A Philadelphia police officer was relegated to desk duty after getting caught on video threatening to impound a man’s car unless he bought tickets to a department fundraiser.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Chief Charles Ramsey ordered that Officer Matthew Zagursky’s gun be taken away from him after seeing footage of Zagursky’s actions during a traffic stop.
“You and your friend got any money to buy these thrill show tickets? Support your police department? Ten bucks each, man,” Zagursky tells the driver. “Either you buy these, or I take your car. ‘Cause it’s unregistered. Ten bucks each, man.”
As the driver begins getting money together, Zagursky asks, “You got any kids? You got any sweetheart?”
The driver replies, “Yeah. I’d rather take my girl than this guy,” and motions toward the passenger.
“You don’t want to look like two fruitcakes, you know,” Zagursky replies. The video shows the officer repeatedly making anti-LGBT comments, like describing the driver’s windshield wipers as “f*ggot-ass.”
“Breast cancer man,” the driver says. “My grandmom went through it.”
“Breast cancer I can understand, but can’t you support breast cancer another way?” Zagursky asks. “You look like you’re a fruitcake, you know, what the hell?”
When Zagursky asks for $30, the driver balks, saying, “I don’t wanna take this guy,” in reference to the passenger.
“Let him buy it, too,” the officer replies. “Or else I’ll take his sh*t.”
Zagursky was apparently cajoling the driver into buying tickets to the “Hero Thrill Show,” an October event which raises funds for the children of deceased officers and firefighters to be able to go to college. The officer will remain on desk duty pending the results of an internal affairs investigation.
“”It’s just stupid,” Ramsey told WCAU-TV. “It’s just not good at all. There’s nothing about the stop that’s good. Period. And I’m not going to even remotely try to justify any of it.”
Watch footage of the encounter, as posted by the Inquirer, below.
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