The Virginia Beach Police Department has issued an apology for a credit card thief misbehaving a black man by an officer and handcuffing him with his family in a crowded mall in public.
On Saturday, Jamar McKay at Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach contacted an officer at the food court, where he was enjoying a meal with his family, and showed him a video posted on Facebook with handcuffs. Although she denied involvement in the robbery, the officers drove McKee out of the mall in handcuffs, only to be released after she realized she was the wrong person.
McKee currently had a fiancee, a 13-year-old son and their newborn, McKay told WVEC. McKay and his fiance did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment.
After the video of the controversy went viral, VBPD and Police Chief Paul Newdig released a statement on Sunday.
“Of course, anyone would bother being detained for doing something” he told Newgate. “While the video shows officers remaining calm and respectful during the brief encounter, we must ensure that the situation is a virtue of response. We are collecting all the facts to evaluate the incident so that we can address the concerns raised by the people.
The statement also said that an investigation is underway to review the response of the officer who arrested the case.
VBPD did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment when it arrived on Tuesday.
Nudge also apologized to McKay during a Monday news conference.
“Right or wrong, we should be able to apologize when a member of the community is very inconvenienced in our actions,” said Newgate, explaining that officers were investigating a report of a stolen credit card at the mall And McKay matched the suspect’s description.
In the five-minute video, McKay is seen sitting in a crowded food court with his hands behind his back, and an officer is handcuffing him as he and his fiancée, who record the video, explain it They try not to drive a black truck, after being questioned by the officer.
“What did he do, can you tell us?” We just came with my family, we don’t even have a black truck, ”said McKay’s fiance.
McKay added, “You got the wrong person.”
After McKay escapes, the officer in the video is heard saying that McKay matched the description of a suspect for a credit card theft, which McKay and his fiance repeatedly denied having any knowledge of.
“We are with our children!” McKay’s fiance said. “You think my son will forget this?” He said the situation was “embarrassing” for him and his family.
Eventually, the officer released McKay and tried to convince himself.
The officer said before apologizing, “We have received a description of someone using stolen credit cards. The man is a black male, who is black.”
In the days following the incident, local officials came out in support of McCabe, condemning the actions of the VBPD and reducing discrimination in custody.
“I have seen a video of the incident at the Lynnhaven Mall, and like many of you, I am upset and disappointed for this man, who had to endure the embarrassment and resentment of joining hands in front of his wife, children and a crowd of shopkeepers. For something he did not do, ”said counselor Aaron Ross in a Facebook post. “A law-abiding citizen, a family man, husband, father, and small business owner are handcuffed to do something he didn’t? Why did this happen to him? What is the standard operating procedure? “
“Jamar McKay’s wrongful detention in front of his children was unacceptable and indicative of repeated unsafe treatment of people of color by law enforcement,” Rep. Ellen Luria, D-Va., Said. Twitter.
The NAACP of Virginia Beach also reacted to the incident, stating, “Virginia Beach NAACP strongly condemns the apparent racial bias on display in the video clip that is widely circulated on social media today. In the midst of a global epidemic, Virginia Beach police officers – without masks or personal protective equipment – mistakenly detained a black man who was spending quality time with his family. “
The NAACP stated that they would not rest until every black citizen in Virginia Beach could shop, dine and travel without being racially humiliated by the police officers of our city. “
Since Saturday’s incident, police have arrested another person in connection with the robbery. Marquee Smith, 28, was charged with four counts of credit card fraud, receiving stolen goods and two counts of felony violations.
On Monday, McKay addressed the incident on his Facebook page and thanked those who have supported him.
“I just want to publicly thank everyone for sharing the call text inbox and our video at the mall on Saturday. It was a very sad experience for our family that we wouldn’t wish for anyone,” McKay posted. Said he wants to return to normalcy so that he and his family can enjoy the holidays.
Newedge said the ongoing investigation would try to answer whether the initial approach and stop was appropriate, and whether the use of handcuffs was appropriate.