A British police officer has been removed from his duties out in the field and is currently under investigation after he was seen on video laughing about shooting a black man if he could.
You guys, you guys, the cops with him were laughing when he said this. Even the black person in question was laughing, so I guess it was meant to be a joke.
Thankfully, though, officials at the West Midlands Police in England are taking it seriously after receiving a complaint about the Facebook video showing the tasteless interaction.
“You would be the first one I’d shoot if I had a gun, definitely,” the officer, who has not been identified, tells the man as other cops burst into laughter. (Most British police officers don’t carry guns.)
According to the Washington Post, the comments were made while West Midlands officers were searching a residence in Coventry. Officers can be heard questioning the man about why he didn’t open the door for them.
“I was fucking half asleep,” the irritated man responds. “I thought you were going to come through the window and attack me. I didn’t know who you was. ... You were climbing up the window like thieves.”
That was when the officers point out that they were, in fact, very obviously police, given their bright-yellow vests and uniforms.
“Police? That’s even worse,” the man, who appears to be smoking a cigarette, quips. “I’ve been seeing all kinds of videos.”
“You’re going to go Black Lives Matter on us, are you?” the officer in question then asks.
“Yeah!” the man says before the officers burst into laughter. The unidentified man laughs, too.
That’s when the officer makes his controversial comment.
“You’d be the first one I’d shoot if I had a gun, definitely,” the officer responds.
“Oh, fucking hell,” the man said as more laughter follows.
Whatever the intention was behind the interaction, officials were not impressed. Assistant Chief Constable Alex Murray said Wednesday that the officer’s comments were “not right,” adding that the officer in question had apologized.
“We expect the highest standards of behavior from all our officers and staff, and we will always take complaints from members of the public seriously,” Murray said in a statement.
A spokesperson for the police department, Deb Edmonds, acknowledged that officers were there as part of an investigation, but noted that no one was arrested. Further details were not given about the case.
The complaint about the officer’s behavior was subsequently referred to England and Wales’ Independent Police Complaints Commission, but the commission opted to send the case back to West Midlands, saying, “After careful assessment, we have decided it is suitable for local investigation by the force.”
Read more at the Washington Post.