White lawyer angrily confronts D.C. police over detainment of black man
WASHINGTON (ABC/WJLA) -- A police stop in a Northwest D.C. neighborhood has raised allegations of racial profiling from an outspoken local attorney.
Police responding to a burglary alarm call on Oct. 1 in the upscale Foxhall Crescent neighborhood saw a black man carrying bags and they detained him, having the man sit on the curb while they investigated further..
Lawyer Jody Westby stepped in to question why officers were detaining 64-year-old Dennis Stucky and asked where the burglary call had come from. It turned out that police had the wrong block.
When one of the officers claimed Stucky was stopped because he seemed suspicious, Westby responded by telling police that he was a handyman who had worked in the neighborhood for 30 years.
"Just because he's black, doesn't mean he's here to rob a house," Westby said. "He's had enough knocks in his life...he doesn't need to be put in jail because some police car can't find the right address."
Westby took Stucky's hand and lead him away from police, telling officers that she was an attorney and they had no legal reason to detain him. She also asked the officers to please leave the neighborhood, which they did shortly thereafter.
A police spokesperson told ABC7 News in a statement that there was no misconduct by officers during the incident, which was captured on video (see below at bottom of article to watch the viral video) that has garnered worldwide attention since being posted online.
On Friday the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable presented Westby with its Civic Engagement Award.
"Given the deadly seriousness of racial profiling as a national issue of deep concern, Jody Westby performed an honorable act in confronting and publicly exposing a possible act of racial profiling by a public servant in Washington D.C. when she publicly challenged the lawfulness of the stop of an African-American by Washington D.C. police," said Earl Ofari Hutchinson, the roundtable's president. "The award is meant to recognize her for her courageous act."