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‘You Don’t Even Know What You’re Talking About’: A Texas Police Captain Stopped a Black Academy Graduate Over Handicap Parking And Received an Unexpected Lesson on the Law  

Two Texas officers stopped a man leaving a 7-11 in the suburban Dallas-Fort Worth area, claiming he broke a parking law.

The man, a retired Black veteran and police academy graduate, not only proved the officers were wrong in their assessment and had no probable cause to approach him but videotaped the incident so the world could see the racial profiling in real-time.

You Don't Even Know What You're Talking About': A Texas Police Captain Stopped a Black Academy Graduate Over Handicap Parking And Received an Unexpected Lesson on the Law??
Joshua Police Department, Cpt. Scott Peters and Sgt. Shaun Fullagar (Michael McQueen Video Screengrab)

Michael McQueen, a former U.S. soldier, certified as disabled (with a license plate to support his injury), believes two members of the Joshua Police Department, Cpt. Scott Peters and Sgt. Shaun Fullagar, stopped him not because he was illegally parked in a handicapped parking spot, as they originally claimed, but because he was Black. 

He started to videotape the cops after they stopped him as he came out of the convenience store. 

“Can we see some ID?” Peters is heard asking at the beginning of the clip.

“What for?” McQueen asks. “What’s your probable cause to ask me for my ID?”

Peters and Fullagar directed McQueen’s attention to the handicap sign. The African-American re-directed the badges to look at his disabled military license plate.

“It does not have a handicap placard,” Peters barks back.

“Read the plate. You don’t even know what you’re talking about. DV … That’s disabled veteran plates. We can park in handicapped spots,” McQueen informs. 

The officer repeats his orders to see some identification, but McQueen is clear on his rights, and he continues to state, “you have no probable cause,” adding, “you’re going down a bad road here.”

After noticing McQueen has the right to park in the spot, Peters shifts his attention to his outfit, saying “I have never seen anybody wear a Police Academy uniform after graduation.”  

Quickly McQueen says, “That’s your business. I wear it all the time … to do my training. Because I’m a graduate I can wear the uniform.”

In addition to McQueen wearing his uniform, he has a fully loaded duty belt with a .357 S.I.G Glock 32 on the side.

“Are you certified as a peace officer?” Peters asks.

“Of course, I have my certification,” McQueen says before telling the officers to check him out with state authorities.

The Houston Chronicle notes the incident happened on Sunday, May 22, but the over nine-minute-footage of the altercation was posted on Facebook over a week later on Monday, May 30. After someone posted it on the social media platforms Reddit and TikTok, he has gone viral, placing a spotlight on the JPD and the force’s issues with diversity.

In the video, McQueen consistently references the problems JPD has had with race, even challenging a junior cop to answer how many Black officers they have on the force.

When the red-headed young officer replies “one,” McQueen taunts that the African-American officer might not be there much longer — poking the department also for a big scandal that shook up the force a few years back.

While the men originally stopped him because he was in a handicap-accessible spot, at the core of the conflict is McQueen’s choice to wear the uniform from the academy while not officially working in law enforcement.

The captain and sergeant tried to bully McQueen into giving him biographical information and to justify why he was wearing the wardrobe. He stood firm, citing his rights and telling them to do the proper procedure and contact the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) to verify or access all of the information they were looking for.

Founded in 1965, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement is a regulatory state agency established to enforce standards in law enforcement. It regulates the people of Texas the training and is the measuring stick for ethical law enforcement, corrections, and telecommunications personnel.

All of McQueen’s documentation (including his police academy graduation records and peace officer certification) is stored in the agency’s central database.

Minutes after confronting McQueen, Peters got on the phone with TCOLE officials to vet the man’s credentials. It is determined that everything McQueen said about his credentialing was true. 

McQueen says to Fullagar when the information comes back to them, “You’re feeling small now aren’t you? You shouldn’t run up on people. You have no probable cause.”

Peters tried to discredit McQueen’s certification, saying it was expired. 

“I’m a graduate and I have TCOLE certification,” he continued to affirm. “So, I don’t care what he says… You want it to be expired because you see brown skin.”

This seems to make Peter more upset, particularly with McQueen calling him on what he believes is an underlying racial bias. He tells the officer, “we are supposed to be on the same side.” Peter says, “No, we are not.”

As the officers huff off, McQueen can be heard making one last dig, “So, take a walk … the walk of shame. Yeah, the walk of shame. And don’t run up on me again. Don’t ever you run up on me again, do you understand.”

“And learn the law!”

McQueen says he “only decided to put them on blast” because of how Cpt. Peters responded when he said they were on the same side.

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