Image source: YouTube screenshot
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This escalated quickly
A police officer and security guard is out of a job after stopping two black male shoppers for "acting suspicious."
What are the details?
Aaron Blackwell and Durell Cunningham were visiting a Nordstrom Rack in Indianapolis last week when they noticed an officer monitoring their behavior while inside the store.
After the two rang up their purchases, the officer — later identified as Lawrence Township Deputy Constable Daryl Jones, who was off-duty at the time and working at the store — reportedly followed Blackwell and Cunningham out of the store and allegedly tried to take down the pair's license plate number when they got into their vehicle.
To prevent him from writing down the license plate number, the two said they drove the car to the front of the parking lot and parked in front of the store, where they began recording.
In the video, Jones, who was parked nearby, can be seen exiting his vehicle and approaching Blackwell and Cunningham's vehicle, demanding to see their identification.
"You're acting suspicious," he tells the two.
Blackwell and Cunningham refuse to provide identification and, instead, demand that Jones identify himself. He refuses and calls for backup instead.
Feeling that they were being racially profiled, Blackwell and Cunningham remain in the parking lot for backup to arrive, exchanging heated words with Jones about their rights.
An officer from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department arrives at the scene shortly after Jones makes the call for backup. Jones can be heard telling the officer, "These guys were inside there," gesturing to the storefront. "They got a bunch of stuff. Then, they run their mouth to me as they were leaving, trying to make sure I didn't get their license plate, and then he didn't want to show me ID."
Jones and the officer can be seen walking to the back of the car, where no audio is available. After a moment of discussion, Jones approaches the two in the vehicle and tells them that they are free to leave.
The unidentified Indianapolis Metropolitan officer goes to the front of Blackwell and Cunningham's vehicle, and tells the two men that whatever occurred did not warrant a traffic stop.
"As far as I know, based upon what happened, I don't think either of us have any reasonable suspicion to believe there's a crime taking place," he tells the two. "There's no reason for a traffic stop at this point, so there's no legal requirement for you to identify yourself."
As Blackwell and Cunningham pull away from the front of the store, they can be heard laughing and swearing at Jones, who is still sitting in his car.
"F*** you!" one of the men can be heard telling Jones as they drive past his vehicle. The other adds, "Piece of s**t!"
Blackwell shared the video to YouTube, where it garnered an instant reaction. At the time of this writing, the video has been watched more than 431,000 times. Blackwell captioned the video, "Harassed by low-life racist cop for spending big money!"
According to NBC News, Jones is no longer employed by the township or by Nordstrom Rack.
Lawrence Township Chief Constable Terry Burns told WTHR-TV that he terminated Jones within two hours after watching the viral video. Burns noted that Jones had about 20 years of service, but still, he took away Jones' badge, radio, and constable identification.
Blackwell told WTHR that he has received an outpouring of sympathy and concern over the incident.
"I have support from a lot of people, and some of them are even other law enforcement officers," he told the station. "So I don't want people to think that all cops are bad or he represents all officers. There are some really good officers out there who would never treat people that way."
(Content warning: Rough language):
Harassed by low-life racist cop for spending big money!www.youtube.com
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