Timmonsville, SC – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) president who fabricated a story of racial profiling by police is now changing his story after bodycam video was released.
Jerrod Moultrie is now claiming that there were two officers who conducted his traffic stop, and it was the second officer who was allegedly profiled him.
The NAACP released a statement on Wednesday that said they were investigating “apparent contradictions between the body cam footage released by the Timmonsville Police Department and [Rev. Moultrie’s] social media account of the incident,” WPDE reported.
Except the NAACP seems to be looking for wrongdoing on the part of the officer, rather than their chapter president.
On May 13, Timmonsville NAACP President Reverend Jerrod Moultrie posted an inflammatory, detailed account of traffic stop he’d endured.
The allegations in his account were disturbing, and would indicate profiling by the officer - except none of it was true.
After seeing the post, local community activist Timothy Waters went down to the police department to look at the bodycam and dash camera footage, according to WPDE.
He was shocked to see that everything the reverend said was a lie.
"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," Waters told WPDE.
WPDE reports that Timmonsville Police Chief Billy Brown said that Rev. Moultrie even went so far as to contact him the next morning to claim that he had been racially profiled and mistreated.
"He made a comment that the officer accused him of having drugs in the car. 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," Chief Brown told WPDE. Except all of those accusations were lies.
"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. It bothered me. It really bothered me, thinking about the racial unrest it could've cost 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," Chief Brown told WPDE.
Moultrie wouldn’t respond to further comments from reporters who wanted to know why he’d lied about the traffic stop, and the Timmonsville NAACP officials refused to watch the bodycam video.
Both Kenneth McAllister and Henry James Dixon said that they didn't need to see the video because they support Moultrie, and know that he's a man of integrity who wouldn't lie.
But now the reverend is telling tall tales again, according to the Timmonsville police chief.
"The video tells everything. The video tells you who had dealings with Moultrie. The video tells you who, what he claimed happened and what didn't happen. And the video would clearly tell you that there was only one officer who approached Moultrie," Chief Brown said.
A South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper did stop to back up the Timmonsville officer during the traffic stop, but the trooper never had any contact with Moultrie, the chief said.
"He never left the doorway. He had no contact with Moultrie at all. Now, and it's common sense, anybody who has ever been stopped by law enforcement, and there have been times where there was a backup officer,” he conceded. “But, give me a case where one officer will come and ask for your credentials, deal with you, and after he finishes with you, another officer comes up and ask for your credentials again, and deal with you again. It just doesn't happen that way. It doesn't work that way," Chief Brown explained.
And although the NAACP has said they’re investigating the allegations that a second officer was on the scene, the police chief told WPDE that nobody from that organization has been in touch with the police department.
"How do you conduct an investigation and you don't contact the agency that it involves? We have heard nothing from the NAACP. Nothing whatsoever. What should've been done was contact me, let's look at the video. Let's come to some type of conclusion. Our apology whatever to the officer, to the community and let's move on, instead of continuing trying to cover. Because that's exactly what it is. The video speaks for itself. We don't have to say one word," Chief Brown concluded.
Moultrie has removed his original post with its wild accusations from his Facebook page.
However, the NAACP has said that Moulrie's accusations don't need to be true in order for him to have been profiled.
"Racial profiling, in this context, concerns the reasons for stopping a particular vehicle at a particular time, not whether the officer conducting the stop (or any other officer on the scene) is impolite," the NAACP said, according to The Robesonian.
"In the incident involving Rev. Moultrie, the officer in the body cam footage states that the reason for the stop was the driver’s failure to signal for a turn. Whether that justification is a pretext for racial discrimination is an issue separate and distinct from whether any officer displayed racial bias against Rev. Moultrie during the stop,” the NAACP concluded.