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Gulfport Police Chief responds to racial accusations against officers

Photo courtesy of the Gulfport Police Department

On October 29th, Gulfport Police officers made a stop after receiving a call about a potential break-in at a residence earlier that night. Officers pulled over a maroon SUV, which was described by witnesses as the vehicle the alleged robbers drove off in. The SUV was driven by Kelvin Fairley. At the time of the incident, Fairley was with his wife, two children, and his nephew.

The officers on the scene learned that the home in question, was in fact, Fairley’s Gulfport home and they had recently gotten into town from California where they now live. Footage of the scene shows Fairley explaining that he and his family were bug bombing the house, and that no lights were turned on because the power is out, due to the fact that they are not currently living there. Officers worked to resolve the situation, and during that time a gun was drawn.

While the body cam footage released showed the situation ended peacefully, Fairley posted on Facebook later that night claiming that he had been racially profiled. The post can be read below.

“Wow well I haven’t been in Gulfport 6 hours and already had my whole family held at gun point by punk a** GPD officers! As I’m being told,”shut the f**k up, turn around, and stop asking questions,” while being hand cuffed and thrown into the back of a police car for no reason and watching these racist f*****g b******s with their guns drawn on my wife and kids and refusing to even tell me why they even stopped us in the first place I felt more anger than I ever have before in my life! As I heard one say watch the big one as he was referring to my 16 year old son my heart literally stopped for a second. I know that a lot of you will question if they had a reason to do this or even if I’m exaggerating the story. The reason you think this way is because you can’t relate to this! You never worry about this happening to you or your kids! This is the reason the football players kneel! You can believe what you want but we all know that this would never have happened if I was white! All of you know that I’m not racist so if you think I’m being a mean racist for saying this after this happened to my family for absolutely nothing then #F**KYou

Unfriend me on social media and real life! It’s cool I don’t need anybody that thinks this is ok in my life! By the way in case you don’t know my kids are 16,12,&9 and I also had my 12 year old nephew with me! I guess it’s ok to hold kids at gun point too as long as they are black! Then these b*****s have the nerve to tell my wife,”it was a misunderstanding but at least you got a good adrenaline rush!”?”

Fairley later posted a video of a confrontation at the GPD headquarters.

Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania released a video stating that he was disappointed in how the incident was handled at the headquarters, saying that the officer became defensive and failed to exercise the proper demeanor toward someone who has been through a traumatic situation. In regards to the traffic stop, Papania said that his officers acted consistently with their responsibilities. In the press conference, Papania asked that his remarks not be cut or presented on their own. The video can be seen in its entirety below. (Body cam footage of the incident begins at 13:08)

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