The Milwaukee Police Department is investigating a viral video that shows a white man grabbing a Black man by the throat and accusing him and his friends of stealing a bike, a police spokesperson said Monday.
Police told VICE News the incident took place at around 4:40 p.m. on Oct. 10, in the neighborhood of Layton Park. It was caught on video by a man named Deangelo Wright, who told ABC affiliate WISN that he was driving through the neighborhood when he saw the encounter unfolding.
The nearly two-minute video shows an older white man holding a Black man, who appears to have a disability, by the neck while holding his phone to his own ear. Wright can be heard pleading with the man to let go.
“Sir, I’m recording you. Let go of the man’s neck,” Wright says. “He’s not going anywhere.”
“He stole a bike right out of a friend of mine’s yard,” the white man replied in the video.
“Whoa, I didn’t even,” the Black man replied. “I didn’t even touch it. For real, I didn’t touch it.”
“This kid over here, one of his friends stole a bike right out of a friend of mine’s yard,” the white man said on the phone.
The video has garnered thousands of views on Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Police say they’ve identified both men but have not released their names to the public. They have, however, confirmed that the white man is 62 years old and the Black man is 24.
“No injuries were reported,” a police spokesperson told VICE News. “The investigation is ongoing and will be referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office for review of any potential charges.”
Though police declined to confirm his identity, Black Lives Matter protesters in Milwaukee have allegedly identified the white man and held a demonstration outside of what they say is the man’s home on Oct. 12.
There has been a national reckoning with supposed vigilante justice against Black people at the hands of white people. In 2020, Ahmaud Arbery was murdered by two white men who accused him of stealing from a neighbor. Arbery’s murder prompted the state to repeal its Civil War-era citizen’s arrest law in 2021.
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