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Spartan safety’s racial profiling complaint falls on mostly deaf ears

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Trenton Robinson might not have the easiest time getting around in his hometown of Bay City, Mich., for the foreseeable future after filing a complaint against police for excessive force, racial profiling and using vulgar language during a traffic stop.

Robinson, a starting safety at Michigan State, was home for Christmas break on Dec. 22 when he was stopped by Officer Keath Bartynski at 5:45 p.m. According to The Bay City Times, which obtained the narrative Robinson included in his complaint to police, Bartynski told Robinson that he stopped him for a suspicion of needles in the car. Bartynski asked Robinson to step out of his vehicle and, according to Robinson, used aggressive force:

At some point, Bartynski told Robinson he did not care "who the [expletive] I was," Robinson claims.

Bartynski let Robinson leave the scene without issuing him a ticket. A short time later, Robinson left this post on Facebook:

"All I do is good for my city and try and set an example for the youth in my city of what not to do but for some reason when I come home and try and visit The Bay City Police always wanna stop me and take ms [sic] out my car and search me like I am out here selling dope!!! UN believable."

An hour or so later, Robinson was with dining friends and family at Buffalo Wild Wings when Bartynski entered the restaurant. Robinson claims Bartynski approached him, handed him a $120 citation for failure to signal and said, "Here you go, role model, here's a ticket...and I like your post on Facebook."

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In Robinson's complaint, filed on Dec. 24, he alleged that Bartynski used excessive force, racial profiling and vulgar language. The police issued its response on Feb. 2 deeming that Bartynski "probably" used vulgar language during the stop, but that the other allegations were unfounded.

Seems like Robinson could also have added stalking to the list. Bartynski found what he said on Facebook and then tailed him to Buffalo Wild Wings where he went inside the restaurant to hand-deliver a ticket unrelated to the first stop and ultimately taunt him. That takes some major dedication to the job or to being a jerk. Take your pick. In any case it probably puts a target on Robinson's back now any time he goes home and cops see his 2003 Buick rolling down the street, especially since he's likely headed for the NFL.

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Graham Watson is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow her @Yahoo_Graham

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