A white couple in the US has been criminally charged after one of them was caught on video pointing a gun at a black woman and her daughters in a restaurant parking lot in Michigan.
Authorities said Jillian Wuestenberg, 32, and Eric Wuestenberg, 42, were arrested after the clash on Wednesday night. They were charged with criminal battery, Oakland County Attorney Jessica Cooper said in a statement. They were later processed and are free on a personal bond of $ 50,000, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
As a condition of the link they must Rotation All firearms, don’t engage in “aggressive behavior” and don’t leave Michigan, Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement.
Video from a mobile phone captured the confrontation in front of a Chipotle in Orion Township, some 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Detroit.
Jillian Wuestenberg can be seen outside her vehicle, screaming, “Get away! Get away!” while pointing a gun. Eventually she returns to her vehicle, which her husband drives away.
Bouchard told reporters that the couple is from the municipality of Independence and both have concealed pistol licenses. Agents confiscated two pistols from the couple after they were detained.
The incident comes amid a racial justice movement in the United States following the May police murder of George Floyd in Minnesota that has seen protests across the country.
The Detroit News first reported on the three-minute video posted online showing part of the interaction.
Takelia Hill, who is black, told the newspaper what happened after the white woman ran into Hill’s teenage daughter as they entered the fast-food restaurant.
The video starts after that in the parking lot. A woman identified as Jillian Wuestenberg is heard arguing with Hill and his daughters.
Wuestenberg climbs into the vehicle, rolls down the window and says, “White people are not racist” and “I care about you” before the vehicle I was in starts to back up.
Her husband, who had taken his wife to the vehicle, turns to the camera and asks, “Who … do you think you are?” using an expletive.
Then when someone is behind the vehicle, Jillian Wuestenberg jumps up and points a gun in the person’s direction, who also appears to be recording the interaction. She yells at people to get away from her and her vehicle.
A woman is heard screaming, “He’s pointed at me!” and urges someone in the parking lot to call the police.
Oakland County District Attorney Jessica Cooper charged Jillian Wuestenberg, 32, and Eric Wuestenberg, 42, each with one count of criminal assault, a four-year felony. https://t.co/liU3MOqMvP
– The Detroit News (@detroitnews) July 3, 2020
Wuestenberg then lowers the gun, climbs into the passenger seat, and the vehicle drives off.
‘Tension in our society’
Cooper, the prosecutor, told The Associated Press news agency that her office viewed the available video before filing charges.
“It is an unfortunate set of circumstances where tempers spill over, basically not a big incident,” he said of what led to the confrontation.
Meanwhile, Bouchard, the sheriff, said: “There is a lot of tension in our society, a lot of tension between people and people with each other.”
“I would just say this, we are asking and we hope that our police, and with good reason, will decrease every situation that they can, and we should be doing that. But I would say that that should happen to us individually. Lives and situations, that we interact with each other and reduce those moments, “he added.
After the video appeared, Eric Wuestenberg was fired from his job at the University of Oakland, near Detroit, a spokesman said. He worked as a Veterans Support Services Coordinator, according to a university website.
“We have seen the video and consider their behavior to be unacceptable,” the university said in a statement. “The employee has been notified that the university has terminated his employment.”
United States Democratic Representative Elissa Slotkin said in a statement that Eric Wuestenberg had also participated in one of its voluntary advisory boards on veterans’ affairs. She said the conduct she saw in the video “is beyond pale acceptable behavior” and that she removed it from the advisory board on Thursday.