Man wrongfully detained in viral Virginia Beach mall video grateful for support after incident

Posted at 5:24 PM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 17:24:46-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The man seen in the viral video of Virginia Beach Police detaining him outside Lynnhaven Mall over the weekend speaks for the first time after the viral incident.

Jamar Mackey and his fiancée, the woman who recorded the video, says they are grateful that things didn't end up differently after police put him in handcuffs Saturday afternoon while eating with his family in the food court.

Officers admitted to having the "wrong man," saying Mackey matched the description of another Black man with dreads they were looking for who was using stolen credit cards.

Since the video surfaced, leaders including Rep. Elaine Luria, Councilman Aaron Rouse and the NAACP have called out the video, saying it was "unacceptable.”

"Everybody who reached out - from Australia to the rest of the world - I appreciate all the support and everybody who stands with me who knows that this still goes on, especially in Virginia Beach,” Mackey said.

When asked if Mackey would be filing a lawsuit against the Virginia Beach Police Department, his attorney says they are still looking at everything and taking in all the information. He also said someone with the Internal Affairs department asked to interview Mackey, but he said his client will not be speaking with them.

Police Chief Paul Neudigate did apologize to Mackey during a separate press conference on Monday, calling the event "traumatic."

This incident is still under investigation.