Off-Duty Cop Claims He Was Brutalized By Police Because He Was Black, Media Misreports Race…
Off-Duty Cop Claims He Was Brutalized By Police Because He Was Black, Media Misreports Race Of Involved Officer
Temple Hills, Maryland – An off-duty officer in civilian clothes claims that he was brutalized by a Prince George County Police Officer because he was black.
On Tuesday, a man shot another man in the Prince George County Mall parking garage. The description of the suspect was released to Prince George County Police officers as a black male wearing a hoodie and blue jeans. Within minutes after the shooting, one Prince George County sergeant was looking for the suspect a few blocks away from the mall when he spotted a black male wearing a hoodie and blue jeans.
The sergeant approached the suspect, who later turned out not to be the shooter, and started asking questions. The sergeant began patting the suspect down and felt a gun. At that point, the sergeant was dealing with a suspect who matched the description of somebody who just shot another man, and the suspect was armed, so the sergeant took the suspect to the ground. It appears by the sergeant’s reaction, the suspect never told the Prince George sergeant that he was armed, which should have been the first thing out of his mouth.
It turns out that the suspect was an off-duty D.C. police officer. The D.C. officer’s name is Robert Parker and he’s assigned to Harbor Patrol as a diver. Prince George’s County Police say that the sergeant’s audio of the incident shows that Officer Parker didn’t identify himself as an officer or say that he was armed.
Officer Parker decided to go to the media with his story of policy brutality on a black man. He says that if he was white this never would have happened.
The Washington Post reported:
Asked whether he thought the stop was handled the way it was because he was black, Parker said: “I never want to be the person to say that. But unfortunately, that’s what it was. . . . I thought, if I were in another neighborhood, if I were someone else, if the lookout was for a white guy in a hoodie and I was white, I don’t think I would have been approached like that. I think I would have been given a lot more courtesy.”
The Washington Post had initially reported that the sergeant to who took down Officer Robert Parker was white, and a multitude of news sites cited that information in their own reports. It turns out that the sergeant who took down Officer Parker was actually black. The Washington Post has now issued a correction, but many news sites are still misreporting the race of the sergeant.
Did the 20 year veteran of the Prince George County Police Department want to close the reactionary gap and make sure the shooting suspect who perfectly matched the description didn’t have a weapon on him? Yes. Was Officer Parker “brutalized”? No.
The Prince George’s County Police released this statement:
“Based on our preliminary investigation and preliminary review of an audio recording of the encounter in question, we believe our officer acted professionally and with restraint. This encounter took place within several minutes of the shooting being reported at the mall and approximately three blocks from the scene. Our officer who was responding to the shooting, which had just prompted the lock-down of two nearby schools – spotted a man walking who matched the description. Our officer, a sergeant assigned to our district 4 station, got out of his cruiser and began an investigatory stop. During a pat down, our officer discovered the man had a gun on his waistband. At that point, our officer took the man to the ground during a brief struggle. Our preliminary investigation reveals that it was only after the man was restrained by the original officer and backup officers did he identify himself as a police officer.”
We can only speculate why Officer Robert Parker failed to identify himself. Maybe he wanted to see first-hand how officers would interact with a plain-clothes black man. This event highlights one of the most important things about being contacted by law enforcement, you don’t know what information they are going off of. Had Officer Parker known that he matched the description of an armed killer, it’s likely he would have handled the situation differently. Instead, Officer Parker may have just been acting on his own knowledge that he hadn’t done anything wrong.
It’s understandable to Officer Parker to be upset about the situation, we can even understand a lawsuit. However, after having the circumstances explained to him, why is he going on TV and to the newspapers and accusing another black officer of being racist? It looks like Officer Parker’s lawyer is trying to pressure Prince George County into a payday. The scary thing is, if the involved sergeant had been white, how many people would have seen through the claim of racism?
Why do you think that black officers are often accused of racism? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.