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Wisconsin Man Riding Home From Church With Grandmother Handcuffed
A Wisconsin man was handcuffed for approximately six minutes after the vehicle he was in with his grandmother on their way home from church was pulled over. A Wauwatosa police officer pulled over the vehicle carrying the 18-year-old man, his grandmother, and another woman on Sept. 2, just before noon. The officer told a dispatcher over the radio that he had flagged down a vehicle that might be linked to a recent robbery. Traffic Stop The officer did not describe the race of the people in the car but dashboard camera video footage released by the Wauwatosa Police Department shows him telling the driver of the vehicle that the person suspected in the robbery was black. "Alright Luke, I think there's two females in the front, one black guy in the back, alright," one officer could be heard saying on the video, which is nearly 15 minutes in duration, to dispatch. "I think we'll just order the black guy out, hands up." An officer ordered the teenager out of the back seat of the car and handcuffed him. The Wauwatosa Police Department said in a statement that the 18-year-old was handcuffed for approximately six minutes. 'Reasonable Suspicion' "The 18-year-old male was detained on reasonable suspicion ... while officers investigated," the department stated, noting that a black male and a black female had flagged down the officer and indicated that "a robbery either was occurring or had just occurred and the suspect was a black male in the back seat of a blue Lexus." After the pair pointed out the vehicle to officers, the vehicle was pulled over. Police officers said in the statement that the people who pointed out the car to the officers did not stay in the area, as the officers had requested, to give a formal statement. After the 18-year-old was handcuffed, the officer asked the two women in the front of the vehicle if everything was okay and one woman replied. "This is my grandson; Yes, we're on the way home from church to my house," she said. One of the officers told the man as he was releasing him that there appeared to have been a mistake made. "What it seems like is there's some sort of misunderstanding," an officer told the man. Wauwatosa Police Capt. Brian Zalewski said in the statement that the officers "acted professionally during the entire interaction." Attorney Hired An attorney told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that she has been hired by the family of the man who was handcuffed. Attorney Joy Bertrand said that she suspects the man was harassed. She said she's requested all documents from the police department about the traffic stop and the reason for the stop while telling them not to destroy any documents. "After we take a look at whatever basis they have for stopping and harassing this family, we will be able to comment further," Bertrand said. "Once we take a look at those documents, we will have further comment."