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Maryland Police Chief Claims Officer ‘Misspoke’ After Referencing ‘Black Bad Guy’ In Children’s K-9 Lesson

Prince George’s County police chief has apologized on behalf of an officer who remarked about a “black bad guy” in teaching how the K-9 unit at the department works to a group of children last week.

In a YouTube video, Chief Hank Stawinski apologized for officer’s “unfortunate” choice of words.

The apology comes after video shared across social media of the unnamed officer explaining to children how a K-9 dog works “if a bad Black guy is running and he drops his cell phone.” He goes on to explain that dogs can pick up human odors on the items, helping police to find suspects.

Department spokeswoman Jennifer Donelan said the presentation was part of a community event attended by 75 to 100 locals. The event was live-streamed via Facebook but Donelan said no one caught the officer’s remark at the time. The video was later removed from the department’s page.

In his message, Stawinski said the officer, who’s a dog handler in the department’s K-9 unity, simply “misspoke” and is “very troubled by the response that this has elicited in comparison to his record of service” to the community.

“This community doesn’t expect us to be perfect,” the police chief said. “But it does expect us to acknowledge when we made a mistake and that’s what I’m doing today.”

“On behalf of that officer and this institution I apologize to this community for that unfortunate remark,” Stawinski continued. “I want you to know that his remark does not represent who that officer is and it does not represent what this institution stands for.”

The chief’s apology drew plenty of angry responses from critics online.

“Apologie’s not accepted!” one viewer wrote. “We don’t believe it doesn’t represent who he is or you are! We want corrective action taken. He’s your buddy on the blue wall; so we can see why you are taking up for him.”

“That was not a mistake. He did not misspeak,” someone else chimed in. “NEVER ONCE in my life have I ever said BLACK when I meant BAD. But that’s the problem, in his head the two are the same. You know it, I know it, and now the world knows it.”

According to NBC Washington, the department has faced claims of racial discrimination in the past. It was earlier this year that over 120 officers signed a complaint with the Justice Department accusing agency leaders of fostering a racist and unfair work environment.

All officers have undergone anti-bias training in the last several months.

The officer involved remains unidentified and it’s unclear if he’ll face any disciplinary action.

Watch more in the clip below.

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