Skip to main content

Video: 'What Would You Do?' Features Different Reactions to White and Black Bike Thieves

A recent episode of "What Would You Do?" has gone viral after it revealed the drastic differences between how a white and black person are treated if they steal a bike.

The setup included a black teen and a white teen who "stole" a bike in a neighborhood park. If the teens were asked if they stole the bike, they were told to confess.

The teens were given bolt cutters, a chain saw and a hammer. 

Justin Kelly, the white thief, began cutting the lock on a bike while passersby watched. Some stopped and stared. Others questioned him.

"I guess I have to ask — is that your bike?" a park goer said.

"I guess technically no," Kelly said.

Upon hearing he was stealing the biek, the park goer did not take any action. Many passersby acted similarly and did not wanting to start a fight. Others walked away and called the police.

Bisa Washington, a black woman, said she walked by because she gave the teen the benefit of the doubt.

"I remember thinking, 'Young white men don't usually carry burglary tools," Washington said. 

Her friend, Adrienne, also felt it was unlikely he was stealing and believed Kelly worked for the park.

"Our thoughts were, 'Well, if he had been black or a person of color, the police would have been called in immediately,'" she said. 

But things changed when the black teen actor took Kelly's spot as the bike thief.

People were less quiet about him stealing the bike, and at one point even drew a crowd who confronted him directly. 

One passerby pulled out his cell phone and told the teen he was calling the police, but the cameramen quickly intervened.

To add another layer of reaction to the episode, they also had an attractive, blonde actress pretend to steal the bike. This, of course, attracted men who wanted to help her with it.

"Need a hand with that?" one biker asked her.

Since it was filmed in 2010, it has attracted more than 1.6 million views on YouTube.

Sources: NY Daily News, YouTube


Popular Video