An Arkansas police officer was fired Wednesday after telling a group of Black men that they “don’t belong” in his city.
The incident, which took place on July 21, was captured on video and posted on Facebook on Tuesday by Demarcus Bunch. Bunch, his cousin, and a group of friends were in his hometown of England, a small town about 30 miles away from the capital of Little Rock. The men were shooting a rap video, and told THV 11 that from the time they first entered the town, Officer Mike Moore was following them.
In the video, Bunch and his cousin walk up to the police officer and shake his hand and ask him how he’s doing.
“We just noticed you’ve been following us around everywhere,” Bunch says, after introducing themselves.
“Are you recording right now?” Moore responds.
“Yeah, we are.”
“You know why? Because you don’t belong in my city,” Moore says.
“We’re from here,” Bunch replies.
“But you understand, I know who my people are, right, who belongs here, who doesn’t? We’ve got gang wars going on, we’ve got all kinds of stuff. I come from the big city where this stuff is small, okay? So that’s cool. Do your thing.”
“You said we don’t belong in your city though?” Bunch says.
“Can I say something? OK, you don’t — I have never seen you here before, and I know almost everybody here.”
Bunch tells the police officer the address where he grew up and his high school, and Moore responds, “Well good for you. My name is Mike Moore, okay? I’m not from here.” Then he tells the men to step away from his car because he wants to take a police dog out.
Bunch told CNN that he has an uncle who is a police officer, and that’s why the two men introduced themselves to Moore after they noticed him following them.
“The reason I walked up (to him) recording is I could kind of feel — I had a gut feeling — that there was going to be a bad vibe from the way he followed us everywhere we went,” he said.
Bunch said he waited to post the video because he filed a complaint with the police chief, and was waiting to receive a copy of the complaint.
“If you look at the news every other day it’s racial profiling, stereotyping and senseless killings for young black men. And had I not been recording and he didn’t have his camera, who’s to say what would have happened,” he told CNN. He said Moore mentioning gangs was “stereotyping” and was “probably based on the vehicles we were in, maybe how we were dressed.”
According to a training history report obtained by KATV, Moore was also fired from the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Department last May after just 10 months because he had a negative attitude. In addition, he was the subject of an internal investigation in the England Police Department. He originally started his career in Greenville, South Carolina and moved to Arkansas in 2016.