VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – A video showing a Black man being detained in Lynnhaven Mall on Saturday has gone viral over social media, resulting in an investigation by the Virginia Beach Police Department.
In the video posted by BLM 757, it shows a Black man eating with his family in the food court of the mall, when an officer began to put his hands behind his back to handcuff him. In the video you can hear both the man and a woman he is with questioning the officers as to what is going on.
The woman continues to say throughout the video that they do not have a black truck in reference to what the officer mentioned, as she asks for an explanation from officers as to what is going on.
The video shows the officer continuing to walk the man outside of the mall handcuffed as the man pleads for the reasoning.
The officer releases the man once outside and begins to explain why he detained the man, as seen in the video. In the video the officer says that a description of another Black man fit his description.
The officer attempts to apologize for the misunderstanding in the video, but the man continues to express the embarrassment he has faced.
The Black man can be heard explaining in the video how the incident is an example of the ongoing nationwide protests, as the woman attempts to receive a business card to talk with higher authorities.
Virginia Beach Police have responded to the viral video and says an investigation has been initiated to determine “the propriety of the response in this matter.”
“Certainly, anyone would be upset about being detained for something they didn’t do” said Chief Neudigate. “While the video shows the officer stayed calm and respectful throughout the brief encounter, we must ensure the situation merits the response. We are gathering all the facts to evaluate the incident so we can address the concerns people have raised.”
The Virginia Beach NAACP chapter released the following statement in regards to the incident:
The Virginia Beach NAACP strongly condemns the apparent racial bias on display in the video clip that has widely circulated on social media today. In the midst of a global pandemic, Virginia Beach police officers – without masks or personal protective equipment – mistakenly detained a Black man who was spending quality time with his family. As a Virginia Beach officer stated “you have the right to be upset,” and indeed we are just that: quite upset.
Even more alarming, calls from the Virginia Beach NAACP to the Virginia Beach Police Chief remain unanswered as of Sunday evening. We are demanding a meeting with the Virginia Beach Police Chief within 48 hours. As the police department has not responded to our inquiries, the Virginia Beach NAACP has launched its own investigation into the incident.
The NAACP will not rest until every Black citizen in Virginia Beach can shop, dine, and travel without being racially profiled by our city’s police officers.