man pulled over and ticketed for air freshener


‘When they pull you over for NO REASON but have to find A REASON’: Black man pulled over by police officer gets reprimanded for pine tree air freshener

‘The little tree literally had me laugh out loud.’


Jack Alban


Posted on Jun 20, 2023

A Black man received a ticket for having an air freshener dangling from his rearview mirror after claiming that he was pulled over for “no reason.” 

The man in question, Alex Harbour (@sxvagexi), recorded his interaction with the New Jersey-area police officers. As of Wednesday morning, his video accrued over 5.3 million views on TikTok.

“When they pull you over for NO REASON but have to find A REASON,” Harbour wrote in the text overlay.

@sxvagexi like for part 2! the supervisor came!#police #policebrutalitymuststop #anotherdayatwork #harassmentawareness #unlawful #abuseofpowerawareness #tomuchfacebookvideos #viral #wrongdoor #penalcode #3937 ♬ original sound – iAMSXVAGE

In the video, Harbour repeatedly asked to speak with the officer’s supervisor, as he didn’t agree with the nature of the stop. Instead, Harbour alleged that the cop followed him with the intent to pull him over.

During his interaction with the officer, Harbour asked why he got pulled over. The cop said it was because Harbour didn’t use his blinker, which Harbour denied. Then, the officer said that he pulled him over because Harbour had an air freshener dangling from his mirror—an apparent obstruction to his driving.

After much back-and-forth, Harbour asked the officer to bring his supervisor to the traffic stop. “He doesn’t have to be here,” the officer responded.

But, in New Jersey, where the traffic stop occurred, individuals stopped by the police are entitled to a request for a supervisor to arrive at the scene.

The officer then returned to his car to go and look into the matter further. “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Harbour said before turning the camera back on himself and laughing. Harbour said that it was ridiculous for him to be pulled over for not using his blinker—which Harbour maintains he did—and for the “obstruction” dangling from his mirror.

“He has no reason to pull me over at all,” Harbour said, before adding that the officer immediately started following him after he pulled out of a ShopRite store. He said that the cop did a U-turn and began his pursuit before ultimately turning his lights on after they turned onto the street of the traffic stop.

@sxvagexi #police #policebrutalitymuststop #anotherdayatwork #harassmentawareness #unlaw #uoa #unlawafuluseofauthority #viral #wrongdoor #penalcode3937 #3937 #unlawful #walltownshippolice #newjersey #fyp ♬ original sound – iAMSXVAGE

In a follow-up video, Harbour recorded his interaction with the officer and his supervisor. Harbour asked the supervisor for the dash-cam footage, but was told it cannot be procured unless Harbour receives a ticket.

Then, the officer who made the initial stop came back into frame and told Harbour that he’s not going to reprimand him for the blinker because he didn’t see the light go on. Instead, he said he’s going to give Harbour a ticket for driving with an obstruction: the dangling air freshener.

Harbour then asked the officer how many people have air fresheners set up in their vehicle in a similar manner. He also questioned why it’s an obstruction if he can “clearly” see the road.

Without answering, the officer handed Harbour both his information and the ticket. He also noted that Harbour’s inspection sticker is almost out of date.

Several commenter urged Harbour to take his grievances with the New Jersey-based police department to court. 

“Take it to court, don’t pay that ticket … because there’s a mirror between you and the window,” one wrote.

Most viewers, however, said they didn’t know that having a car air freshener could put you at odds with cops. In New Jersey, at least, state law doesn’t specifically state that dangling items from a rearview mirror are illegal.

“The pine tree air freshener…a felony,” one user remarked. 

“The little tree literally had me laugh at our,” another said. “Like, is he dead serious???”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Harbour via TikTok comment and the Monmouth County Police Department by email.

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*First Published: Jun 20, 2023, 9:42 am CDT