Police handcuffed an innocent Black man who was eating with his family at a Virginia Beach mall, saying he matched the profile of a wanted suspect
- The police in
Virginia Beach, Virginia, wrongly handcuffed a Black man over the weekend, saying he fit the description of a suspect they were looking for, local newsoutlets reported.
- Jamar Mackey was eating with his family in a mall food court when officers approached him and handcuffed him before telling him why, WTKR-TV reported.
- Footage of the incident was published online, and community leaders condemned the officers' actions, WAVY-TV reported.
- The Virginia Beach Police Department said it launched an investigation into the incident.
The police in Virginia Beach, Virginia, wrongly handcuffed a Black man while he was eating with his family at a mall over the weekend, saying he fit the description of another suspect they were searching for.
The man, Jamar Mackey, was at a food court in Lynnhaven Mall when officers cuffed him in front of his family and walked him out before giving him an explanation, WTKR-TV reported.A five-minute video of the incident was published on Facebook on Saturday.
A woman with Mackey can be heard saying: "But what did he do? He didn't do anything."She added: "This is so f---ing embarrassing. We are with our family."
When the officers realized they misidentified Mackey, they released him, apologized, and finally explained their actions to the family."We got a description of someone that was using stolen credit cards, OK. That person is a Black male with dreads and was wearing all black and was with a boy that was wearing red," an officer says in the video. "This is how I get treated in 2020," Mackey says toward the end of the video.
"Black Lives Matter. Y'all see why we fight," he said.
The Virginia Beach Police Department said it launched an investigation into the incident.WAVY-TV reported that the local NAACP chapter released a statement on Sunday criticizing law enforcement's handling of the situation.
"The Virginia Beach NAACP strongly condemns the apparent racial bias on display in the video clip that has widely circulated on social media today," Karen Hills Pruden, the organization's president, said in the statement. "In the midst of a global pandemic, Virginia Beach police officers - without masks or personal protective equipment - mistakenly detained a Black man who was spending quality time with his family."
Pruden also said the organization opened its own investigation and "will not rest until every Black citizen in Virginia Beach can shop, dine, and travel without being racially profiled by our city's police officers."Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate addressed the incident in a press conference on Monday afternoon, WAVY-TV reported.
He added: "Once again, right or wrong, we have to be able to apologize when our actions greatly inconvenience a member of the community that we serve. So let me take this opportunity to personally extend my apology to Mr. Mackey for this incident."
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