A Maryland cop searching for a shooting suspect described only as a “black man with a hoodie and jeans” ended up pouncing on a black man with a hoodie and jeans walking down the street, slamming him to the ground and handcuffing him while another officer punched him in the face.
Turns out, the man was an off-duty cop.
Now Washington D.C. police officer Robert Parker Jr., 28, is claiming racial profiling.
However, the Prince George’s County police officer who accosted him is also black, if that makes any difference. The officer who punched him is white.
Meanwhile, the actual shooting suspect, Nicco Rashaad Young, 20, is still at large.
The incident took place Tuesday in the parking lot of Iverson Mall in Temple Hills when the gunman shot another man several times in the stomach over an argument.
The gunman then took off running as the victim managed to survive.
Parker, wearing a jacket over his hoodie, had just dropped his car off at the repair shop and was walking down the street about three blocks away when the Prince George’s County cop pulled up alongside him.
According to the Washington Post:
“I kept my hands out and to the mid-side of my body,” Parker said. “My hands were visible, out to my side.” He said the sergeant told him: “I’ve seen you out here walking earlier. We’re looking for somebody, and we want to make sure you’re good.”
Parker said the sergeant immediately “walked up to me and started patting me down.”
“I was in disbelief,” Parker said. “He didn’t tell me what for. He feels my gun, and I said, ‘I’m a police officer.’ At that moment, he took me to the ground.”
Prince George’s County police say they have an audio recording of the incident, which proves their officers did everything by the book, which, of course, is not saying much, knowing how “the book” allows them to do as they please.
They provided the following statement to Fox 5 News:
“Based on our preliminary investigation and preliminary review of an audio recording of the encounter in question, we believe our officer acted professionally and with restraint. This encounter took place within several minutes of the shooting being reported at the mall and approximately three blocks from the scene. Our officer who was responding to the shooting, which had just prompted the lock-down of two nearby schools – spotted a man walking who matched the description. Our officer, a sergeant assigned to our district 4 station, got out of his cruiser and began an investigatory stop. During a pat down, our officer discovered the man had a gun on his waistband. At that point, our officer took the man to the ground during a brief struggle. Our preliminary investigation reveals that it was only after the man was restrained by the original officer and backup officers did he identify himself as a police officer.”
Parker, whose father spent 30 years as a Washington D.C. cop before retiring, has hired an attorney and plans to file a formal complaint.
“I never want to be the person to say that. But unfortunately, that’s what it was. . . . I thought, if I were in another neighborhood, if I were someone else, if the lookout was for a white guy in a hoodie and I was white, I don’t think I would have been approached like that. I think I would have been given a lot more courtesy,” he told the Washington Post.