A new cell phone video out of Washington, D.C. shines an interesting light on how quickly a police stop can change when an attorney is present.
The video was taken in the upscale Foxhall Crescent neighborhood of D.C. On the footage, elderly black man Dennis Stuckey, a neighborhood handyman, is seen being stopped by police. White neighborhood resident Jody Westby, an attorney, approaches the police and asks why Westby is being detained. Police say they received a report of a burglary in the neighborhood and stopped Stuckey as a possible suspect. They say Stuckey acted suspiciously by being “loud and boisterous” after he was stopped.
“That’s because you’re accusing him,” Westby countered.
Westby asks the officers what house the burglary was reported at. The house wasn’t even in the same block as where they stopped Stuckey. She then scolds the officers and says their decision to stop Stuckey is totally unjustifiable.
“I’m an attorney and this is wrong,” she said. “Now please leave our neighborhood.”
She takes a business card from one of the officers and leaves them with a parting message.
“Just because he’s black doesn’t mean he’s here to rob a house,” Westby says. “He works for us, he’s been in this neighborhood for 30 years. Now go find [the correct address where the robbery was reported].”
Westby told the Washington Post it was sad to see how the officers, who were also black, treated Stuckey.
“It was very interesting, in the sense of getting a picture of how black cops treat black people, and how humiliating it was for him,” Westby said. “They were treating him just like a dog.”
Here’s the footage: