Civil Liberties

Cop Stops Black Man For Putting His Hands in Pockets on Cold Winter Day



It's difficult to ignore the racial aspects of law enforcement when something as stupid as this happens. A Pontiac, Michigan, cop stopped to question a black pedestrian becaue the man was walking down the street with hs hands in his pockets. As a Michigan native, I can assure you the man had good reason to do this—it's really cold in the winter.

Ah, but when a black man tries to keep warm, it "makes people nervous." Indeed, somebody who saw the man actually called the cops, prompting the officer to check the situation.

"You were making people nervous," the officer explained, somewhat defensively, after the man demanded to know why he was stopped. "They said you had your hands in your pockets."

A video of the encounter is available below.

To the officer's credit, I suppose, he remains fairly polite and doesn't taser the pedestrian—or tackle, shoot, or maim the guy in any way at all. He's just a little annoyed that someone would object to being questioned for having his hands in his pockets. Maybe this counts as a positive police interaction, these days?

In any case, when in the Mitten State, wear your mittens. Lest somebody sics the police on you.

Or, as News Mic's Jared Keller put it:

And here's the broader lesson of McKean's relatively pleasant run-in with the Pontiac police: If you see a black person walking through your neighborhood with his hands in his pockets, don't just assume they're up to no good and call the police for no good reason — especially if it's freezing outside.