A cellphone video of a police officer in Richmond, Virginia, telling Black students outside of a city middle school last week, “Wait until your asses turn 18, then you’re mine,” has sparked an investigation, reports NBC News.
A spokesman for the Richmond Police Department told NBC News on Tuesday it is aware of the video that has been shared on social media. “The Department takes these concerns very seriously,” the spokesman said in a statement. “The officer in the video is currently being investigated by the Internal Affairs Division.” The department did not identify the officer but said he is White. Student Cameron Hillard, who recorded the video on March 28 outside of Albert Hill Middle School, and her mother, Keisha Curry, addressed the incident in a video posted to YouTube.
Cameron, 13, said she was among a group of students walking to an after-school program when the officer drove up in a patrol car. The eighth-grader said she heard someone say “f— the police,” but she said it was not her or her friends. Cameron said the officer told the group to “man up,” and she did not understand why. He then said: “Wait until your asses turn 18, then you’re mine,” before driving off. Cameron’s mother said that when she first saw the video, she brushed it off because of her experiences growing up in Richmond.
“Being that I was brought up and raised in Hillside Court and the Highland Park area, I found that officers acted like that on a regular basis,” Curry said in the YouTube video. But after she viewed it again and spoke to her daughter, the mother said she became disturbed. She said the officers needs to be reprimanded and investigated, and that a conversation needs to take place between law enforcement, state officials and parents to reach a solution.
Curry said she would be willing to meet with the officer “to unite both sides and figure it out. I don’t feel he needs to lose his job. He just shouldn’t be patrolling the streets.” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said the type of behavior exhibited by the officer in the video will not be tolerated by any employee of the City of Richmond. “I trust that the Richmond Police Department will conduct a quick and thorough investigation and respond accordingly,” Stoney said in a statement. “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.”