Arkansas police officer fired after investigation of viral video
ENGLAND, Ark. (KATV) —
An Arkansas police officer has been fired after he was recorded telling two black men, "You don't belong in my city."
England Police Chief Danna Powell said in a news release Wednesday that Michael Moore had been fired from the department.
Moore was fired after an internal investigation that began about two weeks earlier over a viral video. The video, which was recorded around July 21, shows a group of young black men interacting with Moore.
"How you doing? Scrib Scribner," one of them men says to Moore.
"I'm Mike Moore," he replies.
“I'm Del Scribner's nephew. We're down here just trying to record a video. We just noticed you've been following us around."
"You're recording right now? You know why? You don't belong in my city."
"We from here."
"But you understand. I know who my people are, right? Who belongs here and who doesn't? We've got gang wars going on and all kinds of stuff. And I come from the big city. But this stuff is small, OK? So that's cool. Do your thing."
"You say we don't belong in your city though?"
"Can I say something?"
"OK ... I have never seen you here before and I know almost everybody here."
"Man I grew up in 101. I graduated from England High."
"Well good for you. My name is Mike Moore. OK? I'm not from here."
We asked Police Chief Danna Powell about the video.
"The people that brought that video forward - we're investigating it,” say Chief Powell. “It's still under investigation, and at some point we'll get the final disposition."
We showed the video to Pastor David Drayer of Word of Faith Christian Church in England.
"The guy that he was harassing, I know the fella,” says Pastor Drayer. “He grew up here all his life. And he's saying this is my town and get out of my city. It's not his city, you know. He come in already, you know, with the wrong kind of attitude. Because where there is unity there is strength, and that is the last thing we need."
England is a town of just under 2,800 people. The latest census estimates the population is about 65 percent white and 33 percent black. Pastor Drayer says pastors of all races have been working to unite the community recently and that viral videos like the one currently being reviewed by the police department does not help foster unity.
"We haven't been having no gang activity,” says Pastor Drayer. “I mean, he say I'm from the big city. So, he might need to go back to the big city. He mentioned gang wars in our city. I don't know y'all. I know everybody. How you know everybody and you just got to our city. You don't know me. I'm a pastor. I'm a leader here and you don't even know me. You don't know my name. So I am just hoping that they take care of this situation because, you know, we try to get along with everybody in the community and I just hope that they deal with this situation before it gets out of hand, out of control."
"England is a friendly town and anyone that wants to come here is welcome here," says Chief Powell.
Chief Powell was not comfortable sharing anything about Officer Moore's previous law enforcement experience or if he has been working or has been on leave during this investigation.
England's Mayor Danny Maynard has also been advised by counsel not to comment until the investigation is final.