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Sheriff Schmidt says racial comment during traffic stop at 6th and Walnut was not made by deputies

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee County Acting Sheriff Schmidt held a press conference Sunday night to clear up confusion regarding a high risk traffic stop near 6th and Walnut that included a racially charged statement.

According to the Sheriff, as deputies were investigating an incident near 16th and Locust a red car approached the scene going about 75-80 mph in a 30 mph zone. The car was passing on the right and driving recklessly.

Sheriff's Deputies chased the car to 6th and Walnut where it pulled over. Deputies ordered the driver to turn the car off and throw the keys out the window. Instead the driver put his hands out the window but did not put the car into park. Because the driver did not follow commands the traffic stop was escalated to a high risk stop and Milwaukee Police squads arrived to help control a crowd of about 30 to 40 people that formed. 

Eventually, the driver and passenger in the red car put the car in park and exited the car. They were both arrested and no force was used.

The passenger was a 16-year-old. The driver was a 25-year-old who had a record including multiple drug offenses and no license. He was cited for multiple traffic offenses.

A video of the scene caused unrest when the driver of the red car can be heard asking why the deputies had their guns drawn. A response is heard saying "because you're not white." Sheriff Schmidt said that he personally spoke with every deputy there who confirmed that the person who made the racial comment was a white man in a green car that did not have any affiliation with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Schmidt made a point to say that he called the leader of Milwaukee's Black Panthers to discuss the incident and make clear that if a deputy had said something racial they would have been suspended immediately. 


Sheriff Schmidt also said that the father of the driver of the red car arrived at the scene of the traffic stop and "chewed out" his son. Both the father and the son that was cited shook the hands of the deputies after the incident concluded.
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