Video shows black man being arrested for apparently walking in street
On Wednesday, footage of a black man apparently being arrested for walking in the street hit YouTube and has since sparked massive backlash.
In the video, a white Minnesota officer has a hold of the black man’s jacket to keep him from running away as he tells him, “You’re walking down the middle of the street.”
“I’m on the damn white line!” the man says, in reference to the white line that marks the shoulder. “You can’t just put your hands on me like that!”
Janet Rowles, who filmed the incident, can be heard telling the officer, “He’s scared, sir. It’s scary,” before adding, “It’s because he’s black.”
The man tested positive for alcohol and was cited for disorderly conduct and failure to obey a traffic signal. According to police, he was released 45 minutes later.
The city of Edina released a statement concerning the incident attempting to clarify what happened before the recording began:
This incident started several minutes prior to the recording. During that time, our police officer observed a man walking southbound on Xerxes Avenue at West 60th Street in the southbound lane of traffic, though there is a sidewalk on the east side and a sidewalk under construction and a paved shoulder on the west side of the street. Recognizing the risk to the safety of the public, the officer pulled in behind the man with his lights and an audible signal in an attempt to advise him to get out of the roadway. The man, who was wearing headphones, turned and looked at the officer and continued walking in the lane of traffic. The officer then drove in front of the man by approximately 15 feet, to block him from continuing in the southbound lane of traffic. The man deliberately went around the squad car and continued to walk in the lane of traffic. The officer got out of his vehicle and started to follow the man, asking him to get out of the lane of traffic and stop. The man did not stop and was defiant. It was after that point that the recording began.
But Rowles spoke out against the man’s treatment, calling it “overzealous.”
“There was absolutely no reason for the officer to stop him from walking. I easily passed him in my vehicle because he was hugging the right side next to the construction, literally walking on the white line that marks the shoulder,” she said in a release from the Minneapolis NAACP calling for an outside investigation. “I have no interest in vilifying the police, but obviously I got out of my car in the first place because I perceive the pedestrian might not get treated fairly because of his ethnicity.”