CONCORD, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A former NFL player claims he was unfairly treated by police and profiled while minding his business at Concord Mills Mall, in North Carolina.
Victor Hampton, who attended high school in Darlington and played at the University of South Carolina, said it took place last week while he was putting some items in a car after shopping with a friend.
Before heading back into the mall to watch a movie, he said he heard the voice of an officer.
“The first thing he yelled was ‘yo’ like very loud,” Hampton said. “There were people walking in the same vicinity as us, so we didn’t think he was speaking to us. So initially we were kind of confused.”
Concord police were in the parking lot looking at a possible stolen vehicle, according to Hampton. The pair kept walking and the officer yelled again, “Yo, ya’ll, stop. Where are ya’ll going?” Hampton said.
Hampton started recording the back and forth after five minutes of the officer following him.
In the video, you hear the officer telling the pair why he was following them: “Because you were in the area of a stolen car,” the officer said.
“How many people in the area of a stolen car,” Hampton replied.
The officer asked them for their ID, which they denied, and Hampton said he continued to feel profiled because he didn’t do anything.
“If you do not stop, you’re going to jail,” the officer says in the video. “Take me to jail,” Hampton said.
Days later, Hampton is still wondering why the situation got to that point.
“Why are we even suspects of a stolen car?, he said. “For one, where is the car? Who are you looking for sir? He couldn’t tell us who he was looking for.”
The video appears to confirm his claim. You can hear the woman ask the officer about the suspect he is looking for.
“What does the person look like?” she said. “I don’t know,” the officer said.
The officer tried to arrest the couple and take the phone from the woman. Concord police released a statement to Queen City News saying the department would release another statement after an internal review of the incident.
“Concord PD strives to meet the highest standards of community policing and earn the public’s trust through transparency and accountability, which is why we’re currently conducting an internal review,” The the statement said.
Hampton wants more than a review. He said he has had nightmares since the incident and he says all he could think about during the altercation was don’t go to the ground.
“I didn’t want to be on the ground with them because I knew. Hey, we seen George Floyd and what happens on the ground right,” he said. “I’m not going to the ground. I got to a point where I said ‘listen, because I don’t want to die today, you can cuff me.”
The full recorded video from Hampton can be watched below.