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Tension, Then Mutual Respect, Between A Black Motorist And A White State Trooper

(CBS) – A traffic stop normally is not news. But this one is.

A black driver from Chicago and a white Indiana State Police trooper had a roadside encounter with an outcome that might surprise you. Their story has gone viral.

When they reunited Friday and shook hands, CBS 2's Dorothy Tucker was there.

Indiana Trooper Aron Weller has written at least 6,600 tickets in his eight-year career. But he'd never changed his mind and never tore one up until last Sunday.

This first-time event happened when the trooper stopped Dwayne Bryant on the toll road for speeding.

Bryant, an African American, concedes he got nervous when he saw the trooper walking toward his vehicle. He said he thought about "every black male and female that's been killed in some level of custody of the law."

As Weller approached Bryant's car, he says he wondered: "Is this the guy that's going to kill me today?"

Both were on guard, but Bryant followed the rules he gives to the young black males he mentors: Be compliant and respect authority.

"You respect authority no matter what. I don't have to like authority. I don't have to agree with authority. But I respect authority," he says.

Said the trooper: "He did everything perfect."

Bryant had been traveling 85 in a 65 mph zone. Weller could have given him a $500 ticket but instead he gave him a $150 ticket.

The motorist took a picture at the time and later posted it on Facebook describing his joy at getting the lesser penalty.

He also wrote that when he told the trooper he would share his positive experience with his students, Weller tore up the ticket and instead gave him a warning.

"What he does and how he talks to kids and tells them to do what the police say – I think that's exceptional," the trooper says.

The positive exchange has gone viral, getting some 350,000 hits and making both men grateful for the moment.


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