A group of Black eighth-graders were walking home together after school Wednesday when someone nearby, but not in the group, loudly said something derogatory about the police.
It was overheard by a white male officer whose name has yet to be released. The officer confronted the group of eighth-graders from inside his car. He was parked outside Albert Hill Middle School.
The officer told the children to “man up” and tell him who said the derogatory statement, according to Cameron Hilliard, one of the students. The eighth-graders denied they said anything. As the officer and the kids continued talking, Hilliard started recording the video with her phone.
In the video, one of Hilliard’s friends says, “Even if we did say it, that’s our choice of words.” The officer quickly replies with a threat and foul language.
“Wait till your a—s turn 18; then you’re mine,” the officer is caught saying in the video before speeding off in his squad car. The students screamed in disbelief when he threatened them.
The 30-second video was uploaded to Facebook by a parent of one of the children and has now been seen over 50,000 times.
Richmond, Virginia, Mayor Levar Stoney (D) said that the officer’s remark “will not be tolerated by any employee of the city” and that “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.”
According to Stoney, there is currently an internal investigation in the police department into the officer’s actions. But law enforcement has refused to release any details about the offending officer.
However, Hilliard’s mother, Keisha Curry, said police haven’t been transparent with her family. They only gave a few details about the investigation.
“We don’t know anything; we don’t even know the officer’s name,” Curry told The Washington Post. “If the roles were reversed, we’d know everything.”
Curry doesn’t want the officer fired, but she wants to talk to him and understand why he spoke to the children in the way that he did. Curry also said the officers needs more training and to spend more time with children just to see he can’t stereotype kids like that.”