A self-described liberal newspaper columnist has been suspended indefinitely by a Missouri newspaper over a June 30 article in which the columnist stated that he was threatened by Boone County law enforcement during a traffic stop, causing him to fear for his life.

Bill Clark, a veteran opinion columnist for the Columbia Daily Tribune, penned an article recently which provided a dramatic account of being pulled over by the police. In the article, Clark claims that he was profiled because of the "liberal bumper stickers" on the back of his car and accused the Boone County Sheriff's Office of arrogance and intimidation, making the journalist feel as if "his life was in danger."

Columnist says he feels the struggles of the black community

Clark, who is white, opened his June 30 column by comparing his ordeal to the struggles of the black community, writing that it was "a chance to better understand how minority motorists feel when they are pulled over for the most trivial reason, or no reason at all."

Sheriff Dwayne Carey, however, jumped into action in order to defend the reputation of his department by releasing the 11-minute dashcam video of the traffic stop and writing a blistering rebuttal for the Columbia Daily Tribune.

The video released by the sheriff makes it evident that Clark was pulled over because he had failed to use a turn signal-- and not because of his liberal bumper stickers.

The female deputy in the video approaches Clark, asks for his license and registration, and then returns to the patrol car. A short while later she attempts to hand Clark a ticket. He becomes belligerent and a minor argument between the columnist and the female officer ensues. As the officer attempts to explain the ticket, Clark repeatedly cuts her off, demanding that she hand over the citation.

"I'm lucky I didn't get shot," wrote Clark of his experience. "Danger lurked and official arrogance was to follow."

Clark concluded his column by reiterating his belief that his life was in danger and said that he could "fully understand" how a person could lose their respect for law enforcement.

"When you are in the shoes of the minority, you learn a lot more about their journey," he concluded.

Sheriff Carey, however, was not buying Clark's argument. "If he believes this is how minorities are treated," the sheriff wrote in his rebuttal for the Columbia Daily Tribune, "then minorities can be assured from this video that they will be treated professionally by Boone County deputies."

Editor sacks veteran columnist amid reader uproar

After hearing both sides of the story-- and threats of canceled subscriptions from outraged readers-- the Missouri newspaper's managing editor, Charles Westmoreland, decided to suspend Clark indefinitely.

According to Westmoreland, the columnist admitted that he had blown the story about his run-in with the law out of proportion. In his Thursday editorial, Westmoreland rebuked the columnist, stating that he could not defend Clark's actions. He then offered an apology to the Boone County Sheriff's Department.

"The Tribune should not have published it," said Westmoreland of Clark's June 30 column.