Fayetteville officer accused of using racial slur

May 24, 2012 1:16:25 PM PDT
A motorist claims a Fayetteville police office used a racial slur during a traffic stop. The incident was captured on video.

Thirty-two-year-old Jermor Simmons, who is black, filed a complaint Wednesday alleging the officer, E.R. Ketchum, who is white, used the epithet after he was stopped Monday on Alamance Drive, near Raeford Road.

Simmons said he was initially stopped for not wearing his seat belt. However, the officer quickly started focusing on his Virginia license plate.

On the video, Ketchum can be heard speaking to Simmons: "How you doing sir. Officer Ketchum, Fayetteville Police Department. Have your driver's license on you? This you car? What's up with them licenses plate man?"

Simmons said they are valid antique tags issued by Virginia, but Ketchum couldn't confirm that the tags were real.

"Basically, he's saying they wouldn't come... So he made it seem like I just threw them on the vehicle," said Simmons. "That's what his words were. He said I threw them on the vehicle and I just can't ride around like that."

The exchange between Ketchum and Simmons became a little heated. That's when Simmons said Ketchum used the "n-word."

"He said, (slur) you can't just go and screw them on the car," said Simmons.

Wednesday night, Fayetteville City Council voted to release the dash cam video of the stop. It showed the officer did use an "n" word, but it doesn't sound like a racial slur.

Ketchum: "Now... what would make you believe you could just throw tags on the back of a car and call it an antique vehicle without a VIN number or registrations."

Simmons: "I didn't throw tags on it."

Ketchum: "Those aren't issued by the state of Virginia.

Simmons: "Yes they are."

Simmons stands by his claim that what he heard was a racial slur. Investigators are still looking into the complaint.

Click here to watch the entire dashcam video.

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