The video shows a Saturday encounter between members of the Virginia Beach Police Department and Jamar Mackey, who was falsely identified and handcuffed while eating with his family in the Lynnhaven Mall food court.
Mackey’s partner Kiara Love shared the video on Facebook with the caption, “Trying to enjoy a meal with my family in the mall but Virginia Beach police out here arresting people for being black with dreads I was so scared this was gonna end differently smh.”
In the video recorded primarily by Love, a white officer is seen standing behind Mackey handcuffing him while he sits at the food court table. Mackey, who was eating, is wearing a mask under his chin. The officer, speaking in Mackey’s face, is not wearing any personal protective equipment.
Overcome with anger and emotion Mackey question’s the officer’s reasoning while Love continually asks, “What did he do?”
“You do this in public, you can’t tell me to walk outside? In front of my family?” Mackey asks.
The two repeatedly tell the officer that they aren’t the people the police are looking for, but their attempts go unheard as the officer leads Mackey to the outside of the mall. From their conversation, police said they were looking for an individual with a Black truck. Both Mackey and Love tell the cop they do not own that type of vehicle.
White attempts to calm Mackey down, knowing that the situation could lead to a more traumatic event. The police led Mackey outside the food court where he Love, full of emotion, attempt to explain that they do not fit the description of the person in question.
The officer incredulously tells them to “calm down” after not giving any pertinent information and handcuffing Mackey in front of his children.
“This man came and arrested me while I’m eating and no words!” Mackey says.
“You know what’s going on in the f—–k world today? We with our kids!” Love responds.
After realizing their mistake, Mackey gets uncuffed while Love interacts with the officers to try and hear their explanation. “There’s a Black male with dreads that was wearing all black and was with a boy wearing red,” the cop says.
Mackey goes into a pointed speech explaining why he won’t be calm after his life was victimized without reason.
“That’s why we fighting for this s–t now. This is how we get treated in 2020!” Mackey exclaims.
“This what we march for! This is why we say Black Lives Matter! Look at how y’all treat us! In front of people!” he continues.
“Black Lives Matter, y’all see why we fight!” he said.
Local NAACP leaders are demanding a meeting with police, after claiming that law enforcement dodged requests to meet, WTKR reports:
“The Virginia Beach NAACP strongly condemns the apparent racial bias on display in the video clip that has widely circulated on social media today. In the midst of a global pandemic, Virginia Beach police officers – without masks or personal protective equipment – mistakenly detained a Black man who was spending quality time with his family.”
In response, the Virginia Beach Police Department released a statement claiming an investigation is underway.
“Certainly, anyone would be upset about being detained for something they didn’t do” said Police Chief Paul Neudigate. “While the video shows the officer stayed calm and respectful throughout the brief encounter, we must ensure the situation merits the response. We are gathering all the facts to evaluate the incident so we can address the concerns people have raised.
On Monday, Love thanked everyone who rallied around her family during this trying time.
“I just want to publicly thank everyone for the calls texts inboxes and sharing of our video from Saturday at the mall. It was a very traumatic experience for our family that we wouldn’t wish on anyone,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “We have a overwhelming amount of messages and we don’t want anyone to think we are ignoring them we’re just trying to get back that sense of normalcy in our home so we can attempt to enjoy the holidays with our family. Thank you again for all the support our family appreciates it.”
Warning: The video contains disturbing imagery and language.