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Wauwatosa, WI — A young man named Akil Carter was held at gunpoint by police and accused of robbing his own grandma as he was riding home from church with her.
Police were approached by someone who saw him with his grandma and assumed that he was robbing her, presumably because he is black and she is white.
Oddly enough, Wauwatosa Police Capt. Brian Zalewski said that it was actually an African-American couple who initially made the report.
“Well, I’m telling you this is my grandson. This is my best friend who has known him since he was a baby!” the young man’s grandma said.
“I’m sure he (the person who reported it) saw two white ladies in a car with a black kid and he made some assumptions,” she added.
Upon hearing that it was an African-American couple who made the report she said, “that is even worse.”
“I apologize for that guy not knowing what he was talking about,” one of the officers told the woman after the stop.
There was never an official report filed by the couple who allegedly made the complaint, and the police were not able to get any names or contact information for these people.
“The original citizen who reported this to police did not stay in the area, as requested by officers, and has yet to be located to get a formal statement,” a statement from police said.
Attorney Joy Bertrand said that she ordered the police department to not destroy any records that they have on the case, including notes or text messages between officers and dispatch reports. All of this information is to be handed over to lawyers for further review.
“After we take a look at whatever basis they have for stopping and harassing this family, we will be able to comment further,” Bertrand said.
Police Capt. Brian Zalewski says that police acted “professionally” during the encounter, but it was not until they realized that they were acting on false information that they actually began to treat Carter like a human being. At least one officer pulled their gun on Carter, and he sat in handcuffs for several minutes as police learned what they had done.
“Officers removed their handguns from their holsters based on the original information of a possible violent crime (robbery) in progress but kept their weapons pointed in a safe direction during the stop. The officers acted professionally during the entire interaction,” Zalewski said.
Dominique Elliott, a bystander who witnessed the encounter, said that police went too far.
“He was crying. When he walked up to his grandma she was crying. They shouldn’t have went that far. If you would have seen how surrounded this boy was and I see him shaking and I was just thinking ‘oh my God I hope they don’t kill him.’” Elliott said.
Below is a video of what riding to church with your grandma looks like in a “see something, say something,” police state. Luckily, Mr. Carter wasn’t killed, however, he will likely never be the same again.
To those who think that innocent people won’t be targeted, threatened with deadly weapons, and kidnapped by police if they do nothing wrong, below is a video showing just how wrong you are.
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