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Officer fired for apparent racist comment
#1
Quote: An Arkansas police officer is fired after telling a group of black men 'you don't belong in my city'

By David Williams, CNN


An Arkansas police officer is fired after telling a group of black men 'you don't belong in my city'
By David Williams, CNN

Posted at 6:28 PM ET, Thu August 9, 2018


(CNN) — An Arkansas police officer has been fired after telling a group of African-American men that "you don't belong in my city."
The July 21 encounter with England Police Officer Mike Moore was captured on video by one of the men, Demarcus Bunch, and posted on Facebook on Tuesday.
Bunch, 28, said he and a group of his friends met up in England -- a small city about 30 miles southeast of Little Rock -- to shoot a rap video in the neighborhood where he grew up. He said the officer watched them as they got together and then followed as they drove through town.
Bunch has an uncle who also is an England Police officer, so he said he and his cousin flagged Moore down so they could introduce themselves.

"The reason I walked up (to him) recording is I could kind of feel -- I had a gut feeling -- that there was going to be a bad vibe from the way he followed us everywhere we went," Bunch told CNN.
CNN has attempted to contact Moore but was unsuccessful. England Chief of Police Danna Powell confirmed in a one-sentence news release that Moore was fired on Wednesday.
What happens in the video

In the video, Moore shakes the young men's hands and tells them his name. Bunch and his cousin tell Moore about their uncle and explain that they are shooting a video.
Bunch then says they noticed the officer was following them.
"You know why?" Moore replies. "Because you don't belong in my city."
"We're from here," Bunch replies.
"But you understand, I know who my people are, right? Who belongs here and who doesn't?" Moore says. "We've got gang wars going on, we've got all kinds of stuff. I come from the big city where this stuff is small, okay? So, that's cool. Do your thing."


"You said we don't belong in your city, though?" Bunch asks.

"Can I say something? OK ... I have never seen you here before, and I know almost everybody here," Moore says.
Bunch then points out his address in the neighborhood and tells Moore that he had attended England High School.
"Well good for you, my name is Mike Moore, OK. I'm not from here," Moore says.
Then he asks the men to step away from his car because he is going to let his police dog out.

Bunch told CNN he was shocked and felt disrespected by the encounter.
"If you look at the news every other day it's racial profiling, stereotyping and senseless killings for young black men. And had I not been recording and he didn't have his camera, who's to say what would have happened," he said.
England has less than 3,000 residents and Bunch said most people do know each other there. He dismissed talk of gang wars in the town.
"That's stereotyping. It's probably based on the vehicles we were in, maybe how we were dressed," he said.
Bunch said he showed the video to his uncle and other family members and filed a complaint with the police chief. He says that a lieutenant called him to get more information, but days went by and he didn't hear anything else about the investigation.
He decided to post the video on Facebook on Tuesday because he hadn't gotten a copy of his complaint.
Moore was fired the next day
.
The president of the Arkansas Fraternal Order of Police said they don't have a chapter in England and he wasn't aware of the incident. The Southern States Police Benevolent Association, which includes Arkansas, would not comment on the case.
The England Police Department did not give any more information about Moore, but CNN affiliate KATV reports that he was fired from the Lonoke County Sheriff's Department in May 2017. Sheriff John Staley told KATV that Moore was a deputy for 10 months and was fired for his negative attitude.
Moore had also been a law enforcement officer in South Carolina.
Bunch said police have never bothered him in England before and he's never had any trouble with the law. He said he and his friends never even got cameras out for their video.
"We were going to start on our video (after Moore left), but our videographer wasn't comfortable being down there," Bunch said.

This is getting ridiculous, a cop trying to do his job gets suspicious of a bunch of gangster looking guys in a town where you don't usually see that type of group and that's enough to lose your job over it. Some black people are actually being victimized in the U.S on a daily basis and now because one guy felt like he was stereotyped he got all offended even though the cop explained that he hadn't seen them around before and that they stood out?
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#2
Can you post the video?
" I don't drink these days. I am allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs "
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#3
(2018-08-09, 09:00 PM)Lagavulin Wrote: Can you post the video?



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#4
Can a cop legally tell people to leave the city merely because he feels they don't belong there? Or because he doesn't recognize them?

What a prick...
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#5
This will do wonders for England, Arkansas tourism
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#6
Seems like a pretty extreme result from a fairly harmless confrontation.
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#7
Yes it does seem extreme to fire him if this is the only incident of this nature, and if it is, then perhaps some training about how to deal with "people who don't belong there". But something tells me that training in how to respectfully deal with, as RYU puts it "gangster looking guys"(how is that not racist?), is not a big thing in the USA.
" I don't drink these days. I am allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs "
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#8
(2018-08-09, 10:17 PM)GloryYrs70s Wrote: Seems like a pretty extreme result from a fairly harmless confrontation.

Oh, but it is my privileged white Canadian friend.  This is the south where telling black people you don't belong in my city is far from harmless.  

Ryu, I don't see anything in that video to suggest they looked like gangsters.  Just jeans and a t shirt and they politely approached the cop to let him know what they were doing.  Maybe you want to rethink that comment?
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#9
Hey Ryu, if you were visiting a small town with your friends and I, a civil servant, walked up to you and said 'get out of my town you ISIS looking mother *****', would you comply? Or would you be upset?
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#10
I think its offensive. He was trying to intimidate them and told them they didn't belong.
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#11
(2018-08-09, 11:16 PM)TheOilerFan83 Wrote: Hey Ryu, if you were visiting a small town with your friends and I, a civil servant, walked up to you and said 'get out of my town you ISIS looking mother *****', would you comply? Or would you be upset?

How about this, If I and a bunch of my arab/muslim friends were in a town where the darkest shade of human is a beige, and for whatever reason I noticed a police officer eyeing us and looking like he's suspicious of our actions and I decided to go UP to him and explain that we're merely peaceful tourists where he proceeds to explain that he felt suspicious because he doesn't see "our kind" around too much, but proceeds to tell us that "everything is ok now" and I'd probably feel better that I helped make a racist person feel less racist that day. Maybe he'll think twice next time he sees a group of Arabs in that town and decide "hey you know what the last guys were pretty cool". I wouldn't hold a grudge and file a complaint and want to get him fired, I'm a realist and I realize we live in a ***** up world where bad shit happens. This guy is absolutely just doing his job and is simply being pro-active in preparing for a possible bad situation. The fact he backed off after he spoke to them means that the guy didn't have bad intentions at all, because if he did, he could have easily escalated the situation like we've seen in many many american police v civilian interactions.

You're analogy above does not fit the narrative of this situation at all.
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#12
(2018-08-10, 01:03 AM)Ryu65 Wrote:
(2018-08-09, 11:16 PM)TheOilerFan83 Wrote: Hey Ryu, if you were visiting a small town with your friends and I, a civil servant, walked up to you and said 'get out of my town you ISIS looking mother *****', would you comply? Or would you be upset?

How about this, If I and a bunch of my arab/muslim friends were in a town where the darkest shade of human is a beige, and for whatever reason I noticed a police officer eyeing us and looking like he's suspicious of our actions and I decided to go UP to him and explain that we're merely peaceful tourists where he proceeds to explain that he felt suspicious because he doesn't see "our kind" around too much, but proceeds to tell us that "everything is ok now" and I'd probably feel better that I helped make a racist person feel less racist that day. Maybe he'll think twice next time he sees a group of Arabs in that town and decide "hey you know what the last guys were pretty cool". I wouldn't hold a grudge and file a complaint and want to get him fired, I'm a realist and I realize we live in a ***** up world where bad shit happens. This guy is absolutely just doing his job and is simply being pro-active in preparing for a possible bad situation. The fact he backed off after he spoke to them means that the guy didn't have bad intentions at all, because if he did, he could have easily escalated the situation like we've seen in many many american police v civilian interactions.

You're analogy above does not fit the narrative of this situation at all.

The bolded was not what occurred. The officers demeanour did not change. 

Police action is restricted by certain regulations and there are tests that must be satisfied. When it comes to following and harassing citizens, an officer must have reasonable suspicion for doing so. Not recognising someone and suspecting they are part of a local gang war would not sufficiently satisfy a reasonableness test. This officers behaviour would be in contravention of any regulations governing their conduct. Police cannot be suspicious for the sake of being suspicious.

As it pertains to this particular officer, he basically stripped himself of any defence after stating his suspicion was based on him not recognising them, then furthering that by stating he is not actually from the town. 

This cop was most likely fired because his idiotic actions and statements created more of a headache than he was worth. 

As for proactive policing, an officer cannot be proactive based on a lack of recognition, then follow that up by tailing and harassing civilians based on said suspicion. It would be in violation of the rights of citizens and in contravention of legislated regulations.
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#13
(2018-08-09, 08:46 PM)Ryu65 Wrote: This is getting ridiculous, a cop trying to do his job gets suspicious of a bunch of gangster looking guys in a town where you don't usually see that type of group and that's enough to lose your job over it. Some black people are actually being victimized in the U.S on a daily basis and now because one guy felt like he was stereotyped he got all offended even though the cop explained that he hadn't seen them around before and that they stood out?

This is a pretty terrible take. A police officer has no business telling anyone they don't belong in "his" city. Being profiled and discriminated against by police has to be a frustrating experience.
Humboldt Broncos SJHL April 6, 2018
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#14
"one guy felt like he was stereotyped he got all offended even though the cop explained that he hadn't seen them around before and that they stood out?"

I suppose if this was just about 1 guy, or 1 situation you may have a point but its not its about black people dealing with this shit daily.

a couple good ole white boys in polo shirts and nobody is told to leave his town or even approached.

Black kids at you place of business, now this, you seem to have a problem with labeling black people.
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#15
(2018-08-10, 09:21 AM)lewis94 Wrote:
(2018-08-09, 08:46 PM)Ryu65 Wrote: This is getting ridiculous, a cop trying to do his job gets suspicious of a bunch of gangster looking guys in a town where you don't usually see that type of group and that's enough to lose your job over it. Some black people are actually being victimized in the U.S on a daily basis and now because one guy felt like he was stereotyped he got all offended even though the cop explained that he hadn't seen them around before and that they stood out?

This is a pretty terrible take. A police officer has no business telling anyone they don't belong in "his" city. Being profiled and discriminated against by police has to be a frustrating experience.

I thought it was pretty obvious, that the statement was to infer he did not recognize them....not that they could not come in, or had to leave "his city". The cop may not have used the PC language everyone would like to hear, but based on the video....?? Losing his job was unjustified, if he has no other previous incidence of this nature.
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#16
I'll be honest, I am somewhat mixed. As RYU was alluding to, and I am in complete agreement, this extreme PC culture that has developed in North America has surpassed what anyone would consider appropriate to the point where I feel people go out on the street looking to bait, looking for confrontation just in order to get some social media attention.

At the same time it is important to look at it from the other side of the coin, or the perspective of the "victims" in question. I am not going to pretend to know what they felt from the encounter with the police officer or what they have gone through in their lives as young black men who are certainly looked at in a suspicious way with usually no cause. So entering into a small town where everyone supposedly knows one another and all of the sudden a group of young men come in, perhaps the officer would have made the same surveillance had they been white....but there weren't and of course black men in the US certainly go about their days likely with an eye over their shoulder, especially when it comes to the police.

I think it could be argued from both sides and not really knowing the people involved above what we see in a video it is difficult to make a judgement regarding what the officer meant to say or whether the group of young men were genuinely offended or took it in a way that would be offensive to them or were simply trying to bait the officer. I really don't know. I would say that perhaps the full dismissal of the officer from his job was exaggerated.
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#17
(2018-08-10, 09:42 AM)Bong13 Wrote: a couple good ole white boys in polo shirts and nobody is told to leave his town or even approached.

This.

It's not the appropriateness of what occurred during the incident. It's that the incident occurred at all.

100% racially motivated.
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#18
Losing his job was unjustified, if he has no other previous incidence of this nature.

In the link it says he's been fired before.
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#19
(2018-08-10, 11:01 AM)Rinkrat Wrote: Losing his job was unjustified, if he has no other previous incidence of this nature.

In the link it says he's been fired before.

Yes, it may be that he is known as, and has a history of being, a straight up racist prick so this viral video is the (rather large)

straw that broke the camel's back.
" I don't drink these days. I am allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs "
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#20
Ryu, what the hell are you going on about?

First words out of his mouth to them was "You don't belong in my city", he wasn't just "doing his job", he was out and out racially profiling these guys.

Watch the video... there was nothing "good" or "cool" about the way that ended. That was about as hostile a cop is going to be before they become violent.

I thought it said he was 10 months on the force, and had a negative attitude. I suspect this isn't his first incident in town. So while this may not have been sufficient for termination as a stand alone (certainly sufficient for some kind of disciplinary action), there is likely a lot more at play than just this.
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