Black drivers feel targeted by police in Detroit suburbs

Other Black motorists in Metro Detroit have had similar encounters with police. While not all have reached the point of being held at gunpoint, it’s not uncommon for Black motorists to avoid driving through the suburbs because they fear being racially profiled during traffic stops.

Police drew their guns at Thatcher and handcuffed him at the scene, he said, because they said he fit a description of an armed robber who had stolen prescriptions from the CVS across the street in Hamtramck, a racially diverse city where 13.5% of residents are Black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Thatcher, a light-skinned Black man, was wearing a light blue pullover. The suspect shown in security cameras was a dark-skinned, heavy-set Black man, wearing a dark blue jacket.

Police let Thatcher go after they received a call saying the suspect had driven a white Cadillac. Thatcher was driving a red Dodge.