Some civil rights leaders in South Carolina are upset after a respected pastor and NAACP leader accused the local police of racial profiling during a traffic stop.
This time, however, it is the pastor who is in trouble… for lying.
NAACP President Rev. Jerrod Moultrie, made shocking claims that he was pulled over after being racially profiled in a nice neighborhood of Timmonsville, SC. He held to his story, even posting a Facebook post seemingly recounting every detail of the incident.
Confronted by a TV station in the area after the reverend’s claims went viral, Police Chief Billy Brown said that after reviewing the body cam video of the stop, he determined there was nothing to Moultrie’s claims.
The police cam video had completely exonerated the local police and now the black community is responding.
In the video officer Chris Miles identifies himself with Timmonsville police and asks for Moultrie’s license, registration and proof of insurance.
As Moultrie is unfolding paperwork, the officer asks, “Now you don’t own the motor vehicle?”
“Yes, sir, I just transferred,” Moultrie replied as he hands him what appears to be a receipt for the vehicle.
The officer repeats Moultrie’s statement about transferring tags and then asks for Moultrie’s name as he hands him the registration for the previous vehicle. Then the officer asks for Moultrie’s license and tells him why he stopped him.
“The reason I’m coming in contact with you is that whenever you took that left right here, you didn’t signal. Okay. That’s the only reason I’m coming in contact with you. Okay?”
“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,” the police chief said. “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.”
Based on the body camera footage, the officer who stopped Moultrie neither asked if he had drugs in the car nor why he was driving in the area,” the Raleigh News & Observer reported.
The paper reported that the officer stopped Moultrie for making a turn without signaling.
Reverend Moultrie’s Facebook post has since been deleted.
Local black community activists are upset that with valid claims around the country, a local civil rights leader would need to lie about an incident.
One leader said he was so upset by Moultrie’s claims that he went to the police department to take a look at the video.
Timothy Waters of Florence said the video just made him more upset.
“Once I got a copy of that bodycam, 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 a local television reporter.
Waters is thankful that the false claim was exposed before protests and riots began in the community. In recent year, protests have often begun before all the facts have come out in similar incidents.
Area black pastors are thankful this lie was exposed before the community was torn apart.
But some NAACP leaders are downplaying the incident.
“We don’t condone the wrong that a person has done, we just don’t believe he would have told a lie about something of that magnitude. We’re not saying a person is incapable of lying. Just from his character we don’t think he would have lied about something like that,” said NAACP officers Kenneth McAllister and Henry James Dixon in a statement.
Pastor Moultrie is declining further comment.