Indiana Mayor’s Son Caught on Camera Hurling Racial Slurs During Mock Traffic Stop; Father Condemns ‘Reprehensible Nature’ of the Video, Says Son Will Seek Mental Help

A Mishawaka, Indiana, mayor issued an apology after old footage of his son using racial slurs was released online. 

Mayor Dave Wood’s son Joseph was captured on video — which was posted on a local media site and social media — pantomiming as a cop conducting a traffic stop, the South Bend Tribune reported. The incident was filmed in a garage in July 2022 and involved a city employee.

In the video, he checks a man’s ID and uses the N-word. He says the slur approximately seven times in the 34-second clip. The song “Bad Boys,” popularly affiliated with the hit TV show “Cops,” is being blasted throughout the video. 

Mishawaka Mayor's son caught in video saying the N-word
Mishawaka mayor issues apology after son was reportedly caught in video using racial slurs. (Photo: WNDU/Youtube screenshot)

At one point, he allegedly brandishes what appears to be a weapon after yelling, “Freeze n****!” Then, he pretends to shoot inside the car. 


In a statement obtained by WNDU, Mayor Wood denounced the video, calling it “irresponsible, ignorant and unacceptable.”

“This behavior will not be tolerated in the City of Mishawaka, the mayor’s home, or at the workplace,” Wood said in the press release on Thursday. “This video depiction is not reflective of Mayor Wood’s values, views, nor the way his son and family were raised.”

“As it relates to our son Joseph, this has been a difficult period for him, our family and our community. We make no excuses for the reprehensible nature of this video,” he continued. “We have encouraged him to seek help for his mental health issues, and he has begun that process and is making progress. He is a young man with a full life ahead of him, and we are committed to getting him the assistance he needs. We ask for your continued prayers, privacy and support.”

The employee and Joseph, who also worked for the city, were “indefinitely suspended” amid an ongoing investigation. Joseph has previously come under fire after he was recently charged for allegedly driving under the influence following a crash in September, according to reports. 

Mishawaka is about 150 miles from Indianapolis. 

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