In a public Facebook post last month, the president of the Timmonsville, South Carolina NAACP chapter claimed he was racially profiled by a Timmonsville police officer, mocked, and accused of having drugs on him. The footage captured by the body camera of the attending officer, though, debunks the leader's claims.
Rev. Jerrod Moultrie was pulled over on the night of April 12 for failing to signal before a turn. The following day, Moultrie took to Facebook, where he painted himself as a victim of a racist officer.
In the post, which has since tellingly been removed from his Facebook page, Moultrie said he was pulled over for driving a nice car in a nice neighborhood while black.
"TONIGHT I WAS RACIALLY PROFILED By Timmonsville officer CAUSE I WAS DRIVING A MERCEDES BENZ AND GOING HOME IN A NICE NEIGHBORHOOD," he started the post. "But you know tomorrow they will hear from me."
Moultrie recapped the fabricated conversation thusly:
Me: hello sir how can I help you
Officer: I am stopping you cause you fail to put on a turn signal and do you have any drugs in the car
Me: sir how would you know if I used by turn signal when you was approaching me as I turn and is there any drugs in your car?
Officer: License and registration
Me: sir can I take off my seat belt and get it
Me: (as i open glove box i said) sir this is a new car i just purchased and all i have is bill of sale, insurance car, and registration from car I am transferring tags
Officer: ok where you work and who car is this and why you in this neighborhood
Me: sir I am a pastor and I live in the house on the left
Officer: and I guess I am the bill gates
Officer: you need to park this vehicle and never drive it till you get this straight with DMV
"This officer thought he had some drugs or something cause since when 2 patrol car stops one car on a turn signal issue," Moultrie wrote at the end of the post. "Guess I can’t be a pastor and can’t drive a Mercedes Benz and live in a nice neighborhood. Well you know as president of Timmonsville NAACP he stop the wrong car tonight cause someone needs to answer for this behavior..."
Yeah, that's not what happened at all.
As reported by South Carolina Now (SCNOW) Morning News' Shamira McCray, the body camera footage shows Officer Chris Miles explaining to Moultrie that he pulled him over only because he neglected to signal before a turn; he never asked him about drugs, questioned what he was doing in a nice neighborhood, nor mocked him with the alleged "Bill Gates" comment. The only semi-consistent part of the post was that Officer Miles suggested Moultrie not drive his new car until he gets the proper documentation sorted out. (See video below.)
Timmonsville Police Chief Billy Brown said he took a look at the footage after Moultrie's complaint was brought to his attention and concluded the allegations to be false.
"But I think by [Moultrie] being the president of NAACP for the Timmonsville area, that it needs to be out to the public for the simple reason, if and when something else happens, they need to be able to look at the credibility of who’s presenting it," said Brown. "I mean, if he lied about this to us, he’ll lie about anything to anyone. I just don’t think we need his type of representation."
Moultrie was apparently "anointed" as leader of the NAACP chapter and not voted into the position by the community, as would typically be the case, Timmonsville Councilman Curtis Harris told SCNOW Morning News. Harris also slammed Moultrie for his false allegations of racism, which he said do not "have any basis of truth."
"The way they rigged it, they wouldn’t let anybody else vote, closed vote,” said Harris.
"Prior to that [Moultrie becoming president], all of the leadership for the NAACP was from the community, by the community and of the community,” he explained. "He [Moultrie] is not from the community. He was not recommended by the community. And he is not a part of the community."
Harris wants a "fair election for a new local NAACP president who is a reputable person," notes SCNOW Morning News.