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Racial slur not heard on video released by Fayetteville police
[May 25, 2012]

Racial slur not heard on video released by Fayetteville police


May 25, 2012 (The Fayetteville Observer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- No racial slur could be heard in a recording of a Fayetteville traffic stop released Thursday.

Jermor Simmons, 32, of Fayetteville filed a complaint with the Police Department on Wednesday that accused Officer Eddie Ketchum of using a slur and having an "attitude" during the stop.

The City Council took the unusual step Wednesday to approve the release of the roughly 15-minute video in response to Simmons' allegation. Police Chief Tom Bergamine said Ketchum did nothing improper.

The Police Department is continuing to investigate the complaint, Assistant Chief Katherine Bryant said Thursday.

A camera mounted in the police car recorded video and audio of the traffic stop Monday off Raeford Road. Ketchum tells Simmons he should have registered his car with North Carolina after moving from Virginia. Simmons disputes that anything is wrong with his license plate or registration, according to the video.



"What is your name, by the way?" Simmons asks.

"Ketchum," the officer says.


"You are kind of implying I'm doing something, and I'm telling you I didn't do it," Simmons says.

Ketchum doesn't respond. After a few moments, Ketchum walks back to his cruiser, telling Simmons, "All right, I'll be right back with you." In the police cruiser, Ketchum can be heard talking to another officer who asks how Simmons acted.

"Oh, no, he's straight-up a butthead," Ketchum tells the officer, and later uses a similar but stronger term to describe Simmons. "He's definitely not a very nice guy." Simmons said in an email that there appear to be missing frames in the video. He reiterated his claim that police are covering something up.

Police officials said they did not redact any portion of the recording released to the public. Ketchum gave him a citation for failing to register his vehicle and for not properly securing Simmons' 5-year-old daughter, who was in a car seat in the back seat.

Afterward, according to the video, Ketchum gets back into his cruiser and tells the other officer that Simmons was mad.

Staff writer Andrew Barksdale can be reached at barksdalea@fayobserver.com or 486-3565.

___ (c)2012 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.) Visit The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.) at www.fayobserver.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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