VIRAL: Heated traffic stop in Sandusky causes controversy

VIRAL: Heated traffic stop in Sandusky causes controversy
A snapshot taken from the video that was posted to YouTube. (Source: YouTube)
A snapshot taken from the video that was posted to YouTube. (Source: YouTube)

SANDUSKY, OH (WOIO) - A traffic stop in Sandusky was recorded and posted on social media by the people who were stopped, and now it's gone viral. On Tuesday, the Sandusky Police department held a press conference to address the situation.

On Oct. 1, a Sandusky police officer reported a car was driving without headlights around 7 p.m., and the passenger in the car looked similar to Jeremy Newell, a man wanted for outstanding warrants.

Andre Stocket, 34, was the man in the passenger's seat, and his girlfriend, Kathryn Said, was the driver. They had their 2-week-old son in the backseat.

Police said Said had an expired license, but it turned out her license was valid. When the officer came back to the car, that's when all the trouble started and Stocket started rolling his camera.

The police officer asked Stocket to step out of the car, and said he looked similar to a man with several warrants.

"You look exactly like a person who has warrants," the officer said. Then the two began to argue.

Stocket refused to get out of the car, saying, "That's every black man...I don't have to ID myself."

The argument continued, Stocket maintained that he did nothing wrong, but the officer insisted he ID himself to show he was not a man with warrants.

The officer then called a K9 over to search the car, and Stocket protested, saying he does not consent to a search.

"You don't have to," replied the officer.

They continued to argue about probable cause, and the officer cited Said's nervousness as the reason.

Stocket became increasingly agitated, still refusing to get out of the car, asking if he was being detained and if they were free to go.

Said wanted to get out of the car, fearing that their son may be taken if they didn't comply, after the officer said children services could be involved.

"I don't want my baby taken," she said through tears.

The officers then said he was under arrest for obstruction of justice, and the dog hit on the car for possible drugs.

At this point, several officers came to the scene, continuing to ask Stocket and his girlfriend to get out of the car.

Said gets out of the car at the end of the video while saying, "I can't let my son get taken. I can't."

Stocket and Said were both arrested. They were released at the scene and charged with obstruction of justice.

You can click HERE to watch the entire video. There is profanity, so use discretion. The video has 283,000 views since it was posted on Oct. 2.

"I was just protecting my family," Stocket told 19 Action News. He said he felt targeted, due to his race.

On Tuesday, Sandusky Police held a press conference to discuss the officer's actions. Police said they cannot comment on specifics of the case, but did say the officer acted lawfully.

"However, it is clear that the officer did not act perfectly, and there is always room for improvement," police and city officials said. "We will continue to strive to improve and to take advantage of the visibility this incident provided to highlight progress and build a stronger relationship with the citizens we serve."

To read the full text of the press conference, click HERE.

Stocket admits he has a checkered past, but that he is working to change his life by going to school. His goal is to become a chemical dependence counselor.

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