After being assaulted by a woman who had repeatedly called him a “nigger” in South Carolina, Jermarro Dantzler, 22, was in handcuffs, on his way to jail on charges of strong-armed robbery.
That was, until he showed Myrtle Beach police his cellphone footage.
The cops then removed his handcuffs and arrested the woman instead.
The Wisconsin man was in town to enjoy Memorial Day weekend and happened to be at a Rent Me Scooter Store when he witnessed a store associate later identified as Tara Belcher, 28, in a heated exchange with a customer where she berated him with racial slurs.
Belcher was immediately fired over the incident and as she waited outside the store for her ride to pick her up, Dantzler, armed with a camera, decided to approach her about some of the things he overheard her say.
“But you called that man the n-word.” Dantzler is heard saying in the video.
“Because he’s a nigger, a filthy, fucking nigger.” Belcher responded.
“But you call all of us niggers,” Dantzler replies
“No I didn’t, I called him a nigger for acting like a fucking nigger,” Belcher angrily declares.
“So what do you call yourself? What do you think you are?” Dantzler calmly asks.
“My name’s Tara, that’s what I am. I’m a mad fucking bitch.” Belcher snaps back.
At this point, Belcher gets on her phone and says, “yeah, this filthy nigger’s filming me so you need to hurry up,” before spitting in Dantzler’s face.
He responds by slapping her, leaving her a little shaken where her sunglasses fell off, but nothing serious.
“That’s cool, you can go to jail,” she says as she picks up her sunglasses before allegedly yanking out a large handful of dreads from his scalp.
After the incident, Belcher called the police and falsely reported that a black man matching Dantzler’s description stole her purse and her phone, spit on her, punched her in the face and took off on a motorcycle.
The police located Dantzler and handcuffed him, about to charge him with strong armed robbery. But that was when some friends who had witnessed the encounter persuaded the officer to watch the video he had recorded.
The video showed that she was on her phone at the time of the incident and the items allegedly stolen, specifically her purse, were not in Dantzler’s possession.
“They allowed me to show them the video from my phone while I was handcuffed and once the officer saw the video he removed the handcuffs off me.” Dantzler told the local fox affiliate about the moment police realized he was actually the one who was the victim.
Belcher was arrested herself, charged with assault and battery in the third degree and marijuana possession.
Had Dantzler not recorded the encounter, it is obvious the department would have taken the word of Belcher and wrongfully prosecuted Dantzler.
People are often encouraged to record police to protect themselves, but we forget that any hostile situation with any citizen could escalate and land you with wrongful charges. If you find yourself dealing with someone aggressive, hiding behind a badge or not, recording the situation could be your greatest protection.