For Immediate Release
Malik Russell / firstname.lastname@example.org / 410-580-5761
BALTIMORE (May 23, 2018)—The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation’s premier civil rights organization, announced today the continuation of an internal investigation into the report of racial profiling levied by the President of the Timmonsville, South Carolina Branch of the NAACP against a Timmonsville police officer in connection with a traffic stop on the evening of April 13, 2018.
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.