WHITE OAK, Md. (FOX 5 DC) — Montgomery County Police have released new information about an officer who was recorded using the N-word. It happened during an encounter with four African American men outside a McDonald's in May.
On Friday, the acting police chief disputed a claim the men were profiled while acknowledging the language used was unacceptable.
MCPD Acting Chief Marcos Jones said the officer who used the word is on desk duty and eight other officers remain under investigation. Those eight remain on patrol.
“This is not what some people call a random stop and frisk action — it began with the officer in the video asking them to move along — at that point and what is not apparent on social media or video of the incident was that our officer detected an odor of marijuana on at least two of the individuals. This was probable cause for arrest and the reason why the individuals and a backpack were searched-marijuana was recovered from two of the subjects,” said Jones.
On the morning of May 9, Jones said officers noticed the four men loitering outside the McDonald's and asked them to leave. He said it is common practice for officers to do this at the McDonald's and its encouraged by management. While there, the officers say they smelled the odor of marijuana.
Jones says this was not racial profiling or a stop and frisk. In fact, county police have been encouraged by the manager of the McDonald's to move people along who are loitering and officers have been called to the establishment 192 times in 2018 — 57 of them just for trespassing.
So far this year, officers have been called to the location 53 times.
Jones says the four men who were stopped never bought anything from the restaurant and never went inside. At least two of the men said they were waiting for a ride for a landscaping job and lost their jobs because of the police action.