A sheriff in Missouri is firing back at a now-suspended newspaper columnist who claimed to experience what “minority motorists” must feel when getting pulled over by cops, saying he was lucky he didn’t “get shot” during a recent traffic stop.
Boone County Sheriff Dwayne Carey has refuted a June 30 opinion column by longtime Columbia Daily Tribune columnist Bill Clark, who was stopped 10 days earlier for failing to use his turn signal. Clark, an 84-year-old white man, suggested in the column that he might’ve been pulled over because of his “liberal bumper stickers,” an obvious sign of an “aging hippie with a weed habit,” he claimed.
“I’m lucky I didn’t get shot,” Clark wrote. “Sirens wailed and when I stopped, two officers were out of the sheriff’s vehicle. When I reached over to turn off the radio and then take my wallet out of my pocket to produce the driver’s license and insurance card, I realized my hands were not at the top of my steering wheel. Danger lurked and official arrogance was to follow.”
Clark, who claimed he received a “good dose of arrogance” during the stop, said he understands how someone could lose respect for cops after the stop, saying his life “seemed to be in danger” during the interaction with two deputies.
“When you are in the shoes of the minority, you learn a lot more about their journey,” Clark wrote.
But a review of dashcam video told a different story, according to Carey, who contacted the newspaper’s managing editor, Charles Westmoreland, to disagree with Clark’s version of events. Carey also released the 11-minute video and penned an 1,800-word response to Clark’s column, blasting it as “sensationalism” and disputed the claims of “arrogance” on behalf of the deputies.
“In his column he indicates, ‘I’m lucky I didn’t get shot,’” Carey wrote. “There is never a weapon drawn, the deputies don’t take a position of cover, there are no loud verbal commands, no panic or anything else for that matter by the deputies. Would you agree this is sensationalism at its best? I say yes!”