A black man was wrongfully arrested in front of his family at a Virginia mall Saturday — a “traumatic” incident that was caught on video.
Jamar Mackey was eating lunch with his fiancée, their 13-year-old son and newborn at Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach when a police sergeant handcuffed him after accusing him of being a credit card thief, according to video posted on Facebook by Mackey’s fiancée Shantel Covil.
“You’re doing this in public? We can’t walk outside? In front of my family?” an angry Mackey can be heard telling the officer.
“Listen, I’m going to explain all of this,” the sergeant replies.
“What did he do?” Covil says behind the camera.
Outside, Mackey insists cops release him as Covil tries to calm him down.
“We in here with our family. This is so f—–g embarrassing. We are with our family. I got my baby here, a newborn. What are you doing?” Covil tells the officer.
Police say Mackey matched the description of the suspect: a black man with dreadlocks, and in the company of a boy wearing red.
After learning they made a mistake, the officer takes the handcuffs off Mackey.
“That’s why we fighting for this s–t now! This is how we get treated in 2020!” Mackey shouts as he’s freed. “This what we march for! This is why we say Black Lives Matter! Look at how y’all treat us! In front of people!”
Mackey said the worst part about the entire situation was that his teenage son had to witness his wrongful arrest.
“It hurts me,” he told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday. “What if they had shot me in front of my son, or tasered me in front of my son?’
“It was a very traumatic experience for our family that we wouldn’t wish on anyone,” Covil wrote in a Facebook post.
The Virginia Beach Police Department publicly apologized to Mackey and said it has launched an investigation.
“No one wants to be handcuffed in front of their family, in front of the public, like the officer did on Saturday,” Police Chief Paul Neudigate said at a press conference Monday. “We apologize for the discomfort that was caused in this incident.”
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