By Stephanie Davis

ST. CLAIR SHORES (WWJ) – An African-American woman says she’s a victim of racial profiling in St. Clair Shores.

rai lanier Arrest Outside St. Clair Shores B Dubs Raises Questions Of Racial Profiling

Rai Lanier. (Credit/Michigan United)

Rai Lanier, 27, of Grosse Pointe was arrested after police ran her license plate and found she was wanted on an outstanding ticket.

Lanier parked illegally in a handicapped space waiting for carry-out from a Buffalo Wild Wings in St. Clair Shores. That’s when police approached her — and after running her license found the warrant for her arrest.

“There was a strong odor of marijuana and the driver admitted there was marijuana in the vehicle and indeed there was,” says Police Chief Todd Woodcox. “She was arrested for warrants — for tickets that she failed to pay.”

Michigan United, a social justice group, wants to know if this is a pattern of racial profiling andhas filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act “to determine if people of color are more closely scrutinized, and subsequently arrested and fined, than white people. Amber York, a spokesperson for the multiracial, social justice organization said “In March 2015, the Department of Justice clearly established that the pattern of arrests and citations in Ferguson, Missouri was driven by revenue production–not public safety. We have good reason to believe that’s the same thing that’s happening here in St. Clair Shores, Michigan.””

Lanier tells WWJ’s Stephanie Davis that she was sitting in her car waiting for the carry-out and didn’t realize she was in a handicapped parking space.

“By the time he came back to the car — there was a second car there — there were about four officers -I was completely confused and taken aback because I didn’t think I was going to be arrested for being in a handicapped spot — he told me there had been an outstanding ticket for a handicapped spot in 2013 — I was like — is this something we can do? We can fix today? And he said ‘no’ and the situation just escalated.”

“It was like a bad dream I couldn’t wake up from.” said Lanier on the steps of the police station. “One minute I’m waiting for my food, the next minute I’m being frisked and searched in front of a bunch of men. I was too stunned to even be angry at the time.”

Lanier says she has a permit for marijuana use.

Comments (13)
  1. you have an outstanding warrant,, maybe putting yourself in a position of being noticed., (illegally taking a handicapped space), is less than brilliant, its not racial profiling, its putting yourself in a stupid situation

  2. “Lanier tells WWJ’s Stephanie Davis that she was sitting in her car waiting for the carry-out and didn’t realize she was in a handicapped parking space”


    1. “Lanier says she has a permit for marijuana use.”


      “One minute I’m waiting for my food, the next minute I’m being frisked and searched in front of a bunch of men. I was too stunned to even be angry at the time.”

      She wasn’t “too stunned to even be angry at the time”….

  3. Jim Prince says:

    So let me get this straight in my mind, You were illegally parked in a handicapped space, you were smoking weed in the vehicle, you had warrants for your arrest and you probably copped an attitude with the Officers, but yet you want the World to believe that you were racially profiled??? Got news for you snowflake, it was not your race that landed you in this position, but rather your poor choices in life,

  4. Daniel Barch says:

    Why would you even run this story?

  5. Fred Essner says:

    Maybe Michigan United should be profiled for idiocy for even considering this issue.

  6. lol, Michigan United. and this is why you can never be taken seriously

  7. Lee Hudson says:

    Parking in a handicap space with no permit is reason enough for the police to get involved, let alone the rest of the stuff. This is not racial profiling. This is the lady being ignorant to the sign and just doing what she wants. Own up to it and just pay your fine.

  8. Repeat offender! 2nd time she has done this. She may have a medical marijuana card BUT you are not supposed to drive under the influence!! The more you know. This arrest had zero to do with your color and everything to do with you breaking multiple laws! Own up to it.

  9. Unpaid tickets ….. maybe for parking in a handicap space without a permit many times !!!!

  10. Just want to make sure I’m clear in my understanding:
    #1 She had a ticket for parking in a handicap spot from 2013
    #2 She decided not to pay said ticket from parking ILLEGALLY in the handicapped spot from 2013
    #3 Fast forward to 2017, where she parks illegally again to pick up food at BWW
    #4 Cops see a car without a handicap sticker or plate park ILLEGALLY
    #5 Cop runs background, which comes up with a warrant for the person’s arrest for ignoring the offense that they were guilty of in 2013.
    #6 Person gets arrested due to warrant because of the unpaid infraction
    #7 The story also says “warrants” and “tickets” as in more than one she had decided not to pay.
    #8 Gets arrested because of her decision not to pay the fines or take care of the warrants

    I’m unsure of where in this story it has anything to do with race and more to do with some fool that decided that she didn’t have to pay the fines by committing infractions that led to multiple warrants for her arrest. Seems to me the “journalist” of this story looks at people based on their skin color rather than the content of their character.

  11. Nothing racial here, just a stupid person with a license to get high. This story is so un news worthy! Come on Ms. Davis, you can do better than this, geez.

  12. Greg Zotta says:

    Racism, racism, racism! She was parked in a handicap spot when she is not handicapped. Then she has outstanding warrants for failing to pay previous violations.
    Lanier claims she didn’t realize she was in a handicapped parking space, but she was. So, the police approached her because she was parked in a handicap spot when she is not handicapped not because she was BLACK. Apparently, she believes she is above the law, because she is black. And if she is ticketed it is because of the racist police.

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