White Deputy From Detroit Tells Black Woman He's 'Blacker' Than Her

Photo: Getty Images

A Black woman has filed a federal civil rights complaint after a white sheriff's deputy in Michigan said he was "Blacker" than her because he's from Detroit, AP News reports.

Tracy Douglas, 59, had just been struck in the face during an altercation when an unidentified Monroe County sheriff's deputy questioned her Blackness.

The altercation occurred on August 20 in the parking lot of a liquor store in Lambertville, Michigan.

According to store surveillance video, Douglas dinged the side of a truck as she opened her car door.

An argument ensued between a woman in the truck and Douglas before a man, who has been identified as the woman's boyfriend, punched Douglas in the face.

A Monroe County sheriff's deputy responded to the scene, and his body camera footage shows him alleging that Douglas slapped him.

"Listen, you slap me again, you're going on the ground," the deputy told Douglas.

"Am I? Am I, really? Cause I'm Black?" she responded.

At one point in the video, the deputy asked Douglas where she lives.

Once Douglas told him, he replied, "OK, I'm from Detroit. So, I'm probably more Black than you. So, you want to play the race card?"

Douglas then said: "You ain't Blacker than me."

The 59-year-old was taken to a hospital for treatment and later posted videos of the encounter on social media, prompting an internal investigation, the sheriff's office said.

"The deputy's comments were made in the heat of the moment and in response to being questioned by Ms. Douglas as to if he was treating her differently because of her race," the sheriff's office said. "In that brief moment, the deputy used an unprofessional comment. However, after the initial exchange, the deputy was highly effective at de-escalating and diffusing a volatile situation while also arranging medical care for Ms. Douglas."

The sheriff's office said the deputy's supervisors counseled and trained him following the incident and pledged that all deputies would receive implicit bias and cultural diversity training.

Douglas' attorney, Darnell T. Barton, said the man who punched her was charged with aggravated assault and that his client faces charges of assault and battery after the deputy accused her of pushing him.

Barton called her charges "malicious and retaliatory prosecution."

Watch body camera footage of the exchange here.

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