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Questlove Is Stopped So Frequently by the Police, ‘It’s Like Breathing’

Author/Musiian Ahmir
Questlove. Photo: Rommel Demano/2013 Rommel Demano

One thing Questlove won’t miss about the Bloomberg years? Stop-and-frisk. “To me it feels unconstitutional,” the Roots drummer told Daily Intelligencer last night at a Ziegfeld Theater screening of Boardwalk Empire’s fourth season.

While Questlove hasn’t been stopped and frisked in the classic sense — on the street, hands up against the wall, that sort of thing — he says he’s been needlessly stopped three times in just the past year while driving. 

I guess to some people I might look suspicious, a person of my stature, my physical appearance in a high-end silver car, but that’s how I get around the city,” he says. “I don’t tweet about it because it happens so much that it’s just regular to me. It’s like breathing.”

He adds, “I shouldn’t accept it lying down, but sometimes it’s just, you just got to shrug it off.”

Questlove says he’s fortunate enough to travel with an alibi: his book. “Usually — I won’t say it’s a saving grace — but what’s made it go smoother is thank God there’s a copy of my book in the back of the car. I shouldn’t have to do that, but it’ll take the heat off me.” 

So, there you go, young black New Yorkers: Just make sure you have your book with you when you’re stopped by the police for no reason and you’ll have nothing to worry about. 

Questlove: Stop-and-Frisk Is Unconstitutional