MPD traffic stop under investigation after video shows teen being dragged out of vehicle

MPD traffic stop under investigation

MILWAUKEE -- A group of teens pulled over for their headlights being out are sharing video of what happened next. An 18-year-old was dragged out of the car. Police say he refused to get out. The video shared on Facebook has since gone viral.

The incident escalated quickly.

"We didn't give you permission," said a teen in the video.

"Do you want to be next?" an officer replies in the video. "Sit down."

MPD traffic stop under investigation

The video taken last weekend on Milwaukee's north side has over 66,000 views.

MPD traffic stop under investigation

Teen: "I did not condone for a search."

Officer: "Don't care. He was reaching around the car. I'm going to check where he was reaching. You can argue all you want."

"It was a bit of a shock for all of us. To go from, oh you know this is a regular thing to oh my goodness, we might not make it home this weekend," said Quelle Robinson, who recorded the video.

MPD traffic stop under investigation

The three girls inside the car -- including a Marquette-bound student, the vice president of the Milwaukee Youth Council, and an 8-year-old -- held a press conference Friday, critical of the interaction.

"When the cops pulled him out the car I was so scared like we are all going to get shot. Very scared," said Jalen Copeland, 8-year-old passenger.

Adea Dunn, Jalen Copeland and Quelle Robinson

The group says their friend, who is now too shaken to talk, was dragged out of the car because of his race.

"How would you feel if you were targeted just because you made an officer nervous," said Adea Dunn, driver.

MPD traffic stop under investigation

What is not seen on video, is why the teen was pulled over. In the video, his friend's explain the boy was refusing officer's demands to get out of the car. A supervisor on scene told the teens the officers acted appropriately.

"I already looked at the body cam. As far as I'm concerned, the officers didn't do anything wrong," said the supervisor. "I saw 30 seconds of the video and I said I would have probably pulled you out even earlier than that."

The teens, who say they have never been in trouble before, demand they should have been treated like it.

"It's like they all see us the same," said Dunn.

The Milwaukee Police Department released the following statement on the incident: 

The Milwaukee Police Department takes every use of force very seriously. Supervisory personnel are reviewing the events of the traffic stop which occurred on April 8, 2018.

The new administration emphasizes that officers utilize professional communication skills to de-escalate situations when interacting with citizens whenever possible.

It is also imperative that citizens comply with officers’ lawful orders as the Supreme Court has ruled that “an officer making a traffic stop may order passengers to get out of the car pending completion of the stop.”

The Milwaukee Police Department will continue to work towards building legitimacy, rebuilding community trust, and making sure that community-oriented policing is practiced by all Department members.

It appears the 18-year-old was given a citation, and the other teens were not ticketed for their headlights being off.