A 22-year-old, African-American man says he was just trying to put some “positivity” out into the world when he posted a brief video (shown below) on his Facebook page describing a recent traffic stop in which he was pulled over by a white police officer in South Carolina.
As WIS News reports, the video, shot by Will Stack in Lexington County, South Carolina, has now gone viral and is being shared across various social media sites. One copy of the video on YouTube has been viewed over 300,000 times.
Stack, who is currently serving in the Army National Guard, told WIS he filmed the video after having just been pulled over for improper use of a median.
In the video he explains he was pulling out of the Lexington County Courthouse, making a left hand turn, when he noticed the lane ahead of him was full. He explains that he pulled into the median and then into a center turn lane until traffic cleared and then continued on. That’s when the officer pulled him over.
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He says in the video the officer was very polite and explained why he had been pulled over.
"Now, I will say that while he was gone and while he was here with me, I made sure my hands were on the steering wheel, I made sure to speak very politely as I always do,” Stack says. “I did what he told me to do. I handed him the information and I sat here and waited and turned my music down.”
Stack admits in the video that he was in the wrong and he made a mistake. The officer, he says, let him off with a warning.
"The point of this is to say that I am an African-American male, this gentleman was Caucasian,” he says while speaking into his camera. “There were no problems. He did his job, I did what I was supposed to do, and that was it.”
Stack told WIS he made the video because he wanted people to know that police officers and people of all races can get along.
He did it, he said, with the understanding that tensions are high between police officers and the black community in the wake of a number of high-profile shootings in which law enforcement officers have fatally shot unarmed black men.
The most recent such shooting occurred earlier this month in Stack’s home state of South Carolina when 50-year-old Walter Scott was shot and killed by a North Charleston police officer.
Those events need not divide people, Stack says in his video.
“People need to understand that not all officers are crooked. Not all officers are racist bad people,” he says. “And not all people who get shot or tased or arrested by officers are innocent victims.
“Just because you are black doesn’t mean you are a victim,” Stack says in the 2-minute clip. “And just because you are white doesn’t mean you are a racist.
“This world really needs to stop putting labels on people,” he adds.
In a recent interview with CNN, Stack said he had no idea his video would attract so much attention.
“Well honestly, the big turnout is the biggest surprise,” he said. “I was just a kid posting a video about how I felt about something. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that it would get this big.”
He said the feedback he has received has been mostly positive, although some questioned whether he was saying that, because he had an uneventful encounter with a white officer, there was no problem.
“That’s not the case,” he explained. “I understand that there is a huge problem in the world in general when it comes to race. When it comes to civilian-officer relations. “
But that doesn’t mean there can’t be change, he told CNN.
“There are good people,” he said. “As long as we know there is good in this world then change is still hopefully to come.”
“The number one goal, the number one reason for me making this video was to spread some positivity,” Stack said.
Photo Credit: Screen shot from YouTube