A viral video from a Sunday afternoon traffic stop in Milwaukee shows police pointing their guns at a black driver. What isn’t clear is whether or not police were the ones who told him he was being racially profiled.

In a Facebook live video, a black man is seen with his hands up and outside the driver’s side window of his vehicle in Milwaukee’s Haymarket neighborhood. Deputies with the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office are behind him, and are pointing their service weapons at the driver. One deputy has an assault rifle.

“Why you got your guns pointed at me though?” The driver is heard saying in the video.

“Because you’re not white,” a voice is heard saying off-camera.

While audiences on social media are saying it was one of the officers who said they were pointing their guns because the driver wasn’t white, Milwaukee County Sheriff Richard Schmidt is denying that it was one of his deputies 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 press conference on Sunday night. “I’ve looked at three videos now on this incident. You cannot tell who said it… This was not an officer. If it was, I would say ‘fine, let me do the discipline.’ ”

The stop ended nonviolently, with the driver being given five reckless driving citations, according to Milwaukee Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Scott Stiff. Lt. Stiff added that the driver was driving at approximately 85 miles per hour and had driven through a stop sign when officers pulled him over.

As of this writing, no body camera footage of the incident has been released.


Jake Shepherd is a freelance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. He enjoys poring through financial disclosure statements, spirited debate, and good scotch. He remains eternally optimistic about the Browns. Email him at jake.d.shepherd.21 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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