A driver speeding past a red light on Sunday resulted in a tense traffic stop between a black man and Milwaukee police officers. Tensions escalated after one of the officers uttered a racist comment, WTMJ-TV reports.
Cell phone video of the incident went viral on Twitter:
BLACK MAN: “WHY YOU GOT YOUR GUN POINTED AT ME?”— SAVOY (@thesavoyshow) August 20, 2018
Milwaukee Racist Cop: “Because You’re NOT WHITE”
Black People, You are in Grave Danger! pic.twitter.com/Je9Z2B3hio
While what was said is clear, Acting Milwaukee County Sheriff Richard Schmidt denies his deputy was the one who said it.
"I have gone through the videos myself. I continue to watch them and I am thoroughly convinced that none of my officers were involved in making any unprofessional or racially-motivated type statement," Schmidt said at a news conference on Sunday night, according to FOX Milwaukee.
The acting sheriff would not say who uttered the statement, however, and said he'd talked with local black leaders about the incident.
"Folks, look at those videos. I’ve looked at three videos now on this incident. You cannot tell who said it. Fortunately we did see who said it," Schmidt said. "This was not an officer. If it was, I would say 'Fine, let me do the discipline.' But there’s no one to do that to. I talked to the Black Panthers. He said, 'Brother, it’s going bad. You gotta do something now.' I invited him to come here and make a statement on camera. He said, 'Listen, go out there. Tell the truth,' and that’s what we’ve done. The suspect who did the fleeing shakes the hands of the deputies in this room. That’s how this ended. Not with any ill will. It ended perfectly good."
As far as pulling the gun, Schmidt maintains his officers were only trying to protect themselves, as per protocol.
"When you're going to drive crazy, when you're going to put the public at risk, you have to expect the police have to protect themselves," he said. "They can't just go out there and walk up to a car and not know if they're going to get shot or not. They've got to protect themselves from the public."
Schmidt also confirmed the driver's father showed up at the scene and was upset at his son.
"Nobody injured. Nobody shot. Hands shook at the end of the day. It's not about racial bias. It's about doing the right thing, staying safe," Schmidt said.
The driver has yet to issue a statement.
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