Couple call police on black teen driving with his white grandmother, thinking he was robbing her
Police drew guns and arrested an innocent 18-year-old black boy after a couple wrongly tipped them off about an alleged robbery. The young man was driving home from church with his grandma and her best friend.
The incident, recorded by dashcams, took place on September 2, just before midday in Wauwatosa, Milwaukee County. A passerby couple told a Wauwatosa police officer that a young black man was robbing two older white women in a blue Lexus, before pointing out the car.
Police immediately took action by following the car and gave a "non-approach" traffic stop, asking the teenager to step out of the car, walk to the sidewalk with his hands in the air and then back toward the police car. Then, he was asked to kneel and was handcuffed out of shot.
The officers drew their guns but kept them facing the ground, and while the boy was taken to the back of a patrol, one of the officers approached the car to ask the ladies if everything was okay. To his surprise, one of the women can be heard saying “That’s my grandson. We’re going back from church to my house.”
The video footage shows the officers apologizing to the ladies and telling them it was all a big misunderstanding. He proceeds to explain that a couple thought they saw a black young man making a robbery, to which the grandma says:
“I'm sure he saw two old, white ladies in a car with a black kid and he made some assumptions.”
When the officer explains that it was an African American male who did the report, the lady says “Oh my god. That’s even worse.”
Akil Carter was handcuffed for about six minutes in the back of a police car while a female officer asked him some questions to corroborate he was indeed the lady’s grandson. In the footage from the vehicle, Akil can be seen visibly upset as he barely looks at the officer and speaks in a low tone.
After the incident, attorney Joy Bertrand is giving his support to Carter and is requesting all the documents from the stop to the Wauwatosa Police Department as she suspects the young man was being harassed.
“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. "Once we take a look at those documents, we will have further comment."
Police racial profiling is not uncommon these days, and it seems like the cases keep on increasing. Just a few months ago, Michael Hayes, a young real estate investor, was harassed by a woman who thought he was trying to break into a house.
The man had authorization from the owner to enter and check out the property, but the lady didn’t believe him and called the police on him. When officers arrived at the scene, Hayes explained the situation and surprisingly, they stood on his side.