Video surfaced Thursday in which a white Montgomery County, Maryland, police officer can be heard using a racial slur while talking to a group of black men.
One of the men, Barry Tucker, said he and a group of friends go to the parking lot of the McDonald's on New Hampshire Avenue in White Oak every morning before they are picked up for landscaping work and have been doing so for months.
On Thursday morning, a group of officers arrived and told him and his three friends they were being cited for trespassing, Tucker said. It was not immediately known whether someone had called police to the area.
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Tucker captured six minutes of video of their interaction with the officers and posted it on social media.
At one point in the video, an officer can be heard using a racial slur.
"I couldn't believe it. I could not believe it and I couldn't believe her face that she made. She thought it was actually a cool thing to say and it's not. She even said it was appropriate," Barry Tucker said.
Later on Thursday, Montgomery County Police released Tucker's full video and the officer's body camera footage.
The nearly 13-minute bodycam video, posted to the police department's YouTube account, shows that at least six officers responded.
One officer pats one of the men down and finds a small bag of what appears to be marijuana. Possession of marijuana in small amounts — less than 10 grams — is not a criminal offense in Maryland, although police may issue civil citations similar to traffic tickets.
About 12 minutes into the video, Tucker can be heard saying a racial slur before the woman officer says the same word.
Tucker then uses a derogatory term toward the officer and tells her she is "racist" after she said the racial slur.
The officer then responds, "Nope, that's a quote. Those were your words."
"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," Montgomery County police said in a statement.
Police issued two citations for marijuana possession and all four men were cited for trespassing.
The officer's status with the department was not known as of Thursday night.
Below is the complete statement from the Montgomery County Police Department:
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.
The referenced videos were captured during an interaction between officers and four individuals at the McDonalds located at 11146 New Hampshire Avenue, in Silver Spring, on today’s date at 10:36 a.m. The officers were investigating trespassers at that location.