After a police bodycam video demolished claims by a South Carolina NAACP official that he was racially profiled last month, the clergyman who alleged he was mistreated has now changed his story.
Police officials, however, say Rev. Jerrod Moultrie, the president of the Timmonsville NAACP, is once again wrong, according to WMBF. The news outlet also reported the NAACP has launched an internal investigation into the issue.
Moultrie ignited anger when he made an April 13 Facebook post.
“Tonight, I was racially profiled by Timmonsville Officer CAUSE I WAS DRIVING A MERCEDES BENZ AND GOING HOME IN A NICE NEIGHBORHOOD,” he wrote in a since-deleted post, Fox News reported.
The post also alleged that Timmonsville Police Officer Chris Miles kept insisting that Moultrie explain why he was in the neighborhood where he was stopped, the Raleigh, N.C., News-Observer reported.
“Me: sir I am a pastor and I live in the house on the left,” Moultrie wrote. “Officer: And I guess I am the Bill Gates.”
Timmonsville Police Chief Billy Brown said Moultrie had a laundry list of allegations.
“He made a comment that the officer accused him of having drugs in the car,” Brown said. “He said that his wife and grandchild was in the car. He asked them not to move because the officer looked as if he might shoot them or something. He also made mention that the officer continued to ask him about his neighborhood. Why was he in that neighborhood? And threaten(ed) to put him in jail in reference to something dealing with the registration to the vehicle.”
Brown said what he saw on the video and what he was told about the incident were two different things.
“When I saw the video, I was shocked that someone who is supposed to be a community leader, a pastor, and head of the NAACP would just come out and tell a blatant lie,” Brown said. “It bothered me. It really bothered me, thinking about the racial unrest it could’ve caused in the community and it’s just troubling to me that someone who held a position like that would come out and just tell a lie.”
One community activist was so enraged at the allegations he went to see the video for himself. Timothy Waters of Florence said the video made him a believer, but not in Moultrie, according to WAGA.
“Once I got a copy of that body cam, it’s as if he made the whole story up. And I felt like he set us back 100 years because think about all of the racial profiling cases [that] are true,” said Waters, who said the bodycam showed the officer was polite.
The NAACP has now gotten involved.
“We don’t condone the wrong that a person has done, we just don’t believe he would have told a lie about something of that magnitude,” Timmonsville NAACP officer Henry James Dixon said. “We’re not saying a person is incapable of lying. Just from his character, we don’t think he would have lied about something like that. In all fairness, to the NAACP and the community, we will watch the video and have a conversation with our NAACP president,”
After the bodycam footage made the rounds, Moultrie said it only showed a second officer who dealt with him, but not the first one.
Brown said the bodycam shows the officer calling in the traffic stop and otherwise acting as he would if he were first on the scene.
“Moultrie is lying,” Brown said.
Brown said the video shows a South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper, but the trooper never interacted with Moultrie.
“They [NAACP] should admit they are wrong and apologize to the officer and the community,” Brown said.
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