Bodycam footage out of Ohio shows a white male driver resisting arrest and threatening to shoot an officer on the morning of Dec. 2. He managed to stay physically unharmed in the process, and now people online are pointing out the racial double standard the incident made apparent.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Officer Mike Sigman and his K-9, Ben, backed Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Brian Garloch during a traffic stop, in which driver Merak Burr, 25, was uncooperative.
Garloch spotted Burr speeding while driving southbound on Interstate 71, but their exchange became heated enough for the trooper to ask for backup. The situation did not change once Sigman arrived.
After officers noticed Burr’s loaded Beretta 9MM semi-automatic gun in the passenger seat, he refused to exit the vehicle or put his hands on the steering wheel. However, his rejection of direct orders, somehow, did not result in him being killed or harmed in any way.
“Put your hands on the steering wheel,” Sigman orders.
“No,” Burr replies.
“I will send the dog on you,” Sigman answers.
“I will shoot you if you do,” Burr replies.
Burr repeatedly says his rights are being violated and questions if the body camera is on.
“This is not how we act civilly,” he says.
Garlock pulls his gun on Burr.
“You just put your hand on a gun, sir,” Garlock ays, holding Burr’s left forearm.
“No, no, no. You pulled a gun on me. It was in response,” Burr replies. Burr states throughout that his gun is not concealed but visible to anyone to see.
Amazingly enough, he eventually wrestles his arm free, manages to close this door, and drives away from the two bewildered police officers.
According to the Dispatch, police opted to avoid a chase. Burr was later stopped “about two hours later in Colerain Township in Hamilton County” and charged with improper handling of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, and driving on a closed highway.
Genoa Township Police Chief Steve Gammill described the flabbergasting stop to the Dispatch as “a very tense situation that could have turned out tragically” and that the officers “acted with great restraint and professionalism.”
Once TMZ got ahold of the footage, it quickly became national news, accompanied by social media conversations and comments about the racial double standard in treatment by the police. People referenced the highly publicized deaths, including those of Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd.
“If he was even slightly darker, he would have been shot at least in 5 separate instances in this video,” user @ExplosivePat wrote . “The cops were asking him please!!! Are you fucking kidding me?”
Others echoed similar sentiments.
“HE THREATENED TO SHOOT A COP. TWICE. If he was black, he’d def be dead. Philando Castille didn’t grab his gun, nor threaten to use it. But, he was murdered in front of his 5 yr old daughter. Another representation of how different poc are treated, by police & the just-us system,” user @QueenU07 tweeted.
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