Wilkes-Barre body cam footage released after accused alleges racial profiling
0:00 - Body cam 1
20:18 - Body cam 2
1:00:14 - Body cam 3
The mayor of Wilkes-Barre has just released police body camera footage from a traffic stop, that has one Luzerne County woman accusing a city police officer of inappropriate conduct.
Darlene Duggins-Magdalinski said the officer racially profiled her at a traffic stop, but police said these accusations are baseless.
Both parties requested the release of the tape, saying it would corroborate their stories.
“We have license plate readers that have a hit on your plate as being expired and suspended," said a Wilkes-Barre city police officer in the video as he pulls over Fatira Duggins and Darlene Duggins-Magdalinski at a traffic stop in Wilkes-Barre on August 13.
53-year-old Duggins-Magdalinski, who is the chairwoman of the city police advisory committee, said she was racially profiled on the traffic stop.
Police disputed all claims, saying officer Dan Duffy acted courteously and that it was Duggins-Magdalinski who acted inappropriately.
Footage showed the officer allow Duggins-Magdalinski to search for proof of insurance, he then discovered her daughter Fatira Duggins who was driving the vehicle had a warrant out for her arrest.
“I have to take you I don’t have a choice I don’t have to cite you for your suspended license I’m not going to I won’t take you in front of your child," said the police officer in the footage.
The tape then showed Duggins-Magdalinski getting emotional.
“They keep doing this to me. I don’t understand, why they keep doing this to me," said Fatira Duggins.
"We do really need to resolve this. I don’t know if you guys know who I am," said Duggins-Magdalinski who adds she will make it a big deal.
Footage showed an exchange between the officer and Duggins-Magdalinski:
“This is a real simple thing here this is a traffic stop and there is a warrant You can make a major thing out of this as much as you want," said the officer.
"What do you mean by that," asked Duggins-Magdalinski.
"If you can’t pull your insurance up, I am going to call a tow truck and tow your car," said the officer.
"Don’t make threats about my car," said Duggins-Magdalinski.
Footage then showed that the officers ultimately call a tow truck and remove the license plate after Duggins-Magdalinski fails to show the insurance documents.
“You’re going to receive citations for vehicle violations and vehicle code violations. You have a suspended driver driving your car, you have an unregistered vehicle, you have no proof of insurance, you have a suspended plate, and you have tinted windows," said the police officer.
Duggins-Magdalinski then accused the officer of messing with her, saying she'd have him fired. She says she plans to make a complaint and have all footage reviewed, which is exactly what she did.
In that complaint Duggins-Magdalinski says Duffy was "trying to prove he was in control" and unnecessarily "ruling the situation."
The Wilkes-Barre Police Benevolent Association disputed all claims, saying that it was Duggins-Magdalinski who acted inappropriately. In a statement they said Duggins-Magdalinski attempted to use her position on the Police Advisory Committee to get out of the stop, eventually threatening police and using obscenities when unsuccessful.
Wilkes-Barre mayor George Brown said the investigation is in the final stages, once completed he will request a meeting with the police advisory committee without Duggins-Magdalinski .
Duggins-Magdalinski told us she believes the tape will substantiate her claims.
The police asked for Duggins-Magdalinski to be removed from the police advisory committee.