Be careful if you park under a tree in the warm weather you might get accused of having marijuana in your car.
Rudy Samuel recorded the incident where Master Officers Sean Skov and Gaylen Giddens pulled him over in Winfield, Kan., last week for a turn signal violation, and then changed their tune when they saw vegetation resting on his car door window opening. It turned out to be a tree branch, but the police still detained him, claiming they needed to test the vegetation.
When Samuel asks the officer to test it the officer replies: “I’ll test it here in a little bit, okay, I ain’t got to test it right now.”
Samuel says he didn’t use marijuana but is still asked to step out of the car. The video ends abruptly when officers are confronted on camera and they aggressively remove him from the car. The sound continues, and you can hear Samuel saying he knows the law and he does not give consent to have his car searched. He also says he has a legal firearm inside the car. Watch the video here:
While some comments on Samuel’s Facebook page and on Twitter’s
#DrivingWhileBlack encourage people to know their rights, others say knowing the law doesn’t matter if you’re Black. Samuel was detained, but later released with a warning and no proof of any marijuana just a tree branch.
Winfield’s police department is investigating the encounter. Chief Brett Stone told the local KSN news media that ” we train, we learn, we do conduct these traffic stops routinely. And certainly, each traffic stop has facets to it depending on the nature of the call, the nature of the stop, the nature of what the infraction is. So, we do our best to adapt and adjust to those and conduct them safely and certainly within legal guidelines.”
Both officers involved had been
recently promoted in November 2017.
In a comment on the Facebook video, Samuel wrote about the officer, “Yea straight Stereotyped me he grab my phone I told him he better get a warrant for it so he powered it off.”
Freedom 1 Organization, a Kansas-based social justice group, is claiming to be a spokesgroup for Samuel and planning a protest in Winfield, according to its Facebook page. Peter Wright of Freedom 1 told the Huffington Post that Samuel is considering a lawsuit and said, “He has a biracial family and they’ve moved out of Winfield due to threats.
Meanwhile Congress just passed a law last week,
H.R. 5698, the Protect and Serve Act of 2018, to make targeting police officers a federal crime. Things that make you go “Hmmm”