Richmond Police in Virginia are investigating an incident involving one of their officers and Albert Hill Middle School students that was captured on one of the student’s cellphones.
The short clip was recorded on March 28 just outside the school, shortly after the students responded to a police officer’s question. The officer has not yet been identified.
The mother of one of the students involved told CBS affiliate WTVR that the students were waiting for an after-school program to begin. The officer, who was driving by the group, stopped and questioned them about something he had heard them say. One of the students then started filming.
“Even if we did say that, that’s our choice of words,” a female student says in the video.
To which the police officer responds, “Just wait ’til your asses turn 18. Then you’re mine.” The officer then drives away.
“The Richmond Police Department is aware of the video,” a Richmond Police spokesperson said. “We take these concerns very seriously. The officer in the video is currently being investigated by our Internal Affairs Division. There are no further details at this time.”
“These are children. If it’s a teachable moment [for the officer], do that. Don’t react emotionally,” Tenesha Calloway, a parent of a 14-year-old girl who was waiting outside the school, told WTVR. She adds that she believes this is an example of an authority figure speaking down to “black or brown children.”
“What does he mean behind ‘your ass is mine?’” she questioned. “These children did not deserve to be spoken to in that manner.”
“This type of behavior will not be tolerated by any employee of the city of Richmond,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said. “I trust that the Richmond Police Department will conduct a quick and thorough investigation and respond accordingly. This behavior is unacceptable. It reinforces stereotypes of our communities that are hurtful and damages the relationship between our police department and the citizens they are charged to serve.”
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