Man's candid, honest video about race and traffic stops goes viral
LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A video of a young African American man talking candidly and honestly about a recent traffic stop in Lexington County is now reaching a larger audience due to social media in the wake of the shooting of an unarmed man in North Charleston.
Will Stack, a 22-year-old service member with the Army National Guard, says in the video he was pulled over by a Lexington police officer for "improper use of the median."
According to Stack, he was pulling out of the Lexington County Courthouse in an attempt to make a left turn. Stack said he noticed the lane in front of him was full and the median was not, so he drove the car through the median to get to the left turn lane.
Seconds later, Stack says he was pulled over by the police officer, who immediately asked to see his license, registration, and proof of insurance.
"Now, I will say that why he was here with me, I made sure my hands were on the steering wheel, I made sure to speak very politely as I always do. I did what he told me to do. I handed him the information and I sat here and waited and turned my music down," Stack said in the video.
Stack says the officer returns a short time later and explains the proper use of a median. Stack admits he made a poor choice.
"I was in the wrong, I didn't realize it," Stack said. "I just did it out of habit."
Stack received a warning from the officer and both went on their respective ways. Minutes later, Stack pulled out his smartphone and began to talk.
"The point of this is to say that I am an African American male, this gentleman was Caucasian. There were no problems. He did his job, I did what I was supposed to do, and that was it."
Stack shot the video with full knowledge of what happened in the fatal shooting of 50-year-old Walter Scott. He said he had first seen the video and found parts of it alarming, but wanted to keep an open mind about what happened.
Stack said it wasn't a good idea for Scott to run, but he also had concerns about the use of force by 33-year-old North Charleston police officer Michael Slager.
But Stack aimed make a point in the 2-minute clip which was posted to Facebook on Wednesday and has already been shared thousands of times. In the clip, Stack explains from his own perspective as an African American male that he feels like others need to understand that the use of labels is hurting society.
"The world really needs to stop putting labels on people and things and see them as who they are: people doing jobs, doing things. Ignorance has no color. God doesn't see color," Stack said. "Why should we?"
In an interview with WIS Senior Investigative Reporter, Stack explained in further detail his decision to shoot and post the video on social media.
"It's possible for African Americans and police officers to get along" Stack told Kuenzie. "It's possible for African Americans to have respect for police officers and what they do. And, not everybody shares the same mindset because nobody's the same, everybody's different."
"We don't know what all cops do, we don't know what all Caucasian people do" Stack said. "The only thing we know is what's highlighted, what's put in the media, which, unfortunately, is nine times our of ten are the negative things."
"I just wanted to bring something positive to social media, something positive to the world to let people know there are good cops out there, there are intelligent African Americans out there, it exists."
Stack recently completed a deployment with the Army National Guard. He's now looking for jobs.
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