Screenshot 2016-09-01 14.41.15

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier published an article written by the Associated Press today about a Waterloo police officer who was disciplined after grabbing the dreadlocks of a suspect that was caught at the end of a high-speech chase in Waterloo back in April. The suspect crashed his car into a house and then ran on foot.

They write:

An angry white officer repeatedly yanked on the dreadlocks of a handcuffed black man who was arrested after a dangerous high-speed chase in Iowa, then hit him twice on the back of the head, as seen in video obtained this week by The Associated Press.

Officer Adam Wittmayer was disciplined after an internal investigation into the April 19 incident. A state prosecutor declined to seek criminal charges against the officer, concluding that jurors would understand why he was mad at 24-year-old Montavis Keller, whose car nearly hit Wittmayer near the end of the chase.

The video shows the officer briefly assaulting Keller and berating him.

You can watch the video here (warning: expletive language). They didn’t get the facts in the story wrong. The officer was white. In the video he appeared angry, and the handcuffed man was black who did have dreadlocks.

The way the AP wrote this story made it into a racial thing when I don’t think it was. The state prosecutor declined to prosecute because “jurors would understand why he was mad.” Officer Wittmayer was almost hit by the the suspect. This didn’t have anything to do with race.

They continue to write:

Waterloo has the highest percentage of black residents of any city in Iowa but a nearly all-white police department, which has suffered a string of costly missteps involving force and lack of professionalism. The city has approved settlements with black residents worth at least $2.7 million this year.

Racist remarks by officers have also come to light, including comments that may have contributed to an acquittal in a murder case last month. The police chief confirmed Thursday that another officer was recently disciplined for using a racial slur during a June 10 interaction with a black male.

While I don’t condone the police officer’s actions here. He acted in an unprofessional manner and after an internal investigation that found misconduct was rightly disciplined. I also suspect he would have been just as angry if the guy who almost hit him with his car were white and not black.

What we have here appears to be an anger management problem, not a racial problem.

But hey why just write a story when you can push a narrative?

HT: Shawn Dietz

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