Virginia Beach Police Chief Apologizes To Black Man Wrongfully Arrested In Front Of His Children
Jamar Mackey called his detainment "dehumanizing."
December 23, 2020 at 5:59 pm
A recent video of a Black man publicly arrested in front of his small children has caused shockwaves in Virginia Beach and prompted apologies from Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate, according to WTKR.
Jamar Mackey, his fiancée and their two children were sitting in Virginia Beach's Lynnhaven Mall on Dec. 19 enjoying a meal together when their entire day was ruined by a mistake from local police, according to NBC News.
In a video shared by Shantel Covil, Mackey's fiancée, on Facebook, police handcuffed the father in front of his 13-year-old son and newborn child because they were looking for a credit card thief who was allegedly Black with locs, like Mackey.
The police officers paraded Mackey through the crowd handcuffed, and just minutes after coming outside, they realized the real culprit had already been apprehended.
"You're going to do this in public, make me walk outside in front of my family," Mackey asked police.
“What did he do, can you tell us? We just came with our family, we don’t even have a black truck,” Mackey’s fiancée said in the video. “We’re with our kids! You think my son will forget this?”
The officers apologized once they realized they had handcuffed the wrong man. Mackey criticized the officers for detaining him in front of his children and failing to ask basic questions beforehand.
On Monday, Neudigate lauded the officers for arresting Mackey in a "calm" manner before adding that the police department is looking into the situation because of the public outcry.
“Certainly, anyone would be upset about being detained for something they didn’t do. 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," Neudigate said on the police department website.
After further backlash, Neudigate held a press conference to apologize again.
“Right or wrong, we have to be able to apologize when our actions greatly inconvenience a member of the community," he said.
During the press conference, he said the police department is investigating whether Mackey's detainment and "the use of handcuffs was justified."