Another day brings another racial profiling case. A 25-year-old Black man claimed that police officers are guilty of racial profiling in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.
Deandre Pettiford-Bates was stopped, frisked, searched and questioned during an early morning bike ride home that was captured by video on Monday, the Stevens Point Journal reported. Police had been looking for an armed robbery suspect and felt that Pettiford-Bates somehow fit the description. However, a 17-year-old, who is white, was later arrested for the crime.
Pettiford-Bates said he was truly disappointed and angry over being detained by cops, “Not only did they violate, strip me of my rights, but also did not info [sic] me of what was going on,” he wrote in a Facebook post that has gotten more than 600 shares and 300 comments. “They did whatever they wanted without due process … they assumed that because I was Black that somehow I had drugs and a gun.”
The Stevens Point Police Department released video footage on Wednesday, showing Pettiford-Bates being stopped and searched by three officers during a five-minute encounter. Police patted down, searched the man’s wallet and backpack, as well as questioned him. Pettiford-Bates didn’t give consent to the search; an officer’s report disputed his claim. A police officer’s account of the incident mentioned no wrongdoing as well.
Pettiford-Bates didn’t file a formal complaint, hoping to resolve the situation with an apology. A formal statement on the incident may come as Stevens Point Police Chief Marty Skibba is expected to address the encounter soon, an assistant chief told the Stevens Point Journal Thursday.