Two South Euclid police officers found themselves in a verbal confrontation during an early morning Sept. 19 traffic stop on Mayfield Road.
A 17-year-old black female was pulled over after police report she was driving with no headlights. After her vehicle was stopped, officers reported they smelled marijuana coming from the car.
Much of the incident, captured on police body camera, showed the driver screaming at the officers after they asked her to exit the vehicle.
The video posted on the South Euclid Police Facebook page has nearly a half-million views and has been shared thousands of times around the world.
South Euclid Police Chief Kevin Niedert told newsnet5.com the driver accused the officers of racial profiling when they stopped her car.
"The officers that were involved with this I think demonstrated an immense amount of patience with this young lady," said Niedert.
During the five-minute recorded confrontation, the driver kept shouting and refusing to get out of her car.
"No for real, you think it's racist it's fine," said the driver. "I swear to (expletive) God. It's not fine. What are you guys doing that you need this."
"You pulled me over on a traffic stop. You racist (expletive) over (expletive) everything. Over everything. You did that because I was black," she continued.
Minutes later the driver was arrested without incident. A loaded handgun, bags of marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found inside the car.
Chief Niedert believes better police training helped his officers deal with the potentially explosive situation.
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"Some things really haven't changed," said Niedert. "We want to make race an issue in why we do things. In this particular case, why couldn't it have been that the officer was just trying to do his job."
"There are some bad law enforcement officers out there, I know that," Niedert continued. "But don't let one officer or one event define law enforcement as a whole. We raise our kids to question why, but we're not raising our kids with the proper respect for the authority. It's okay to question why, but it's not okay to question why defiantly."
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