A veteran law-enforcement agent in Indiana was fired after confronting a pair of black shoppers outside of a department store while accusing them of “acting suspicious,” video shows.
Lawrence Township Deputy Constable Daryl Jones — who was off duty at the time but was working as a security guard at a Nordstrom Rack in Indianapolis — watched Aaron Blackwell and Durell Cunningham buy several items inside the store before following them to their car on Nov. 12, according to a 17-minute cellphone video posted to YouTube.
“I got my rights to do anything I want to do — I’m a police officer,” Jones told the men, who are cousins. “Get your driver’s license out or I will lock you up.”
Blackwell and Cunningham then continued to ask Jones why they were stopped and requested that his supervisor be asked to respond to the scene, video shows.
“I don’t mind showing you my driver’s license,” Cunningham said. “But what is your reason that you’re asking?”
“Because – because you’re acting suspicious,” Jones replied.
Jones continued to demand Cunningham’s license until he called for backup and an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer showed up.
Jones later told the pair that they were “free to go” after consulting with the Indianapolis officer, who explained to Blackwell and Cunningham that there was, in fact, no traffic infraction or reason to stop their vehicle, video shows.
“We appreciate you being civil with us and trying to figure out what was really going on,” Blackwell said.
Jones, a 20-year law enforcement veteran, lost his job some two hours after his boss saw the footage, Lawrence Township Chief Constable Terry Burns told NBC News.
The now-former deputy no longer works at Nordstrom Rack, store reps told NBC News.