White Reading police officer appears to hurl insults at residents of color while making an arrest

Written by on January 5, 2021

White Reading police officer appears to hurl insults at residents of color while making an arrest

By Tyler Pratt

January 5, 2021

Screenshot of the video posted to YouTube. The officer appears to hurl insults at Reading residents while fellow officers make an arrest.

Police in Reading are investigating an incident where a white officer appears to hurl insults at residents of color while making an arrest.

The following story includes video and audio that may be upsetting to readers.

A three-minute witness video posted to YouTube on Monday shows a police officer sitting on a man’s chest with his arms pinned behind his back. As the suspect appears to cry out in pain, the officer tells witnesses he has to restrain the man to stop him from running away. 

“He tried to run, ma’am,” the officer said to the woman filming the video as he continued to sit on the restrained man’s chest. “Get back, please.”

“You can’t just put him in the car?” asked a bystander.

“You don’t have to get on him like that,” says someone else.

“I would if he would comply- he’s not. This is the only way I can hold him down so he doesn’t get hurt,” the officer says while the man yells in pain. “I know it’s uncomfortable…..but he’s going to run away.” 

Another officer walks toward bystanders and yells, “ Shut up and get out of here.” He continues to approach the people who are watching. “Get out of here or you’re going. Do you want to go?” 

Some bystanders yell explicit language at the white officers. While one woman notes an officer’s badge, he calls her “ghetto girl” and then yells for her “to go back to the ghetto.”

Reading Mayor Eddie Moran says in a statement that a patrol officer’s conduct appeared to be “contrary” to the department’s goals for positive community engagement.  Moran says the Police Office of Professional Standards is investigating and reviewing body camera footage. 

And, he says he will not tolerate offensive behavior toward residents.

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