NAACP now investigating if two officers took part in traffic stop of local NAACP leader

(Timmonsville Police Department)

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is now investigating if two law enforcement officers were involved in the traffic stop of the leader of the Timmonsville NAACP back on April 13, where the leader says he was racially profiled by police.

Body camera video from the officer who stopped the Rev. Jerrod Moultrie, the Timmonsville NAACP President, seem to contradict Moultrie's claims in a Facebook posting that he was racially profiled by the officer.

S.C. NAACP Executive Director Dwight James said Moultrie reported to the state branch that he was racially profiled a few weeks ago.

James told us they had gotten a number of social media messages about discrepancies in Moultrie's story and what the body cam video shows.

The NAACP issued the following news release Wednesday on its investigation into Moultrie's claims of being racially profiled:

In response to questioning by the NAACP’s Regional Field Office regarding an account of the traffic stop he posted on social media, the branch president, Rev. Jerrod Moultrie, addressed apparent contradictions between the body cam footage released by the Timmonsville Police Department and his social media account of the incident. Rev. Moultrie asserted that two different police officers questioned him after his car was stopped in the subdivision in which he resides. According to Rev. Moultrie, the body cam footage captures the arrival of the second police cruiser on the scene, but does not capture his interaction with the officer who conducted the initial stop – in a separate vehicle – and who interacted with Rev. Moultrie before the second police cruiser arrived.
The NAACP is continuing its internal investigation and seeking the full disclosure of all relevant information regarding the incident involving Rev. Moultrie and the Timmonsville Police Department.
The NAACP also takes this opportunity to counter misleading assumptions about racial profiling in the context of traffic stops. 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. 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.

Timmonsville Police Chief Billy Brown said a S.C. Highway Patrol trooper stopped to offer the Timmonsville officer some assistance during Moultrie's stop, but the trooper never left the doorway of his patrol car.

"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. 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," said Brown.

Brown said the video simply speaks for itself.

"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," he said.

Brown said if the NAACP is conducting a fair and balanced investigation, he has yet to hear from anyone associated with the civil rights organization.

"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," explained Brown.

We'll keep you covered on the NAACP's investigation into this matter.

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