A police officer reportedly referred to an African-American man as a "black moron" in a recent Facebook posting (video below).
The controversy stems from a video in which the African-American man, Philip Turner, was confronted by Galveston Police Sgt. Archie Chapman in Texas in November 2015.
In the filmed incident, Chapman told Turner he was being detained for suspicious behavior, and repeatedly asked Turner to identify himself, but Turner refused.
Chapman eventually arrested Turner for failing to identifying himself. Turner told Chapman that in Texas you can only be charged for failing to identifying yourself after you've been arrested, not before.
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Criminal charges were dropped against Turner, but charges were filed against Chapman for criminal trespassing related to an illegal search of Turner’s car -- after Turner's arrest, reports Photography Is Not A Crime.
Chapman, who is scheduled to go on trial on Jan. 18, received support from the local police union, the Galveston Municipal Police Association, which wrote a statement on Facebook on Jan. 13:
In light of the many recent deadly attacks on law enforcement and concerned for the safety of his fellow officers, deputies and jail staff who work in the adjacent building, Sergeant Chapman detained and attempted to identify the individual. The subject refused to identify himself and was subsequently arrested. Only after retrieving the subject's driver's license from his vehicle was Sergeant Chapman able to identify the subject.
It was soon discovered that the subject was an activist with alleged ties to the black lives matter movement who travels the country provoking law enforcement into similar situations.
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In an utterly shameful and alarming turn of events the Galveston County District Attorney's Office, led by District Attorney Jack Roady, dropped all charges against the individual and instead chose to pursue charges against Sergeant Chapman for Criminal Trespass arising from the alleged "search" of the subject's vehicle.
Sergeant Chapman was subsequently indicted by a grand jury and faces up to 180 days in jail, a $2,000 fine and loss of his peace officer's license (as well as an end to his 14 year law enforcement career) if convicted.
The Galveston Municipal Police Association is asking both our members and the public to show your support for Sergeant Chapman during this time. Trial is open to the public and your attendance is welcome.
Turner posted a video response on Facebook on Jan. 16 in which he denied being part of Black Lives Matter, which is not a criminal offense, and identified himself as a journalist with Photography Is Not A Crime.
The Galveston Municipal Police Association posted a statement on Jan. 16 in which it referred to Turner as an "agitator":
As you might have noticed our page has been inundated with comments from affiliates of the same agitator whom Sergeant Chapman came into contact with.
On the date the incident occurred, these same individuals were responsible for an interruption of our 911 service by repeatedly placing calls to our call center and overwhelming our telecommunicators with disparaging remarks towards the Galveston Police Department and it's officers.
We hope their comments, many of which are disgusting and hate filled will serve as an example of the kind of abuse police officers must suffer daily and why we must not simply bow under pressure to appease these groups.
One of the responses to that Facebook posting came from Cary Homeyer, whom Photography Is Not A Crime identified as a police officer in Pearland, Texas:
The officer did what was right! Y'all scream racist or whatever but if he had legal right which I believe the did then that black moron was wrong!
Y'all don't know the law y'all just just scream cuz the squeaky wheel gets the grease! You come spend a day in our shoes I don't care what color u are you will see what's up!!!!
Homeyer has not issued any statements over his alleged Facebook posting.