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Cops Detain Teen Riding With Grandma Thinking He’s Robbing Her

A teenager in Wisconsin was handcuffed and detained by local police while headed home from church with his grandmother after passerby told cops he was robbing her. Akil Carter, 18, was detained for six minutes Sunday after his grandmother’s blue Lexus was pulled over by officers of the Wauwatosa Police Department. Wauwatosa Police Capt. Brian Zalewski said that an officer on patrol had been flagged down by a black couple who claimed two black men had just robbed a white woman, and were sitting in the back of a blue Lexus. Zalewski said the couple pointed out the car, which was then pulled over by an officer in a “non-approach traffic stop.” He added that the citizen who reported the incident did not stick around to give a formal statement as requested by officers. Video footage of the incident shows police pulling over the Lexus and demanding Carter exit with his hands up. He does, and eventually begins walking backward to where the patrol vehicle is located. After the officer asks his grandmother if everything is OK, she informs them that Carter is her grandson and that they’re headed back to her house from church.

“I’m guessing what this sounds like is a really big misunderstanding. I’m not exactly quite sure what’s going on,” the officer tells him as Carter explains that the car’s driver is a friend of his grandmother, and his grandma is the front seat passenger. He is eventually allowed to leave the vehicle. Carter’s attorney Joy Bertrand told that she believes her client was harassed, and has requested all documents relating to the stop, including dispatch records. She said that her team has yet to receive the documents, but will be able to better determine if officers had any reasonable suspicion to conduct the car stop once they do. “We’re really trying to give the police the benefit of the doubt with this,” she said. “(But) nothing they’ve disclosed to the press helps them. The officer’s explanation is so strange. It really points to the question of, ‘What is your motivation?’”

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