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Body camera footage appears to contradict NAACP president's account of racial profiling by police

Image taken from body camera video showing Timmonsville Police's traffic stop of JJ Moultrie. (Source: Timmonsville Police) Image taken from body camera video showing Timmonsville Police's traffic stop of JJ Moultrie. (Source: Timmonsville Police)
Copy of a Facebook post by JJ Moultrie alleging racial profiling by the officer who stopped him in April. (Source: Timmonsville Police) Copy of a Facebook post by JJ Moultrie alleging racial profiling by the officer who stopped him in April. (Source: Timmonsville Police)

TIMMONSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – The President of the Timmonsville NAACP is coming under fire after body camera footage released by Timmonsville Police appears to contradict a Facebook post he made last month alleging that he was racially profiled by the officer who stopped him.

On April 13, JJ Moultrie posted to Facebook: “TONIGHT I WAS RACIALLY PROFILED By Timmonsville Officer CAUSE I WAS DRIVING A MERCEDES BENZ AND GOING HOME IN A NICE NEIGHBORHOOD.”

Moultrie then recounted the traffic stop, alleging that the officer immediately said to him: “I am stopped you cause you fail to put on a turn signal and do you have any drugs in the car.”

A copy of Moultrie’s Facebook post, which has since been deleted, was provided by Timmonsville police, who also provided a copy of the body camera video of the officer who stopped Moultrie.

The footage shows that the officer made no mention of drugs, and appears to conflict with Moultrie's account of racial profiling and misconduct by the officer.

The traffic stop between Moultrie and Timmonsville Police Officer Chris Miles lasts roughly four minutes.

Miles, on video: "Hey how are you? I'm alright I'm officer Miles with the Timmonsville police department. Got your license, registration and proof of insurance on you?" 

Moultrie transcribed how he believed the conversation went with the officer, saying he first asked the officer, “Hello sir, how can I help you?” 

In his post, he also claimed the officer asked if he had drugs in the car, asked whose car it was and why he was in the neighborhood.

Moultrie said he told the officer he was a pastor and the officer replied with, “And I guess I am the Bill Gates.” The motorist said he asked to speak to the officer's supervisor.

The dash cam video contradicts those claims.

Miles: "Alright, the reason I am coming in contact with you is whenever you took the left right there you didn't signal. OK that's the only reason why I am coming in contact with you, OK? Sit tight for me, OK?"

The officer returns and suggests that Moultrie not drive the Mercedes until he gets proper documentation, as the registration came back as a GMC truck instead.

Miles: "What I am saying is you have to make sure you have the proper registration to indicate that plate comes back to this motor vehicle, OK?”

Moultrie: "OK, I understand, but look I just bought the car the other day. I switched the tags."

Miles: "Well then you need to go to the DMV and ask how come it’s not registered in the state of state of South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. It is still coming back to the truck."

Moultrie"I understand that, but this is what I am telling you. I switched the tags from the truck to the car. They told me at DMV the dealer put that on there and told me it would be transferred. All I need to do is keep the registration in there."

Miles: "They told you wrong. You have to have the proper documentation in your motor vehicle that actually matches the car you are driving on South Carolina highways. They told you wrong, OK?"

Moultrie: "Alright."

After that, the officer sent Moultrie on his way.

Miles: "Alright, other than that here's your driver’s license and make sure you wear your seat belt when you're driving on South Carolina highways and drive safe."

Timmonsville Police Chief Billy Brown said when Moultrie reported the incident to him, he was so convincing, it had him believing it was true - until he saw the body cam footage.

WMBF News reached out to the president of the state chapter of the NAACP, Dr. Lonnie Randolph, for comment but have not heard back from him.

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