A man posted a video to TikTok featuring his interaction with a police officer during a traffic stop while driving in Oklahoma. He claimed that he was unlawfully detained and that the officer racially profiled him as well as abused his power.
The video, which garnered over 8 million views on TikTok since being posted on Oct. 24, shows Trace Clark folding up a written warning for a traffic rule violation, handed to him by the officer who is asking Clark multiple questions. The officer, who is off-camera, says, “Is there anything in the vehicle that would be of concern to me? Like guns, bombs, hand grenades, terrorists, or dead bodies?”
He continues, asking Clark if there are any open containers of alcohol, illegal drugs, large amounts of money in the vehicle, which was reportedly a U-Haul. He then asks if Clark has a problem with him searching the vehicle, to which Clark responds, “Yes.”
Clark asks him why he is checking the vehicle, and the cop responds by saying that he is “just asking” as a courtesy. After being told by Clark that he would not like the officer to search the car, the officer says he has a canine, which would allow him to do an “open-air sniff” of the vehicle. The cop says that if the dog alerts him to anything, it will give him probable cause to search the car.
The officer says that he has to make a phone call, and Clark asks if he’s being detained. The cop says yes. When Clark questions him, the cop says: “Because I said you are.”
Viewers asked for an update, and Clark obliged, assuring them in a follow-up that he made it to his destination safely. He alleges he asked the cops what indicated that the dog “got a hit on the car,” but they refused to tell him. Clark was later put in the back of a police car “for around an hour,” he says.
Viewers are urging Clark file a lawsuit against the police department because of the officer’s actions.
“File a complaint against this cop. For illegally detaining you after giving you a ticket,” one person suggested.
“As a prior cop, he’s 100% wrong and it’s not okay,” another said.
Many are accusing the cop of going on a power trip. “That cop was picked on in high school,” one said.
Clark, a former Oklahoma State University football player, told News 9 he has since filed a complaint with the Goodwell Police Department.
A spokesperson for Goodwell Police Department confirmed with the Daily Dot that it did receive a complaint on Oct. 27 and that it is investigating the officer’s actions. Once the investigation is complete, the department will determine if any action will be taken, the spokesperson said. While the spokesperson said the department is reviewing the body camera footage from the officer, it has yet to receive footage it requested from the complainant.
Update 7:13am CT Nov. 3: When reached for comment, Clark told the Daily Dot that he’s received “mostly (a) positive response” on the video.
“I’m glad that it has been used to open more eyes to injustices that take place within our system and hopefully drive change. It shows that even when you comply with law enforcement you can still be harassed and abused,” he added.
He said that he will not discuss “legal proceedings without further legal counsel” but that he is “thankful to everyone for their support.”
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