SILVER SPRING, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Montgomery County police are investigating after a video circulating on social media shows a white officer using a racial slur in Silver Spring.
A man who recorded the video told FOX 5 Thursday he was at a gas station waiting to be picked up for work on Silver Spring Road with two of his brothers and a coworker at around 10 a.m.
Moments later, he says county officers were called to the scene after a store employee accused the group of loitering. The man says the officers harassed the group and placed them in handcuffs during the exchange.
In the video, the man says a white Montgomery County police officer used the N-word.
On Thursday night, police released footage from the man who recorded the social media video, as well as police body camera footage, to the public. Police say the videos were captured at a McDonalds located at 11146 New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring at 10:36 a.m. where they say officers were investigating a trespassing report.
(WARNING: These videos contain strong language that may be offensive to some.)
Police also released the following statement regarding the incident:
"The Montgomery County Department of Police takes all allegations of racial discrimination seriously. We are committed to serving all members of the community in a fair, impartial, and non-discriminatory manner at all times. All allegations of misconduct surrounding inappropriate actions or language by our employees are investigated by our Internal Affairs Division, at times in concert with other governmental agencies within Montgomery County.
The matter brought to our attention today is disturbing and contrary to our department’s values and our overarching mission to fairly and impartially serve our community. The statements observed on the social media video clip are contrary to our extensive training curriculum that include implicit bias training and other training programs to ensure fair, unbiased, and non-discriminatory policing in our community.
We sincerely regret the disturbing nature of this video. We understand the pain such language causes the entire community. Our commitment to having open and honest communication with the community and providing transparent police service persists. As part of our commitment to accountability and transparency, we are releasing both the social media video and the body worn camera footage of the involved officer for all to view."
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich released a statement on the video. Read it in full below:
"I watched a video of a Montgomery County police officer that circulated around social media earlier today. The officer’s comments recorded on the video violate the standards which we expect our officers to uphold. There are no circumstances that justify what the officer said. Every time something like this happens it hurts the reputation of all officers; and it works against efforts to build trust in the community.
I spoke with Acting Police Chief Russell Hamill earlier, and he recognizes the seriousness of this; and the department has started an investigation into this incident."
The man who recorded the video says after the exchange, the group was cited for trespassing.
Police say the incident remains under investigation.
Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro made the following statement on behalf of the Council as it relates to a video that surfaced on social media involving a Montgomery County Police Officer using racist language.
"The Montgomery County Council is aware of a disturbing video that was posted on social media where one of our County police officers is heard using racist language. I understand that the Montgomery County Police Department has already started investigating the police officers and other parties involved. These actions are not representative of the high expectations we hold our County’s police officers and it is my expectation that the individuals involved will be held accountable for these offensive actions. We are and will continue to be an inclusive County and it is imperative that we continue our work to engage in education and outreach to sensitize our residents on the harmful effects of racism on the residents of our communities."