Viral video: Darien officers question black man on bike
DARIEN — A video of a black man being pulled over while riding his bike to his job at the Tokeneke Country Club is going viral amidst national tension following a string of murders of black men by the police. Darien’s first selectman said the stop was part of police action to investigate a rash of recent break-ins.
A YouTube user going by Matthew McGee posted a series of videos to the site four days ago, showing him getting pulled over and questioned by police as he rides his bike in Darien. The third video, showing the officer calling for backup after McGee gives her his license, has now gotten over 31,000 views.
In the video, the officer says she stopped McGee because there’s been a string of burglaries in the area and asks him if he’s seen anything. After questioning him, the officer calls for backup and another cruiser can be seen approaching the scene.
“I’m just a hard working dude and this is what happens. Backup, down the street from my job! This is what I go through,” McGee tells the camera as he waits for the officers. The rest of the video shows him disputing the cause of his pullover.
“I’m safer in Bridgeport. I’m safer in the hood,” he says before the video ends.
An online petition has since surfaced, demanding an apology to McGee from the Darien Police and for the police to to participate in racial sensitivity training.
First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said she’s reviewed the YouTube clips several times and said the stop seen in the video was part of a larger neighborhood canvas investigating the burglaries in the area. “The officers have spoken to many people in that neighborhood, including the gentleman on the bike, regarding what, if anything, they may have seen on the day of the burglary,” Stevenson said.
“If this gentleman rides his bike via this route each day to and from his job, he may have seen something. From what little can be seen of our officer’s interactions with the gentleman, the interactions were very professional,” the first selectman added.