A black man in Michigan was stopped by cops after a white woman called 911 to report he was staring at her from across a street.
Devin Myers, 20, was “verbally detained” by officers with the Royal Oaks Police Department for 19 minutes after the woman claimed on Tuesday he was “circling her vehicle, staring at her from across the street and was possibly taking pictures of her and her son,” officials said.
Myers had actually attempted to pull into a parking spot occupied by the woman, but he kept driving and found another spot when she did not pull out, Erin Frey, manager of the café the spot is in front of, told the Detroit Free Press.
Police responded to the area and demanded Myers’ identification. Myers then requested a supervisor respond to the scene.
The end of the stop was captured on video by Kimiko Adolph, who livestreamed the incident on Facebook.
“He’d been stopped for looking at the Caucasian woman in Royal Oaks, Michigan,” Adolph said in the video, which by Friday had been viewed more than 20,000 times. “They got him surrounded, so I’m not gonna leave the brother out here.”
Police had no legal right to request Myers’ identification, said Royal Oaks Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohue, who apologized on behalf of the department for the incident.
“What should have been a very short encounter was extended when the officer-involved insisted on getting Mr. Myers’ identification,” O’Donohue said. “The officer had no legal right to demand the identification and should have simply advised Mr. Myers why we were there and allowed him to go on his way.”
O’Donohue said the officer involved was a “new, probationary officer and he made a mistake.”
“This officer will be provided with remedial training to address this issue,” he said.
After Myers was told he could leave, police defended their position to a local business owner and Adolph, who continued recording on Facebook Live.
At one point, an officer said the stop was not a big deal.
“It is a big deal when it’s happened consistently – this is absurd,” Adolph said.
“To who?” the officer asked.
“Black people,” she said.
O’Donohue said the responding supervisor “did not handle this situation in a manner I expect Royal Oak supervisors to conduct themselves.
“He did quickly advise Mr. Myers that he was free to go; however, he did not effectively look into the situation or allow those present the opportunity to express their concerns,” O’Donohue continued.
“This is not the practice of the Royal Oak Police Department and it is not acceptable. The supervisor has been disciplined and every Royal Oak police supervisor has received additional training in procedural justice.”