A white police officer who was working security at a Nordstrom Rack did not hesitate to profile a pair of black men even though he clearly saw them paying for their merchandise.
Lawrence Township Constable Daryl Jones followed them out of the store after they paid for their merchandise, attempting to view their license plate number.
But the men who are cousins spotted him and one of them yelled that “you’re not getting my plate,” which is what Jones later claimed made them suspicious.
The men began recording when they realized Jones had gotten into his car and was coming after them. The men pulled in front of the store to be in full view of everybody, confident that they had broken no law.
The video shows Jones pulling up to them, stepping out of his car and demanding to see their identification but failing to tell them what crime he suspects them of committing, meaning they were under no legal obligation to identify themselves.
But Jones – who was not even on duty – insisted his badge allowed him to do what he pleases.
“I got my rights to do anything I want to do, I’m a police officer,” Jones yells into their window.
At one point when the driver of the car, Durell Cunningham, made it clear he was not going to relinquish his identification, Jones accused him of making threats.
“Are you threatening me?” Jones demands to know. “Are you crazy? Threatening a police officer.”
“I’m not scared of you, I’m not worried about you,” Cunningham replies.
The cop continued demanding to see their identification but the men remained stoic, refusing to do so until he told them what crime they were suspected of committing.
Jones called for backup, thinking the arriving officers would side with him but he was wrong.
The Indianapolis police officer who arrived asked Jones if the men had shoplifted anything.
“No, they didn’t steal items,” Jones tells the cop. “They bought a bunch of stuff, but when they were sitting right here I was trying to get their license plate and he hollers out the window, ‘You’re not getting my plate,’ and he takes off.”
The cop eventually tells the men that “as far as I’m concerned, you guys are good to go.”
The video went viral and Jones was quickly fired.
According to RTV6 Indianapolis:
A spokesperson for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department says no report was ever filed from the incident, although an officer did respond to the scene Tuesday afternoon.
Lawrence Township Constable Terry Burns said the man was terminated from his position as a deputy constable Wednesday evening after Burns learned about the video.
“He was terminated last night when the video was brought to my attention. I did see the video and made the decision immediately and that pretty speaks of my reaction,” Burns said.
James White, a retired Indiana State Police lieutenant and former deputy director of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, said drivers are not required to show their identification if the officer has no reasonable suspicion or probable cause. White said there was none in this case and the deputy constable should have provided his badge number and name.
“There was no reasonable suspicion for a stop,” White said. “There was certainly no violation of any traffic law or ordinance. So the stop was invalid. And when the constable asked those individuals to provide their identification, as a result of this not being a valid stop, there was no requirement for them to provide identification.”
Cunningham and his cousin, Aaron Blackwell, who was recording from the passenger seat, are considering legal action.
Watch the shortened, edited video above. The full, unedited video is below.