OWINGS MILLS, Md. (WJZ) — A black city school principal is sharing his story after he said he was threatened and humiliated by a white Baltimore County police officer while watching an arrest.
Vance Benton said he and his 15-year-old son saw what appeared to be an argument between two young people in Owings Mills, and when Benton walked back to watch the young man’s interaction with police, an officer walked up to him and ordered him to move.
Benton said he refused because he wasn’t in the way, and when he asked the officer for his badge number, he said he got this response.
“So as I leaned over to see his name tag, he then asked me, ‘Can you even read?'” Benton said.
Benton said the officer made other insulting comments, including suggesting his son would be arrested one day.
Baltimore County Police allowed Benton to watch the officer’s body camera footage, he said, and confirmed the officer acted unprofessionally.
When the incident was first reported in July, police said they were investigating, but a department spokesperson said Tuesday the body camera footage will not be publicly released at this point.
Despite that, councilman Julian Jones wants the public to see it.
“I think everyday police officers go out and do a great job, and when one of them does something we are not proud of, I think we should release the video footage,” Jones said.
Benton, the principal at Patterson High School in Baltimore, said his request to meet with the officer was denied.
“How can this officer understand the depths of his actions that are engrained? This is not the first time. So how can he even be restored if he doesn’t have to face someone that he caused harm to?” Benton asked.
The police department did not immediately confirm whether the officer in question was being disciplined, but Benton said he was.
Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said she is taking the incident and investigation seriously.
More information is expected to be released Wednesday.