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Sheriff defends stopping black man for walking with hands in his pockets

Brandon McKean was walking down the street when a sheriff’s deputy stopped him — for having his hands in his pockets.

McKean was walking from his friend’s house to his own home on Thursday evening, and he put his hands …

Brandon McKean was walking down the street when a sheriff’s deputy stopped him — for having his hands in his pockets.

McKean was walking from his friend’s house to his own home on Thursday evening, and he put his hands in his pockets to shield them from the cold winter air. That’s when the deputy pulled up to him.

“You were walking by … well you were making people nervous,” the deputy said. “They said you had your hands in your pockets.”

McKean recorded the incident on his phone and posted it to his Facebook page. He had only intended to show it to a few friends to show off the absurdity of the situation, but the video went viral, even reaching national media outlets like the Colbert Report.

But Sheriff Michael Bouchard says the video only shows part of the story and leaves out the latter half of the incident, in which the deputy explained why he had responded to the call.

Apparently, a shop owner had called 911 to report someone walking past six or seven times, with his hands in his pockets. The shop owner was worried that the unidentified man was casing the place for a robbery and therefore called the police for help. That same shop had already been robbed seven times.

“It boils down to this, if someone calls 911, do you want the police to come or not?” Bouchard said. “A police officer responded, made a quick ascertainment of the situation and determined that nothing else was needed, didn’t pat down an individual, never detained an individual, called off secondary units and left. I think that was a very restrained, very professional approach.”

McKean, on the other hand, believes the stop was ridiculous. He told the deputy involved in the incident that he was glad police were around to patrol, but he says the response isn’t always that swift. “The crazy thing is, I know somebody who got their house broken into and they called the police, and the police took about two hours to come,” he said. “And they came and pulled up on me in under five minutes for walking with my hands in [my] pockets, and that doesn’t make sense.”

The sheriff’s office released their own video of the incident, recorded by the deputy.

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Sheriff defends stopping black man for walking with hands in his pockets

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