TIMMONSVILLE, S.C. – A man identified as the president of the Timmonsville NAACP chapter said in a Facebook post that he was racially profiled by a Timmonsville police officer. A body cam video provided by the Timmonsville Police Department contradicts his claims.
The Rev. Jerrod Moultrie, whose Facebook page says he is still the chapter’s president, posted on April 13 that he was racially profiled by a Timmonsville officer because he was “driving a Mercedes Benz and going home in a nice neighborhood.” It is unclear what Timmonsville neighborhood he was referring to.
In the post, Moultrie recapped his conversation with the officer during a traffic stop that occurred on April 12. He said the officer stopped him for failure to use a turn signal and then asked if he had drugs in his car.
After being asked for his license and registration, Moultrie said in the post, he opened the “glove box” in his car and told the officer, “This is a new car I just purchased and all I have is bill of sale insurance card and registration from car I am transferring tags.”
According to Moultrie’s post, the officer then says “Ok, where you work and who car is this and why you in this neighborhood.” Moultrie tells the officer where his house is located and that he is a pastor, the post said. The officer responds by saying, “And I am the Bill Gates,” according to Moultrie’s Facebook post.
Moultrie continues his recount of the interaction by saying the officer again questions him about why he is in that specific neighborhood in Timmonsville. And after reviewing his information, the officer supposedly tells Moultrie that his tags are registered to another vehicle and he should not drive the car until he gets the situation straightened with the DMV. Moultrie said the officer told him he was doing him a favor for not taking him to jail or writing him a ticket.
“This officer thought he had some drugs or something cause since when 2 patrol car stops one car on a turn signal issue,” Moultrie said in the post. “Guess I can’t be a pastor and can’t drive a Mercedes Benz and live in a nice neighborhood. Well you know as president of Timmonsville NAACP he stop the wrong car tonight cause someone needs to answer for this behavior…”
Moultrie’s post was later removed from Facebook.
In the body cam video, Officer Chris Miles tells Moultrie that the reason he came in contact with him is due to him not signaling when he made a right turn.
“That’s the only reason I’m coming in contact with you, OK?” Miles said in the video.
There was no mention of drugs in the body cam video. Miles did not question Moultrie about why he was in that particular neighborhood or make any mention of Bill Gates. He did suggest for Moultrie to not drive the car until he gets proper documentation because the registration came back to a 1992 GMC truck instead of a Mercedes car.