An off-duty D.C. police officer says he was profiled and physically assaulted by a black Prince George's County officer looking for a suspect involved in a mall shooting Tuesday (Oct. 25)
According to FOX 5 DC, police were searching for a man who was shot and wounded. The only description of the suspect was black male wearing a hoodie and blue jeans. Robert Parker, who is assigned to patrol the area, just so happened to be wearing a jacket, hoodie and jeans that day and was walking away from the mall located on Iverson Street. It was at this time, Parker says he was approached by a black officer in a squad car.
"And I can't remember if I said okay or was just kind of baffled at the moment, and he walked up to me and he started patting me down and I'm just thinking, 'Is this really happening?' Because I know the protocol because I'm a police officer," Parker said to FOX5's Paul Wagner.
Parker then said he told the arresting officer he's a cop and tried his best to deescalate the situation before they took notice of his gun.
"He reaches around and feels my sidearm, my firearm and I look at him and I see the look in his eye and I say, 'I'm the police.' I'm literally slammed. I went to the ground I kept saying, 'I'm the police, I'm the police.' There were two other officers there. I felt their presence and they placed me in handcuffs, and then somebody hit me in the right side of my face."
During the incident, Parker says he wasn't seriously injured but did receive treatment for his wrist at the police and fire clinics as well as the emergency room. Although he hates to bring race into it, Parker doesn't think the take down, which he believes was unnecessary, would've happened if he were white.
PG County is defending their officer and his actions. They released a lengthy statement stating the arresting officer is a 20 year veteran of the force with experience in the field and acted appropriatley.
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.”