AFRICANGLOBE – An off-duty police officer based out of D.C. was thrown to the ground and hit in the head by Prince George’s County police officers because he fit a description of a shooting suspect vaguely described as a Black male wearing a hoodie and blue jeans.
Off-duty police officer Robert Parker was walking away from a nearby mall where a man had been shot and wounded just minutes before. A police officer pulled up beside him, threw him to the ground, and punched him in the head despite Parker passively complying to all commands and attempting to identify himself as a fellow officer.
“He walked up to me and he started patting me down and I’m just thinking, is this really happening? Because I know the protocol because I’m a police officer,” Parker said in an interview with FOX 5. “He reaches around and feels my sidearm, my firearm and I look at him and I see the look in his eye and I say, ‘I’m the police.’ I’m literally slammed. I went to the ground, I kept saying, ‘I’m the police, I’m the police.’ There were two other officers there. I felt their presence and they placed me in handcuffs, and then somebody hit me in the right side of my face.”
Parker’s wrist was also injured during the takedown, later requiring a trip to the emergency room for treatment.
As a fellow officer, Parker was reluctant to blame the confrontation on his race, but he did admit that had he been white, the situation likely would have unfolded very differently.
As is often the case in incidents where excessive force by police is suspected, the Prince George’s County police have issued a statement defending their officer – who is also Black.
“Based on our preliminary investigation and preliminary review of an audio recording of the encounter in question, we believe our officer acted professionally and with restraint. This encounter took place within several minutes of the shooting being reported at the mall and approximately three blocks from the scene.”
The Prince George’s County Police claimed that Parker did not identify himself as an officer until after he was restrained – a direct contradiction to Parker’s version of events.
As of Wednesday evening, Parker has yet to lodge a formal complaint against the department.
By: Nathan Wellman