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Black Teen Riding in Car With His White Grandmother Handcuffed by Cops: Video

"This is my grandson. We're on the way home from church to my house," Paulette Barr pleaded with officers.

Driving home from church is dangerous in Wauwatosa, Wisc., if you're a Black teen in a car with your grandmother who happens to be white, and police think you're robbing her.


Akil Carter, age 18, sat in the backseat of a vehicle, while his grandmother and another white woman were in the front seat driving from Milwaukee on Sunday morning. Police stopped them when they entered Wauwatosa, a city with a population that's 87.5 percent white, and only 4.8 percent Black.

It's located in Milwaukee County where racial disparities in the criminal justice system have resulted in more than half of Black men in their thirties serving time in prison. Wauwatosa is also less than 15 minutes from Milwaukee, which has an established school-to-prison pipeline for Black students.

Carter was handcuffed and detained as police claimed they were responding to a tip from a Black couple that a Black young man was robbing two older white women in a blue Lexus.

Wauwatosa Police Department released dashboard cam video, on Thursday, of the traffic stop.

An officer can be heard yelling: "Everybody put up their hands in the car. Put your hands up. Hands up in the car."

He did not yet approach the car, and gave commands from his vehicle.

"Person in the backseat, I need you to step out of the car with your hands up."

Carter opens the car door and steps out onto the sidewalk with his hands up.

The officer then ordered him to walk backwards toward his vehicle then to get down on his knees.

Click here for entire footage from dashcam

Out of camera range, an officer handcuffed Carter, and then placed him in the back of a squad car.

After his partner handcuffed Carter, an officer, identified by The Washington Post as Pat Kaine, walked up to the stopped vehicle, and asked the passenger, "Is everything OK?"

"This is my grandson; Yes, we're on the way home from church to my house," the woman, identified as Paulette Barr, replied.

"Some guy comes up to me in his car and says, actually, there were two Black guys robbing a lady in a blue Lexus," Kaine said.

Barr repeated that the young man is her grandson, and the other woman is her best friend whom he's known since he was a baby.

An additional video from a camera in the back-seat area shows a female officer telling Carter that the stop appears to be a misunderstanding. She tells him this, but keeps him in handcuffs as she questions him.

Carter told the officer his grandmother was the passenger and her friend was driving the car. He was released within 10 minutes of Barr clearing up the situation.

Capt. Brian E. Zalewski, Wauwatosa Police Department's public information officer, said in a statement to news media that during the stop officers drew their handguns, "but kept them pointed in a safe direction."

Zalewski said Barr and Carter were stopped because an officer was "flagged down by an African American male and African American female who indicated a robbery either was occurring or had just occurred." The suspects, he said, were "two Black males in the back seat."

However, the Black people that allegedly flagged down Kaine has yet to be located for a formal statement.

The family has hired an attorney and may sue the Wauwatosa Police Department.

The Conversation (1)
Evelyn Miller10 Sep, 2018

Such a sad state we're in right now. Not sure what it's going to take to reverse things but I continue to keep hope alive. BLM

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Spread the Word on Injustice: You Made #WhileBlack Viral

There are infinite stories out there, and it's time to hear from you, because we know #WhileBlack is happening to you.

Hundreds, even thousands of #WhileBlack stories have swept the nation. You made yet another truth viral with over 90,000 views: Black Restaurant Owner Arrested for Helping Unconscious White Woman Sues NYPD.

Recently, Clyde Pemberton, a businessman in #HarlemWhileBlack, decided, along with his employees to make #WhileBlack legal, literally, and hold the NYPD accountable for arresting them for helping a white woman.

The Harlem MIST owner's lawsuit blatantly states that he was a "conscientious business owner while Black", and his employees were arrested for "being helpful employees while Black."

They want justice for living their lives, trying to help people, and being punished and forever changed because of it. Investors are gone, business is suffering, and he and employees want nothing to do with the police now.

While many stories have been about police and emergency response personnel being annoyed about having to respond to calls about Blacks living their lives, like The Science Behind Why White People Call Police on Black People for Doing Ordinary Things, many also involve the men and women in blue, who act unprofessionally and downright racist in their #WhileBlack perpetuation.

We've covered it in corporate settings, everyday settings, police interactions; we've talked to experts about the phenomenon. #WhileBlack and the fear of a racial group losing its majority status have impacted the country's behavior:

"For people of color, our concern is that we're on guard for discrimination coming toward us. And for whites, the concern is 'Whatever I'm about to say it may be landing in a way where the person perceives me as racist.' So they double down because they don't want to admit a particular bias or slant," said Alexis McGill-Johnson, executive director and co-founder of Perception Institute.

There are infinite stories out there, and it's time to hear from you, because we know #WhileBlack is happening to you.

Join The Conversation below, or send us an email, tweet, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn reply and tell us: What is YOUR #WhileBlack story?