Columbia University Prof. Marc Lamont Hill, who sued Philadelphia police over a police stop he termed racial profiling, says one of the officers who stopped him last spring recently spit at him. Writing in the Philadelphia Daily News, Hill, who is black, recounted a stop last year for “illegal discharge of a passenger.” The city quickly settled his lawsuit.
Hill says officer Richard DeCoatsworth asked him condescending questions like, “How can you afford this car?” and “Why are you on this side of Broad Street?” Hill says he sued “to help spark a different conversation about the relationships between police and the communities they patrol.” He says that when he encountered DeCoatsworth at a gas station recently, Hill “made eye contact and nodded, in an effort to break the tension and offer a nonverbal olive branch. He turned his head and walked a few feet away from me. He then stopped, turned back toward me and spit in my direction. He shot me a look of cold rage.”