- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 20, 2019

An Indiana police officer was fired this week after a viral video showed him accosting two black men in a parking lot for “acting suspicious.”

One of the men said in the description of the YouTube video — which has garnered almost 400,000 views since being uploaded on Nov. 13 — the two of them had just finished purchasing merchandise from Nordstrom Rack when the constable, identified by WTHR as Daryl Jones, followed them out of the store and yelled he was going to run their plates as they left their parking spot.

Mr. Jones, who was off-duty and was working security for the Nordstrom Rack when the incident occurred, said they “circled back to ask him why he was being invasive and abusing his authority” and began filming before he walked up to the car.

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The two men, identified by news stations as Aaron Blackwell and Durell Cunningham, were instructed by Mr. Jones to give their IDs. When one of the men asked why, he responded, “because I told you to.”

The men asked several times why they were approached in the parking lot, why he wants to see their licenses, and for him to call his supervisor.

“I’m not calling the supervisor,” Mr. Jones said, to which one of the men responded: “You’re not pulling me over, neither.”

“What do you need my ID for, sir?” one of the men asked Mr. Jones.

“Because you want to run your mouth,” he said. “I got my rights to do anything I want to do, I’m a police officer.”

“I don’t mind showing you my driver’s license, but what is your reason for asking?” the man said.

“Because you’re acting suspicious,” Mr. Jones replied, threatening to lock up the two men and tow their car.

After Mr. Jones called for backup and spoke to the responding officer, he told the men they could leave, but didn’t respond to their requests for his name before he left the scene.

The responding officer told the men Mr. Jones wasn’t prohibited from running their plates without a reason, but could not stop them without cause.

“We can run plates for any reason or no reason at all,” the officer said. “What he does have to have is what’s called reasonable suspicion in order to make a stop. He has to have some sort of reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed.”

Lawrence Township Chief Constable Terry Burns told NBC News he fired Mr. Jones within hours of viewing the video. Mr. Jones worked for about 20 years on the force.

The Nordstrom store told NBC News he no longer works for them.

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