UNITED STATES NEWS

Philadelphia LGBTQ leaders arrested in traffic stop the mayor calls ‘concerning’

Mar 4, 2024, 11:47 AM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The arrest of two of Philadelphia’s LGBTQ leaders by a state trooper during a fraught highway traffic stop is “very concerning,” the city’s mayor said after a video showing some of what happened circulated on social media.

Celena Morrison leads the city’s Office of LGBT Affairs and is a top aide to Mayor Cherelle Parker. Morrison’s husband, Darius McLean, runs a community center. Both are Black, while the Pennsylvania state trooper appears to be white.

“I don’t know why he’s doing this,” McLean cries to his wife Saturday morning as she records him being handcuffed, lying on his side, on the shoulder of the elevated highway during a rainstorm. Cars pass by a few feet away.

“It’s ‘cause I’m Black,” McLean says.

“It’s not ’cause you’re Black,” replies the trooper, who leaves McLean handcuffed on the highway shoulder and then moves to arrest Morrison.

“Turn around! Give me your hands or you’re getting Tased!” the trooper tells her as she says she works for the mayor. She apparently drops the phone at that point, and the video shows only the gray sky above.

Both Morrison, 51, and McLean, 35, were detained on obstruction and resisting arrest charges after the 9 a.m. traffic stop. However, District Attorney Larry Krasner did not immediately file the charges while he investigates.

“A video circulating on social media that depicts a portion of the incident is very concerning to me,” the mayor said in a statement, adding that she will wait until the investigation concludes before saying more.

State police, which patrol the state highway that cuts through the city, declined to identify the trooper, but said he was put on restrictive duty Monday and will not be on patrol while the incident is investigated. The trooper’s patrol unit does not yet have body cameras, and the agency declined to release dashboard camera video.

In the cellphone video posted online, the trooper says he stopped Morrison for tailgating and not having lights on. McLean, chief operating officer of the William Way LGBT Community Center, apparently pulled over in a second vehicle and was arrested after allegedly arguing with the officer.

“Do you want to get tased? Put your hands behind your back!” the trooper shouts as he stands over him on the roadway.

“They are! They are!” McLean cries.

“I don’t know who you are so I don’t need someone rolling up on me,” the trooper says.

“That is my husband … That’s my husband, please,” Morrison can be heard saying out of view. “I work for the mayor. I work for the mayor.”

Morrison, who is transgender, has held the position since 2020, staying on when Parker took office in January.

Chris Bartlett, executive director of the William Way Center, called the traffic stop “unjust” in a post on the group’s social media site and said the center “was working with officials to remedy this terrible situation.”

United States News

FILE - An Amazon worker delivers packages in Los Angeles on Oct. 1, 2020. July sales events have be...

Associated Press

Amazon Prime Day deals are almost here. Should you take advantage of them?

NEW YORK (AP) — It’s summertime, and the bargains seem easy at a time when many consumer prices are high. July sales events have become a seasonal revenue driver for the retail industry since Amazon launched its first Prime Day back in 2015. While consumers may be enticed by the advertised can’t-miss savings on some […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Shooting kills 3 people including a young child in a car on an Alabama street

Three people including a young child were killed when their car was targeted with multiple gunshots outside a residence in Birmingham, Alabama, on Saturday evening. The Birmingham Police Department said in a social media post that a triple homicide investigation was underway in the 3400 Block of 27th Street North. The police said officers responded […]

5 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service a...

Associated Press

The Secret Service is investigating how a gunman who shot and injured Trump was able to get so close

The Secret Service is investigating how a gunman was able to get close enough to shoot at former President Donald Trump at a rally Saturday.

6 hours ago

Carlton Smith, left, and Justin Nimmo pose in from of the console of the Barton Opus 234 theater or...

Associated Press

Reviving Hollywood glamor of the silent movie era, experts piece together a century-old pipe organ

DETROIT (AP) — A massive pipe organ that underscored the drama and comedy of silent movies with live music in Detroit’s ornate Hollywood Theatre nearly a century ago was dismantled into thousands of pieces and stashed away. The Barton Opus, built in 1927, spent four decades stored in a garage, attic and basement in suburban […]

7 hours ago

FILE - Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, left, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator ...

Associated Press

Can a Medicaid plan that requires work succeed? First year of Georgia experiment is not promising

ATLANTA (AP) — By now, Georgia officials expected their new Medicaid plan, the only one in the nation with a work requirement, to provide health insurance to 25,000 low-income residents and possibly tens of thousands more. But a year since its launch, Pathways to Coverage has roughly 4,300 members, much lower than what state officials […]

7 hours ago

Catherine Ward, owner of One Acre Farms, a functioning educational farm to help special needs kids,...

Associated Press

After Beryl, Houston-area farmers pull together to face unique challenges

PORTER, Texas (AP) — Hurricanes cause trouble for everyone, but farmers have a whole other list of problems. Beryl has been no exception: Over the past week, the storm damaged crops, soaked rabbits and chickens, terrified goats, put horses at risk of developing colic and left cows without fences to keep them penned in. And […]

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Philadelphia LGBTQ leaders arrested in traffic stop the mayor calls ‘concerning’