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Lexus LS400 profiled as a drug dealer?

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Old 10-01-13, 05:35 PM   #1
Jeremiah87
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Question Lexus LS400 profiled as a drug dealer?

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^My 98 LS400

Today I was stopped by the police, routine traffic stop for tinted windows. (didn't get ticketed for windows fortunately). I always spot the police and roll down my windows if need be but this time I was caught off gaurd....reason being I was asleep! I was parked at the park by my house in the parking lot and was waiting for a craigslist buyer to buy some old car parts I had listed. Maybe 10-15 minutes later and I hear a knocking on my window and its a cop. He ask for my license and registration and also If I was a drug dealer. I replied nope and told me I was there to sell some car parts. I even showed him the wheel/intake/strut bar I had in my trunk.

Long story short all was fine and he left me alone but I noticed that when I drive around in this car, I get more attention from the thugs/gangsters (not sure if legit or just wannabes) and also from the police. Some of my friends and family who are not car enthusiasts like us recently told me when they saw my LS400. "Why are you driving a black person's car?" Or your car looks like it belongs to a drug dealer. I can see where they are coming from, I do see a lot of shady people of color driving this car but usually its defaced with giant 22-24 inch chrome wheels....basically donk/ghetto status.

Maybe its just the stereotypes here in California but does anybody else get this? Also I dont look like a thug nor dress/talk like one so when my windows are rolled down...people look surprised as if they expected to see a black dude inside. It just seems funny but ridiculous at the same time. Of course these examples don't help the situation:

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

I didn't expect to get this kind of reaction from the general public. When I had my Civic/Integra I was profiled as an Asian punk street racer lmao, then with my Miata NB I was a gay guy/hair dresser, now with the LS I am a drug dealer/black dude.

What are your guys experiences? I do think color also plays a role, if my LS400 had been white/silver/green/maroon/etc. then it probably wouldn't look as "black" if that makes any sense...no pun intended.
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Last edited by Jeremiah87; 10-01-13 at 05:39 PM..
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Old 10-01-13, 06:14 PM   #2
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i was always profiled in my honda when i had my head shaved...go figure ha!

profiling always goes on, no matter what cop denies it. the car, esp with dark tint, does look very suspicious so i am not surprised you were flagged. remove the tint, and it all should minimize. the car is very ominous with black on black!
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Old 10-01-13, 06:32 PM   #3
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i was always profiled in my honda when i had my head shaved...go figure ha!

profiling always goes on, no matter what cop denies it. the car, esp with dark tint, does look very suspicious so i am not surprised you were flagged. remove the tint, and it all should minimize. the car is very ominous with black on black!
Oh yeah that's for sure. All of my car's have always had either 15% or 5% tint. I love it to much to ditch it. Function and form since it protects the interior, keeps the occupants cool and the privacy factor is a plus. Also I believe any car looks exponentially better when tinted...as long as its high quality film and applied properly. I even dig that VIP green tint, or is that the glass itself?

Also I wish the car was black on black, its black & tan. (tan interior)

I would have went with my usual 15% but since the interior is light, I went with a 5% film in the back which ends up looking like a 15% with a black interior.

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If I was a cop profiling, this could potentially be a brotha's ride. :P

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Old 10-01-13, 06:45 PM   #4
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It sounds to me like you are the one profiling. You're the one calling it a car which a "shady person of color" would drive. But, if I saw a car, any type of car, with tinted windows just parked somewhere for a bit of time I would think it's something suspicious.
It's all about your tinted windows. When a cop sees them he figures you are trying to hide something, like doing drugs maybe, or a pack of gang members getting ready for a drive by. That's why tint is illegal, b/c a cop can't see if you have a gun pointed at him when he does his job and pulls you over for something.
I know what it's like to get pulled over for tint. Every car I've ever had (there's been alot) always had 15% tint all the way around. They used to get me couple times a month but it was always a warning b/c I have an eye doctor's note for bright lights bothering my eyes. I was getting tired of it so my LS400 (black) is the first car I owned without tint and I've never been pulled over for anything in it.
Moral of the story; lose your tint, leave it stock, and the cops will leave you alone.
Oh, and when I first bought my car, I had everyone asking me about it, white, black, hispanic, and asian. (some of them might have even been gay too)
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Old 10-01-13, 06:55 PM   #5
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yeah i get that too driving the LS around. i agree with your stereotypes.
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Old 10-01-13, 06:59 PM   #6
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I've never had the drug dealer comment from my LS, but I get it all the time for one of my other cars:
Click the image to open in full size.

In fact, come to think of it, i haven't had a SINGLE comment on my LS..... No compliments or anything! GRR!

I just have 30% on my LS. Still dark, but no getting pulled over for it, and you can still see at night. I had a 92 Toyota Paseo for a few years that i bought off my sister. She had put 5% on it all the way around, and it was freaking impossible to see out of that thing in the dark!
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Old 10-01-13, 07:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by deanshark View Post
It sounds to me like you are the one profiling. You're the one calling it a car which a "shady person of color" would drive. But, if I saw a car, any type of car, with tinted windows just parked somewhere for a bit of time I would think it's something suspicious.
It's all about your tinted windows. When a cop sees them he figures you are trying to hide something, like doing drugs maybe, or a pack of gang members getting ready for a drive by. That's why tint is illegal, b/c a cop can't see if you have a gun pointed at him when he does his job and pulls you over for something.
I know what it's like to get pulled over for tint. Every car I've ever had (there's been alot) always had 15% tint all the way around. They used to get me couple times a month but it was always a warning b/c I have an eye doctor's note for bright lights bothering my eyes. I was getting tired of it so my LS400 (black) is the first car I owned without tint and I've never been pulled over for anything in it.
Moral of the story; lose your tint, leave it stock, and the cops will leave you alone.
Oh, and when I first bought my car, I had everyone asking me about it, white, black, hispanic, and asian. (some of them might have even been gay too)
Yeah I profile cars and drivers too. Its not always gonna be true and I like to give them the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. For example, a stock black Caddilac Escalade is whatever to me. Now if its heavily tinted, rolling on 26s, and rap music is slumping from the car...I would believe the occupants are either black or Hispanic. 8 out of 10 times I am correct when I see them either get out of the car or roll down their windows and they also are dressed as I had predicted. The times I am wrong its some white dude who is wearing a fitted cap (rapper style) and blasting rap.

The same goes for the Lexus big body sedans ie. LS400/GS400...heavily tinted on big chrome wheels for that distinct donk look...its usually who I expect to be inside.

I was just asking if anybody has had similar experiences....but that varies with a lot of factors such as where one lives, what ethnicity they are, the cop's demeanor, etc.

BTW this is the first time I have been pulled over (well more like approached since I was already parked) in the Lexus. All my other cars with tint (Miata, Civic, Integra) I was stopped but for the usual speeding deal.
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Old 10-01-13, 07:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISFPOWER View Post
yeah i get that too driving the LS around. i agree with your stereotypes.
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Originally Posted by YoshiMan View Post
I've never had the drug dealer comment from my LS, but I get it all the time for one of my other cars:
Click the image to open in full size.

In fact, come to think of it, i haven't had a SINGLE comment on my LS..... No compliments or anything! GRR!
1. LOL it comes with the territory. Stereotypes are not always true but they exist for a reason and there is always some truth in them.

2. The Caddy on the right, I can see that happening if your a minority. If your a white dude and dont dress street/urban...you will most likely fly under the radar.
And for your LS not getting comments of that nature, I believe its the color of the car and lack of tint (I could be wrong, cant quit tell from your photo regarding the tint) that gets you a pass.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

^Similar to the Monte Carlo Alonso aka Denzel Washington drove in Training day....I am sure if I drove this even with the window's down and or no tint I would still be profiled and stopped with "probable cause" since I am a brown Asian....maybe could perhaps be mistaken for a Mexican dude. tint or no tint, still looks pretty G.

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Old 10-01-13, 07:15 PM   #9
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1. And for your LS not getting comments of that nature, I believe its the color of the car and lack of tint (I could be wrong, cant quit tell from your photo regarding the tint) that gets you a pass.
Yeah, Granny gold and 30% tint with stock wheels definetly ain't scary!

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Old 10-01-13, 07:25 PM   #10
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Yeah, Granny gold and 30% tint with stock wheels definetly ain't scary!

Click the image to open in full size.
The gold/champagne esque color makes me think pimp for some reason, same goes for white. Black can look thuggish/gangster but also classic and elegant depending on how its set up.

The tint does add to the overall persona of your car.

I guess it comes down to also what the driver is doing in the car, where he is parked, driving style, etc in addition to how the car looks. I am just over thinking the matter.
For example, your car and mine both parked at the park on opposite ends of the lot....I assume the cop will approach me first if hes the kind to probe.
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Old 10-01-13, 07:31 PM   #11
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I have driven a 91 and my current 98 for the past 17 years and hardly ever get pulled over or had anyone cop or otherwise make that kind of comment. Granted I've never had tints but i did have the black tint, rims and customs sheepskin seat covers on the 91 lol. that was back in the late 90's though. I've always had people of ALL colors tell me how good my car looked and maybe a couple of looks that might say "what is he doing driving such a nice car". This is driving through mostly urban parts of NYC.
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Old 10-01-13, 08:28 PM   #12
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Ironically, I'm going with a sort of gangster theme to my LS...
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Old 10-01-13, 08:34 PM   #13
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35% all the way around with privacy shades up. I don't get a second look from cops except to admire her beauty. I don't like too dark. Lighter ceramic is better imo. Put some curtains in the back if you want.
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Old 10-01-13, 08:36 PM   #14
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I've gotten drug dealer, arms dealer, gun runner, secretly rich dude, overly broke dude, son of the owner of the restaurant i just walked out of, and more.

If you ever meet me in person, ask me to tell you the "grenade" story .
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Old 10-01-13, 09:10 PM   #15
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35% all the way around with privacy shades up. I don't get a second look from cops except to admire her beauty. I don't like too dark. Lighter ceramic is better imo. Put some curtains in the back if you want.
You probably get all the "gangster" looks with all that razor wire fence you got protecting your car. Who you think you are, Tony Montana?
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