A couple years ago, an 18-year-old Black teen was arrested while riding in the car with his white grandmother. Now, he’s suing the cops involved because they never said what the arrest was for besides being given a suspicious tip, per ABC 7 News. Well, what made him seem so suspicious?
This is one of those stories where the incident may not be labeled as racist but… it doesn’t sit well because of the parties involved.
In 2018, Akil Carter was riding in the back of a blue Lexus near the Mayfair Collection outlet mall in Wauwatosa, Wis. In the front seats were his grandmother, Paulette Bar, and her friend, Sandra Adams, both white women. Initial reports say they were coming home from church. Their journey went completely left after Officer Patrick Kaine pursued their vehicle. In court Monday, Kaine said he was given an urgent notice from a “tipster” that a Black man was robbing two white women inside a blue Lexus.
Without further questions, Kaine pulled the family over.
Read more about the incident from WISN 12 News:
He’s heard on dash camera video obtained by WISNM 12 News shout over his squad PA system telling Carter to get out of the car with his hands up, then to get to the sidewalk and walk backward toward the officers.
Kaine told jurors he began a “high risk” traffic stop and called for backup. On the dash camera, Kaine is seen drawing his .40 caliber Glock service weapon as he walks in front of his squad car to where another officer is handcuffing the Black teenager.
The officers then bring Carter and place him in the back of the squad. Meanwhile, Kaine goes back to his grandmother’s car, telling the officer that’s her grandson. Kaine tries to explain the situation and apologizes only for the bad information he received from the “tipster.”
By the time he was released, Kaine couldn’t even find the people who flagged him down to report Carter.
In Carter’s lawsuit, which was heard by a jury this week, his attorney cited the violation of his Fourth Amendment right to be protected from “unreasonable seizure.” The suit also argues Officer Kaine had no probable cause to believe Carter was doing anything criminal.
The only reason left that is probable in assuming a Black man is committing a crime because he happens to be in the company of two white women, is racism. The question then becomes, would he have responded differently if Carter were white?
We’ll see what Carter thinks when he testifies.