By Kathleen Joyce, ,
Published August 10, 2018
An Arkansas police officer has been fired after a viral video showed him telling a group of black men that they didn’t belong in the city.
WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE
The England Police Department confirmed Officer Michael Moore was fired after a video posted on Facebook by Demarcus Bunch captured the July 21 incident, THV11 reported.
Bunch said he and his cousin Shannon Scribner were in the area shooting a music video when they noticed Moore nearby. Bunch said he was told Moore was watching them as soon as they entered the small town of some 3,000 people.
“I was wondering, ‘Why is he doing this,” Bunch told THV11. “We’re in small England. Everybody knows everybody.”
Bunch said the officer slowed down to see what the group was doing when he decided to approach the officer. Bunch said his uncle is a police officer with the England Police Department.
“I’m Mike Moore,” the officer tells the group of men in the video.
Scribner explained to the officer that they were in the area to shoot a video.
“We just noticed you’ve been following us everywhere,” Bunch says to Moore.
“Are you recording right now?” Moore asks.
Bunch replies that he is.
“You know why? Because you don’t belong in my city,” Moore replies.
“We’re from here,” Bunch says.
"But you understand, I know who my people are, right, who belongs here and 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,” the officer says.
"You said we don't belong in your city, though?" Bunch asks.
Moore replies he has not seen the men around before. Bunch says he graduated from the local high school.
"Well good for you, my name is Mike Moore. I'm not from here. Step away from my car, I'm about to get my dog out,” he says before walking away.
Bunch said he spoke to his uncle who told them to speak to the chief about the incident. The men filed a complaint to Chief Danna Powell but didn’t hear anything for 15 days. Bunch subsequently decided to upload the video to his Facebook after not hearing anything from the police department.
The police department confirmed that Moore was terminated on Wednesday. However, this is not the first time Moore was canned from a police job. He was employed with the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office but was fired from there before working at the England Police Department.
Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley told THV11 that Moore was fired “because he couldn't get along with other officers and other agencies” not for a race issue.
Bunch and Scribner both feel Powell should be held accountable for allowing Moore to work despite the video.
"Personally, I feel like the chief should be held accountable as well for allowing him to even continue to work as long as he's worked after showing of the video,” Bunch said.