An Arkansas police officer is out of a job after hurling discriminatory comments and harassing a group of Black men as they tried to shoot a music video, CNN reports.
Demarcus Bunch said he went back to his hometown of England, Arkansas for a rap video shoot, but things quickly went off the rails when England Police Officer Mike Moore came on the scene.
Bunch posted a video on Tuesday which captured Moore, a white man, telling him and his friends, that “you don’t belong in my city.”
Bunch said he gathered his friends in the small city about 30 miles southeast of Little Rock to film the video in a neighborhood where he grew up. He said Moore watched them them as they gathered, and proceeded to follow behind them in his police cruiser as they drove around scouting out locations.
That made Bunch uneasy, so he flagged down Moore to introduce himself in an effort to explain what they were doing. He also told Moore that his uncle is also an England Police officer.
“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.
Caught on Video
In the video, Bunch noted that Moore 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, the Black man, tells him that he was a long-time resident who attended England High School.
“Well good for you, my name is Mike Moore, OK. I’m not from here,” Moore says.
Then he tells him to move away from the vehicle so he could let the police dog out of the car.
England Chief of Police Danna Powell confirmed in a one-sentence news release that Moore was fired on Wednesday.
Bunch told CNN that he was upset about the racist incident.
“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.
Bunch believes Moore’s comment was a classic case of discrimination.
“That’s stereotyping,” he said about Moore’s “gang” comment. “It’s probably based on the vehicles we were in, maybe how we were dressed,” he said.
Bunch and his friends never shot the music video like intended. He has filed a complaint with the England police chief.