After a white Maryland police officer was caught on camera using the N-word during the arrest of several Black men, the cop’s acting police chief defended her while giving a less than a desirable apology.
On May 9, several Montgomery County officers, including at least two Black cops, responded to a trespassing call at a McDonald’s. Last week, Montgomery County released 205 minutes of bodycam footage from that day which showed officers antagonizing four Black men as they stood outside of the restaurant. At some point, one officer asked the man he was frisking if he was hurt. When the man responded “no,” the officer told him to stop crying because he was acting like a little girl. That same officer arrested the man and put him in the back of a patrol car because he would not “stop talking.”
It was at that point that a white female officer, who has been identified as Danielle Olsen, made fun of how one of the men talked. While one of them was streaming live video of the encounter on social media, there was an exchange with Olsen.
“You niggas came to write a whole bunch of paperwork,” the man said as he filmed the encounter.
“Hey, we’re trying, you want to get out of here fast, right?” Olsen said. “Y’all niggas been tryin’ to somethin’. If you want to get out of here faster, we have more of our friends to help you get out faster.”
“Racist ass bitch!” the man responded. When he pointed the camera at her, she proudly smiled and waved.
“Nope, that’s a quote, those were your words,” she tried to defend.
“I bet if she didn’t have that badge on, she wouldn’t call us no niggas,” he said.
“I would still say it because what I’m doing is repeating your words,” she continued.
Watch the exchange below:
The Black officers that were present did nothing.
As could be imagined, the video made the rounds on social media and prompted outrage. Acting Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones defended the officer by claiming the officers smelled marijuana on the men and denied there was any racial profiling. According to the Washington Post, the incident all began when Sgt. Michael McDannell was standing in line at the McDonald’s and noticed four men standing outside, one of whom had previously been arrested on marijuana possession charges. But instead of turning on his body camera during the initial interaction like department policy calls for, he turned it on well after the stop was underway.
Jones tried to offer what he felt was an apology, despite his attempted justification of Olsen’s actions:
“I want to apologize for the language of our officers that you will hear in the videos,” Jones said during a press conference on Friday. “I am disappointed with it, and I want to be clear that it does not meet our standards.”
Over a month prior to the press conference, city officials denounced Olsen’s language with Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro releasing a statement a day after the incident saying, “These actions are not representative of the high expectations we hold our County’s police officers and it is my expectation that the individuals involved will be held accountable for these offensive actions.
During the press conference, Jones mentioned that Olsen would be retrained, but offered no word on whether or not she would be disciplined. Olsen has been reassigned to desk duty as an internal investigation continues.
The four men were given trespassing notices and two were cited for marijuana possession. The McDonald’s where the incident took place asked the police to rescind the trespassing notices.