Pennsylvania Cop Removed From Duty After ‘Racially Profiling’ Man In Diner
A Pennsylvania police officer who seemed to racially profile a Black diner has been removed from duty.
Footage recently emerged on Twitter from Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2), showing a cop accosting a man in a restaurant without giving a proper reason other than being ‘called there for him’ and later appearing to joke about disliking Black people.
As the videos racked up hundreds of thousands of views, the officer has since been confirmed by the Vandergrift Police Department as William Moore, and has been removed from duty while still being paid.
The incident seen in the clips took place at G&G Restaurant in Westmoreland County on April 17. Moore, 53, had reportedly received a report regarding a Black male smoking marijuana, leading him approaching Marcus Townsend, 20, who filmed the encounter. However, the G&G restaurant told local outlet WPXI-TV they hadn’t called the police, and didn’t have a problem with Townsend, Newsweek reports.
Calmly throughout the video, Townsend asks why the officer is requesting his ID and what he’s done to warrant the attention. After Moore asks for back-up, Townsend requests he bring his superior officer, to which the cop says: ‘I am superior officer. My badge number is four. You understand that?’
He then asks Townsend to step outside, saying: ‘It’s very fair, and it’s very right.’ Townsend says it’s racial profiling, with the officer then mocking him over his radio. ‘Oh yeah it’s racial profiling… run that please, because this guy says that I’m racial profiling him,’ he says.
The officer continues: ‘Oh yeah! Cause I just don’t like Black people. Yeah I don’t Black people, It’s like that out here… everybody who knows me knows that I don’t care whether you’re white, brown… or tan. I’m tired of your attitude.’
After going outside, another officer arrives who helps to diffuse the situation. Ultimately, the call amounted to nothing in terms of any sort of evidence against Townsend.
Mayor Barb Turiak confirmed to TribLive that Moore has been removed from active duty and placed on paid leave, saying: ‘It’s an ongoing investigation, and I can’t comment further.’
Vandergrift Police Chief Joe Caporali also said the recent allegations against Moore are ‘being taken seriously by borough officials.’
Moore, who was put on paid leave in 2017 amid assault and harassment accusations regarding a 14-year-old boy, later pleading guilty to harassment and paying a fine, has been widely criticised online.
‘He had nothing and no reason but was desperate to take him down,’ one user wrote, while another cited his ‘superior’ quote as sounding like ‘what a drunk man with too much unchecked authority would say.’
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Fifty Shades of Whey/Twitter