enforcement:

“It happened here, two years ago. I got pulled over on 495 and the officer asked me to step out of the vehicle. I’m literally on the side of the highway…my wife, me and one of my friends, sitting in the median of the highway, on the side, and he comes up to me and says, ‘What if I f–k up your Monday and put you on a headline and arrest you right now?’ I didn’t do anything.

“But because I was an athlete, a Black athlete driving a nice vehicle, that’s what he came up with. How am I supposed to respond to that? I would just be waking up on Monday morning with an ESPN headline: ‘Bradley Beal arrested because of interaction with police.’ But it happens. It doesn’t just happen to me. It’s everywhere. We just have to stop being ignorant to that fact that it exists.”

Beal also said he was pulled over with four other basketball players and taken out of the vehicle and searched “because we were Black riding in a white neighborhood.”

Wall said he’s concerned about making it home every night, especially with two sons waiting at home. He shared that sentiment with Butler (h/t Woodyard):

“I’m doing the best I can. As a father with two boys, these killings hit a little different because sometimes I wonder if I can make it back home to be around my kids if something ever happened. Or if they’re growing up, what type of environment or troubles they might have to deal with, so that’s the most important thing for me. It’s just not something that I want right now. You get more angry and it hurts a lot more right now because you see what these other families are going through.”

The Wizards picked Wall, a five-time All-Star, first overall in the 2010 NBA draft. 

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