Jamar Mackey, an innocent Black man who was handcuffed by Virginia Beach Police while eating with his family at a mall on December 19, has publicly come forward after the incident, according to local news.
"I cannot tell you the trauma suffered by my son, who asks with confusion, 'why are they arresting you, Dad?'" Mackey told WAVY/WFXR. "My family deals with this, and I hope no other fathers and sons have to endure this drama and trauma."
Jamar Mackey, a Black man who was mistakenly handcuffed in front of his family at a Virginia Beach, Virginia, mall on December 19, told local news that he hopes "no more families have to endure the indignities of minding your business while being Black."
Mackey told a reporter with local news outlet WAVY/WFXR how his family is coping with the "trauma" and confusion after the incident last weekend.
"I cannot tell you the trauma suffered by my son, who asks with confusion, 'why are they arresting you, Dad?'" Mackey told the news station. "My family deals with this, and I hope no other fathers and sons have to endure this drama and trauma."
—Andy Fox (@AndyFoxWAVY) December 23, 2020
A five-minute video of the incident posted on Facebook shows Mackey getting escorted out of a food court in Lynnhaven Mall by Virginia Beach Police in front of his family without giving him a reason why. When the officers realized they misidentified Mackey, they released him, apologized, and explained the confusion to the family.
"We got a description of someone that was using stolen credit cards, OK. That person is a Black male with dreads and was wearing all black and was with a boy that was wearing red," an officer says in the video.
The Virginia Beach Police Department was widely criticized on social media, including by the local NAACP chapter, which opened its own investigation into the incident. The video even sparked protests at the mall where Mackey was handcuffed.
"First and foremost, we understand that this was a traumatic event so we'll like to take this opportunity to extend our apologies to Mr. Mackey," Chief Neudigate said. "No one wants to be handcuffed in front of his family, in front of the public, and like the officer did on Saturday we apologize for the discomfort that was caused in this incident."
The policies and procedures within the department will also be analyzed, Neudigate said.
The Virginia Beach Police Department did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Mackey's fiance, Shantel Covil- who witnessed him getting detained and can be heard in the video- told TMZ that "the apology was not enough."
"You did something so much bigger than you guys even realize," Covil told TMZ. "Watching the Chief of police statement yesterday.. honestly I feel like he spoke because it's a national matter now."
Mackey's attorney told WAVY/WFXR it is not currently clear whether or not they will pursue a lawsuit.
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