Department takes corrective action with officer accused of wrongfully detaining man at Concord Mills

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The Concord Police Department has took corrective actions with an officer after a man said he was wrongfully detained outside Concord Mills mall on May 19. Police were investigating a possible stolen car in the area.

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“An officer responding to a report of a stolen vehicle fell short of these standards during his interaction with two individuals outside the Concord Mills Mall on Thursday,” officials with the police department stated Friday in a news release.

Concord police are conducting an internal investigation into the incident, which was caught on video from the man’s cellphone.

Victor Hampton, a former player for the Baltimore Ravens, said he would file a formal complaint the following Monday.

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Hampton said he and his friend noticed a police presence near a damaged car in the parking lot last week and said an officer started following them.

“The first thing he asked us is, ‘Where are y’all going?’ It wasn’t an interaction of, ‘Hey guys. We had something going on out here. Have you guys seen something?’ It was, ‘Where are you all going?’ And, ‘What are you doing?’ So I’m already on the defensive,” Hampton said.

Hampton said there were other people nearby, and he felt like he was being targeted, so he took out his phone and started recording.

“I didn’t understand, why us,” he said. “I don’t want to say the racial stuff, of course, but what other reason could it be.”

Things began to escalate when Hampton refused to show his ID. He said eventually, the officer put him and his girlfriend in handcuffs.

The video Hampton took stopped before he said it got physical, claiming the officer roughed them up while detaining them.

“I was scared. People said you should have stopped, you should have stopped. Well, I did stop the first four or five minutes,” Hampton said.

While Hampton was speaking with Paul, police called Hampton to get his side of the story and let him know that they were investigating the incident.

“These types of mistakes can’t happen. We’re all going through all this racial stuff these days. As a young African, Black male, our antennas are always up when it comes to police interactions,” Hampton said.

“Concord PD acknowledges and regrets the impact of this incident on the individuals involved and the entire Concord community, and will continue to work to build positive relationships and establish mutual trust and respect through accountability and transparency,” police said in a news release.

Concord police explained in the news release about what happened that day.

In February 2022, Flock Safety cameras were installed around the mall to enhance community safety. The automated license plate reading cameras are meant to help police identify stolen vehicles and vehicles linked to crimes. The cameras also send alerts on vehicles linked to an active Amber Alert or Silver Alert to help police find people.

READ MORE: License-plate readers added at Concord Mills to monitor criminal activity

On May 19, police got a notification of a stolen vehicle at the mall.

Officers got there to investigate and walked up to two people in the area of the stolen vehicle.

The officer thought he had probable cause to arrest for resisting, delaying and/or obstructing a law enforcement officer.

An on-scene supervisor intervened and determined probable cause did not exist and that detention was not reasonable.

The supervisor suggested that Hampton file a complaint with the police department and gave him the contact information, police said.

Senior officials at the department spoke with Hampton and his friend to “express concern and gain an understanding of the incident from their perspective,” the news release stated. The experience of the individuals was an instructive part of the departmental review and police leadership has taken appropriate corrective action with the officer involved.

The police department did not specify the corrective action against the police officer.

Concord Police Department’s full statement:

The City of Concord Police Department strives to achieve the highest standards of professional conduct in policing and deliver exceptional and reliable service to the community. An officer responding to a report of a stolen vehicle fell short of these standards during his interaction with two individuals outside the Concord Mills Mall on Thursday, May 19, 2022. The on-scene supervisor appropriately intervened and the department began a thorough internal review immediately following the incident, and has taken corrective actions with the responding officer. Concord PD acknowledges and regrets the impact of this incident on the individuals involved and the entire Concord community, and will continue to work to build positive relationships and establish mutual trust and respect through accountability and transparency.

In February 2022, Flock Safety cameras were installed in the area of Concord Mills Mall to enhance community safety. The automated license plate reading cameras help police identify stolen vehicles and vehicles linked to crimes, and also send alerts for vehicles linked to an active Amber Alert or Silver Alert to assist police in quickly locating missing persons.

On Thursday, May 19, 2022, Concord PD received a Flock Safety notification of a stolen vehicle at Concord Mills Mall. A responding officer trying to determine who was connected to the stolen vehicle approached two individuals in the area of the stolen vehicle. During contact with the individuals, the officer believed at the time that he had probable cause to arrest for resist, delay, and/or obstructing a law enforcement officer. An on-scene supervisor intervened and determined probable cause did not exist, detention was not reasonable based on the facts available, and acted appropriately to correct the situation. The supervisor explained to the individuals the complaint process, should they elect to file a complaint, and provided contact information for the department.

“Following the incident, Concord PD initiated a thorough internal review in accordance with department protocol. During this review, senior police leadership contacted both individuals involved to express concern and gain an understanding of the incident from their perspective. The experience of the individuals was an instructive part of the departmental review and police leadership has taken appropriate corrective action with the officer involved.”

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