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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Police Detain Innocent Black Man at Mall Food Court in Virginia Beach

Jamar Mackey, Black man detained at food court in Virginia Beach

Nationwide — A police officer in Virginia is now regretting his actions after he dragged and handcuffed Jamar Mackey, an innocent man, in front of his family and others in a crowded mall food court after he mistook him for another person wanted for credit card theft. The man reportedly matched the description of the real suspect.

Mackey was with his fiancee, baby, and 13-year old son at Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach when a police officer suddenly went behind him and put on handcuffs, saying he had to talk to him outside.

Mackey’s fiancee took a video of the encounter as police officers walked him out of the mall while several people were looking, despite them saying he had the wrong person.

After the humiliating incident, Mackey, who was already furious, was released. Police then explained that they were looking for a Black man with dreads wearing black clothes who stole credit cards. That description matched Mackey but police also said the suspect was driving a black truck, which his fiancee repeatedly said they don’t own.

When the video moved to the right side while the police explained, it showed another group of police officers with the actual suspect.

Police Chief Paul Neudigate apologized two days after the incident, saying the police should have handled the situation better. He said the department will review its policies and procedures and that the incident is now under investigation.

“No one wants to be handcuffed in front of their family, in front of the public, like the officer did on Saturday,” Neudigate said, according to 13 News Now. “We apologize for the discomfort that was caused in this incident. As a result, we are focusing on two main areas: Was the initial approach and stop justified, and was the use of handcuffs justified?”

Afterward, police reportedly arrested the real suspect, 28-year old Markee Smith. He was charged with four counts of credit card fraud, receiving stolen goods, and two counts of felony probation violation.

Moreover, Mackey himself said it was a “very traumatic experience” and he wouldn’t wish it to happen to anyone.