Richmond Police are conducting an investigation after a video showing an officer shouting a mild obscenity at a group of middle-school students circulated on social media.
The video, taken Thursday, shows an officer in a patrol car shouting "Wait until your asses turn 18, then you're mine," before driving away from a group of girls. It's unclear what precipitated the confrontation.
A mother of one of the girls said in the Facebook post that the officer was white and the girls were all persons of color.
A police spokeswoman issued a statement saying the department takes the incident seriously. It is being investigated by internal affairs officers.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney called the behavior depicted in the video unacceptable.
"This behavior is unacceptable. It reinforces stereotypes of our communities that are hurtful and damages the relationship between our police department and the citizens they are charged to serve," Stoney said in a statement.
Richmond Public Schools' superintendant said on Twitter that the officer's behavior in the video "is outrageous and repugnant."
"Our students - like all individuals - deserve respect and dignity from law enforcement," he said.
One of the girls who was involved in the video told NBC affiliate WWBT that the officer reacted to an insult directed at him.
"Somebody said a curse word to ‘f the police’ but it wasn’t me or my friends. He didn’t know who said it, so he asked us who said it,” Hilliard told WWBT.
According to Hilliard, the officer put his car in reverse to confront them.
“We were like, 'what are you talking about because we didn’t say that.’ We were telling him we didn’t say that,” Hilliard told WWBT.