Black man riding with white grandmother handcuffed after false robbery report

An 18-year-old black man handcuffed by Wisconsin police after a false robbery report has retained an attorney, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

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Akil Carter was heading home from church Sept. 2 with his white grandmother and her friend when he was detained by Wauwatosa police because two passersby believed he was robbing the women, the newspaper reported.

Attorney Joy Bertrand, representing Carter, said she suspects the man was harassed and has requested all documents from the police department, the Journal Sentinel reported.

"After we take a look at whatever basis they have for stopping and harassing this family, we will be able to comment further," Bertrand said. "Once we take a look at those documents, we will have further comment.”

Wauwatosa police said an officer was flagged down by an African-American couple who indicated a robbery either was occurring or had just occurred, and the suspect was in the back seat of a blue Lexus. The man pointed out the car to the officer, Wauwatosa Police Capt. Brian Zalewski said in a statement.

Zalewski said officers drew their handguns but kept them pointed in a safe direction during the stop. Zalewski explained a "non-approach" traffic stop was made, in which one of the responding officers called the man back to the officers instead of the officers approaching the car.

In the squad car footage, Carter was told to drop to his knees and then was placed in handcuffs and put in a squad car for questioning, the Journal Sentinel reported. After six minutes, a female officer told Carter that his detainment had been a misunderstanding, the newspaper reported.

The grandmother told the officers that “I'm sure (the person who reported it) saw two white ladies in a car with a black kid and he made some assumptions," the newspaper reported.

When she was told by the male officer that an African-American man reported the incident, the grandmother said "That is even worse."

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