One of the problems with racism and people like former England, Arkansas, police officer Michael Moore is that they are ignorant. Being ignorant usually means you just don’t know things. But the problem with police officers who are ignorant is that they have guns and powers given to them by the state.
On Wednesday, England Police Chief Danna Powell announced that Michael Moore had been fired after an internal investigation into a video that surfaced at the end of July. The video was shot by two men, both of whom had grown up in the Arkansas town. Shannon Scribner and Demarcus Bunch were shooting a music video. Bunch told reporters that they noticed then-officer Moore following them the moment they rode into town. Moore continued to follow them as they shot their music video at a couple of locations, so Bunch and Scribner decided to confront Moore to find out what the deal was.
Scribner: How you doing? Scrib Scribner.
Moore: I’m Mike Moore.
Scribner: I’m Del Scribner’s nephew. We’re down here just trying to record a video. We just noticed you’ve been following us around.
Moore: You’re recording right now? You know why? You don’t belong in my city.
Scribner: How? We from here.
Moore: But you understand. I know who my people are, right? Who belongs here and who doesn’t? We’ve got gang wars going on and all kinds of stuff. And I come from the big city. But this stuff is small, okay? So that’s cool. Do your thing.
Scribner: You say we don’t belong in your city though?
Moore: Can I say something?
Moore: Okay … I have never seen you here before and I know almost everybody here.
Scribner: Man I grew up in 101. I graduated from England High.
Moore: Well good for you. My name is Mike Moore. Okay? I’m not from here.
“I’m not from here.” The interaction is so bizarre. The decision by England police to fire Moore seems to belie former officer Michael Moore’s whole story. Considering that police departments everywhere haven’t fired police officers for shooting black men doing absolutely nothing, the choice to fire Moore begs the question: why was this former “big city” officer, in England, Arkansas?
Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley said Moore was terminated from his position at the sheriff’s office prior to his employment at the England Police Department, where he was also fired.
“It is not a race issue, it is a personality issue. He was terminated from Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office because he couldn’t get along with other officers and other agencies,” Staley said.
A KATV report got a little more information about Moore’s career. He moves around a lot, it seems.
According to a Training History Report obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Officer Moore started his law enforcement career in Greenville, South Carolina – population approximately 67,000.
Moore also worked 10 months with the Simpsonville Police Department before moving to Arkansas in 2016.
At the age of 44, Moore was named rookie of the year by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office. He was a lieutenant supervising 20 community service officers before he left.
Pastor David Drayer, who knew Scribner and heads a church in the small town of 2,800 people, had this to say:
“We haven’t been having no gang activity,” says Pastor Drayer. “I mean, he say I’m from the big city. So, he might need to go back to the big city. He mentioned gang wars in our city. I don’t know y’all. I know everybody. How you know everybody and you just got to our city. You don’t know me. I’m a pastor. I’m a leader here and you don’t even know me. You don’t know my name. So I am just hoping that they take care of this situation because, you know, we try to get along with everybody in the community and I just hope that they deal with this situation before it gets out of hand, out of control.”
Bunch said that it took two weeks—and then, only after the video went viral—before he heard back from Police Chief Powell. He believes Powell should see some official censure as well for dragging his feet.