WASHINGTON (WMAL) – There are lots of questions after a video showing a Montgomery County Police officer using the N-word word while interacting with black men outside a McDonald’s in White Oak Thursday morning.
Council member Will Jawando wants to know why the young men were detained and searched. He was told the men were trespassing, but he said it’s a public restaurant, and they were next to a gas station. The men told the officers they were waiting to be picked up for work, which Jawando has confirmed was the case.
Jawando said police need to look into whether the men were detained because they were black.
The police department said in a statement that it takes allegations of racial descrimination seriously.
“The matter brought to our attention today is disturbing and contrary to our department’s values and our overarching mission to fairly and impartially serve our community,” police said in a statement issued Thursday night. It went on to say, “We sincerely regret the disturbing nature of the video.”
In the video, the officer said she was just repeating the N-word after one of the men used it.
“No matter what the context, that word should not be used in interacting with Af…with anyone in our society,” Jawando said adding it’s especially egregious when it is used by police officers or others representing the government.
The department is conducting an internal investgiation.
“I think at a minimum suspension and training is justified if not more,” Jawando said.
In addition to looking at the circumstances of the incident, Jawando said the officer’s record needs to be examined as well.
Jawando – who pushed the Law Enforcement Trust and Transparency Act which will have Howard County Police investigate fatal officer-involved shootings in Montgomery County – said an interanl investigation is the right course of action here. He went on to say it would be too cumbersome to have an independent investgation into this and other incidents that don’t involve deadly force.
Jawando wants to meet with police and the men in the video to learn more about what happened.
Copyright 2019 by WMAL.com. All Rights Reserved. (PHOTO: Montgomery County Police Department)