Black Grandson Detained By Police After Travelling In A Car With White Grandmother
A family in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin has been left shaken after police pulled over their car and detained an 18-year-old passenger without just cause. The person detained was the only black passenger in the car, and now his family is considering whether or not to sue for what's looking like a racist and illegal act.
Paulette Barr and her best friend, who happen to be white, were returning home from church with Barr's 18-year-old grandson, Akil Carter, in the backseat. Carter happens to be black and, moments after police pulled over the car they were traveling in, he was asked to step out of the vehicle.
Carter's grandmother could only watch as cops had guns drawn and shouted for Carter to put his hands up and to get on his knees. He was then handcuffed and placed in the back of the police car.
Dashcam footage of the incident was released, which you can view below:
Allegedly, the whole thing was a misunderstanding, and Carter was released, but the officers' story isn't adding up. They claim that an anonymous bystander approached their police vehicle and reported that a black man was robbing a woman in a blue Lexus.
However, no 911 call was made, the bystander did not remain at the scene and can not be located, and there is no dashcam footage of the tipster approaching the police vehicle at all. In their defense, the officers claimed their camera only turns on when the emergency lights are activated.
Attorney Joy Bertrand, who is representing the family, has requested documents and video footage from the police department but has yet to receive anything. She believes the official police story is "strange". Bertrand told ABC News:
"Our interpretation of what happened is still based on a really limited amount of information... What we see happened right now is a young black man was driving with two older white women in a Lexus and pulled over."
"We were told that, after the fact, a tipster had said the car had been involved in a robbery but we've received no corroboration of that tipster... We're left to wonder what the real basis of this car stop was and we're still investigating that."
The family wants to see all of the police information on the stop and detainment before deciding whether or not to sue, but Bertrand said, "When we see the full record of the stop, we may have more information, but right now it does not look like a legal stop."
Racism among the police force in America has proven to be a serious problem. If this stop does turn out to have been motivated by race, let's hope that justice is served.