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. 


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  1. As a Michigan native, I can assure you the man had good reason to do this?it’s really cold in the winter.

    Except it’s autumn. BUSTED.

    1. It’s cold in Autumn as well here in Michigan. It’s below freezing outside as I type this.


    2. Last week we had a cold snap down to the teens.

  2. I was going to say that my far bigger problem is with the idiot that called the police. But then again, why was the police response to that guy to go stop the guy with hands in his pockets, rather than telling the caller “Who gives a shit about somebody with their hands in their pockets? It’s cold outside. GFY.”

    1. If the suspect ended up being a serial killer or something then the police would get some mild embarrassing criticism for it in hindsight. So to avoid the one in a million chance of moderately uncomfortable negative press, they go around assuming everybody might be a monstrous criminal.

    2. ^This^ Exactly. Free speech is protected except for the whole yelling fire in a crowded room argument- so what the hell should be the punishment for these assholes calling the cops over hands in pockets, or kids playing in the park, and people end up getting killed???

    3. Probably one of those CYA policies? whenever someone calls 911, police have to respond.

      1. No they don’t. Several times I have called the cops for things like assault and theft, and they told me they had more important things to do. A crime with a victim? Meh. An excuse to harass someone? Booyah!

        1. Stop fking crying. They respond to almost everything.

          If they didn’t and someone got hurt, they’d get sued.

          Use your brain, not your emotions.

          1. The HELL they do. Quite a lot of cities have made it official that they will NOT respond to mere home burglaries AT ALL.

            Oakland, CA made its priorities clear: their homicide investigations were something like three years backlogged, while drug investigations were up to date.

          2. If they didn’t and someone got hurt, they’d get sued.

            Uhhh, nope.

            The courts everywhere in the US have ruled that the police cannot be held liable for failure to protect individuals.

            1. Yep, someone hasn’t tried to get Houston’s finest to respond on a weekend night for an assault. They’ll get there when they get there, if they ever show up at all.

              OTOH, we’re actually allowed to protect ourselves and our property in this state. Plus, our firefighters will show up on an ordinary structure fire, unlike say, Detroit’s.

          3. Speaking of using your brain, you can respond to a call without intercepting the subject of the call. The police could easily drive-by and make their own visual assessment, conluded there was no threat or suspicious behavior, and gone about their day. And I would wager, if the subject wasn’t black, the cop would have done exactly that.

  3. To the officer’s credit, I suppose, he remains fairly polite

    Yeah, because stopping someone for no reason at all is polite.

    Give me a fucking break. This cop should have left the guy alone, and let the idiots who called him clutch their pearls and faint on their couches.


  4. It used to be that cops could shoot you if you clearly posed a threat to them, the current standard is that they can (and will) shoot you if you don’t clearly not pose a threat to them. Remember the guy in Alabama or the kid in Florida and now the kid in Ohio shot by cops who argued because they couldn’t see what was in his hands it was reasonable to shoot? At what point is it going to be considered reasonable to shoot cops on sight since they are clearly armed and dangerous?


    1. Does it sound better in the original German?

    2. Well its right there in the saying, isn’t it? Saying something is precluded by actually seeing “something”. What exactly was SEEN here?

  6. Pontiac can’t afford body cams for their officers? This poor bastard has to record his harassment on his own iPhone?

    1. I find the idea of a Mexican iPhone Standoff somewhat amusing.

      1. Are Mexican iPhones any cheaper?

    2. Pontiac has an emergency financial manager (or at least did, maybe not anymore) because the city is broke. They disbanded their Police Department and contract with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. The OCSO does not have body cameras.

  7. The proper 911 response to a caller who calls to state that someone is doing something that is perfectly legal:

    Ma’am (or sir), 911 is for emergencies only. Please do not call unless you have an actual emergency or a crime is being committed.

  8. He’s just a little annoyed that someone would object to being questioned for having his hands in his pockets.

    Maybe he’s just a scumbag. But we already knew that. The badge gives it away.

  9. There must be some way to bring teh RAYPE KULCHUR into this story.

    1. He micro-aggressed. Isn’t that rape these days?

  10. OT

    Black bear eats Rutgers student.


    After snapping the shots, the four men tried to walk away, but the bear started to follow them and came within 15 feet of the group. That’s when they split up and ran away in separate directions, they told police.

    Running triggers a chase impulse.

    1. Rutgers students less intelligent than buffalo herd, news at 11.

      1. Three out of the four at least heard the old joke about outrunning a bear.

    2. This is why you go hiking with someone much slower than you.

      1. [sad that people keep inviting me to go hiking]

    3. Terrible… but yeah don’t run, don’t split up..

    4. Get a Twitter account already.

    5. Even dumber behavior on their part was that they were warned by hikers going the other direction that there was a feeding black bear up ahead on the trail. Geniuses decided that would make a good photo and tried to find the bear.

      I guess they succeeded.

    6. You are missing the bigger lesson. Clearly that techniques works for 3 out of every 4 people. That’s pretty good!

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  12. Odds that the LEO in question is a recently separated Buck Sergeant?

    Git yer daggum hands out of your daggum pockets!!

    1. I had a lot of fun floating around the Pacific on an aircraft carrier, but I really got tired of sirrin’, salutin’ and specshuns. Back on shore, if it was a sunny day, I would cross the street to avoid ossifers and the obligatory salute, but if it was raining, I’d cross the street to force a salute from as far away as possible. If my enlisted hands had to be out of pockets, I was going to make sure their dry and warm ossifer hands were too.

      1. I used to deliberately approach officers in bad weather to make them salute. Especially Lieutenant j.g.’s and Ensigns.

  13. Everyone just needs to relax…

    It seems to me the cop seems more annoyed that he has to respond to a ridiculous call of a suspicious person walking around with his hands in his pockets. He just directed his annoyance at the walker instead of at the caller.

    I’d like to see the cop’s version of the video to find out how they parted ways.

    Either way, the recorded conversation took about 90 seconds and ended in a high-five. If I’m stopped by the police and it ends in 90 seconds with a high-five, then I’m having a good day.

  14. Where’s my hat tip?

  15. It must be a slow day in anti-establishment land for you Robby? Aren’t there better stories out there of dickhead cops you can find rather than one who responded to a dispatched call and treated the citizen with respect? I never liked responding to ‘suspicious person’ complaints either because you have no idea what ‘lens’ someone is being viewed with. And that automatically meant it was my fault. Robby, you know this is a BS story – you’re starting to look very Kraweyski like.

    1. You know a poster is full of cop shit when he thinks a cop stop is good if the cop doesn’t shoot you.

  16. Randy doesn’t wear shirts. Not even in winter. Putting your hands in your pockets is a sure sign of a shit weasel.

    1. I’ve had cops roll up on me and claim my untucked shirt gave them reasonable suspicion to search me, because the only reason people don’t tuck in their shirt is to hide a weapon.

      1. (Paws through desk looking for unfinished CCW application)

        Is that so?

  17. Apparently the caller was a store that he had walked by “five or six times” while looking in the windows. This store had been the target of repeated recent robberies. So you can see why a guy (black, white, yellow, or green) walking by a bunch of times with his hands in his pockets while looking in the windows would raise your hackles a bit.


  18. Who knew Barack Obama was in Pontiac?

  19. In any case, when in the Mitten State,

    If someone wanted him to get his hands out of his pockets, just ask him where in Michigan he’s from. He’ll instinctively pull his hands out and show you his palm…

  20. Robby Soave and Reason should edit this article with an update

    “After Mckean’s video ends, the conversation continues”

    “The caller told 911 that he and his employees believed they were going to be robbed … said he had walked by the business five or six times and had looked inside with his hands in his pockets.”
    This appears to substantiate there was a 911 call, a matter of public record.

    “that business has been robbed twice while employees have been robbed five times.”
    WOW! Context makes a big difference.

    Quoting the ‘victim’, the guy who posted the video : “”I feel like the officer was being really respectable he didn’t try to invade any of my rights…I commend him for that'”

    “is convinced he was viewed with suspicion because he’s black.”
    Right. Because Democrats and too many libertarians enable that stupidity. Even if he was suspected because he’s black, it was the store employees who did the suspecting. Has anyone asked what color the perpetrators were during the SEVEN robberies? Maybe that’s a factor.

    Sheriff Bouchard – “‘To post something on the internet **without ever calling us** without ever talking to us **without ever asking for an explanation** only fans the flames in the situation and it doesn’t help.”‘

    100% correct. How many people will see this, take it at face value, and further smear police? Robby Soave and Reason did.


    1. Thanks. I’m following up on this.

      1. Still no correction?

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