Son of Police Detective Sues New Rochelle PD Following Arrest for using Dave Chappelle's "White Person Voice"

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Welcome (again) Instapundit readers. Thanks (again) Glenn for the link.

UPDATE: Sources have informed Talk of the Sound the original report from the Journal News that Demetrius Hazelton is the son of Detective Timothy McKnight was incorrect. Full update below.

Demetrius Hazelton.jpgThe New Rochelle Police Department is being sued by Demetrius Hazelton, the son a New Rochelle police detective, with support from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Hazelton, 17 and Class of '09 at New Rochelle High School (pictured right, click to enlarge image), was arrested after he allegedly mocked a white police officer using a "white racial monotone voice" which police claim is the same voice used by Dave Chappelle "when making fun of white people."

For those not familiar with Dave Chappelle we've embedded a video clip from a part of his stand-up routine called "Scared Of The Police"in which he uses the voice described in the official police report. One caution, Chappelle is an R-rated performer and this video clip contains language some might find objectionable (and/or funny).


Dave Chappelle Stand Up - Scared Of The Police - The most amazing bloopers are here

The lawsuit alleges that Hazelton's civil rights were violated during his arrest for disorderly conduct on April 13th after police attempted to break up a party at the Hartley Houses, an affordable housing complex run by the New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority as part of their mission to make housing more accessible to low-income residents of the City of New Rochelle.

According to the Journal News:

According to the police report, officers responded to noisy parties at the Hartley Houses complex April 13 and tried to break up an altercation there. After the crowd ignored police commands to calm down, the report said, an officer brandished a Taser and fired it in the air without a cartridge to show the crowd the device's electric shock.

The report said many of the people there, including Hazelton, ran from the police and into traffic on Lincoln Avenue. An officer asked Hazelton to get off the road, the report said, and Hazelton mocked the officer's commands by imitating him with a "white racial monotone voice." The report described the voice as the same one comedian Dave Chappelle uses "when making fun of white people."

The N.A.A.C.P. is alleging that police filed a police report and left out portions of the incident which make up, in large part, the basis for the lawsuit.

Our request to NRPD for a copy of the police report has, so far, been denied. NRPD Captain Kealy issued the following statement:

The defendant was charged with disorderly conduct, and his case has not been adjudicated as of yet. Thus, this report is exempted from a F.O.I.L. request.

We've asked for the incident report which ought to be available in un-redacted form as Hazelton is 17 but we will reach out to Mr. Williams of the N.A.A.C.P. to see about getting some of the documents from them.

UPDATE: Talk of the Sound spoke with Ron Williams of the New Rochelle N.A.A.C.P earlier today; Williams referred the matter to Calvin Scholar, Hazelton's attorney. Scholar did not return phone calls seeking comment.

UPDATE: Sources have informed Talk of the Sound the original report from the Journal News that Demetrius Hazelton is the son of Detective Timothy McKnight is incorrect. Hazelton's mother is McKnight's girlfriend. This information is supported by Hazelton's entry in the 2009 New Rochelle High School yearbook in which he credits his mother for being his "backbone" and "playing the mother and father figure" throughout his "entire life".

McKnight had previously notified NRPD officers on an informal basis not to refrain from processing complaints against Hazelton on his account because Hazelton was not his son and he was not able to control him, reliable sources tell Talk of the Sound.

At issue in the case is the apparent existence of two police reports: the original which contained the reference to Dave Chappelle and an amended version where the Chappelle reference was removed. So far, NRPD has been unwilling to provide Talk of the Sound with any paperwork from this case although that might change later this week as Hazelton is scheduled for an appearance in court on Thursday on the disorderly conduct charge.

This is a developing story. We have more single-sourced information that we are looking to confirm. One little tidbit is that apparently our friend from the Journal News was snooping around the doorstep of the arresting officer in the case looking for comment on the matter.

UPDATE: JN: New Rochelle police commissioner rejects brutality claim

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

Anonymous on Sat, 07/25/2009 - 17:18
Title: new rochelle

bob is new rochelle paying news 12,journal news,guardian news,ect. to keep out bad news . just like yonkers,mount vernon there is a lot of very funny things going around in new rochelle thats keept quite . except this site . thanks

Anonymous on Sat, 07/25/2009 - 00:27

Although I have only lived in New Rochelle a relatively short time, I have always observed the NRPD in a Firm, Fair and Professional manner. I know there are bad apples in every profession, But I believe Commissioner Carroll has done a great job with this Department.

Anonymous on Wed, 07/22/2009 - 02:02

Does anyone here have information not available to the general public? Because otherwise I find most of the comments posted unfounded at best or at worse purposely divisive.

Too often when issues come to the public forum people just rush to use it as more ammunition to promote their already held beliefs. This is particularly true when it comes to racial and political issues.

I think that unless you have first hand information, you should reserve commenting until the facts are in. It is then and only then when an honest and open conversation can be held on such sensitive matters.

Both sides need to at least wait and pretend to listen to any and all of the fact before coming to a conclusion.

Anonymous on Wed, 07/22/2009 - 02:00

is what I am. The time and come and passed with people of color being the minority and in some cases are actually given more priviledges than whites. WAKE UP..us white folk and you black folk are both in the back of the bus..and guess who's up front?? Well if your name is Jose, Juan, Guadalupe or anything spanish, you are now majority and first in line!!!

Anonymous on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 21:32

I hope his juvi record becomes public in this suit.why does the naacp always support criminals? - he does not have the same last name as his father. I think this is mcknights kid

Warren Gross on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 21:11

come on officer or detective hazleton, take charge of this foolishness. you put your butt on the line for all citizens black white or indifferent and then we get this trivia especially immediately after president obama's speech. our bi-racial president struck the right note for harmony and justice. he seemed to be well received by the naacp which was founded by 20+ whites and a smaller number of distinguished blacks. You would think that 100 or so years later, this junk would go beyond the childishness of dave chappelle language. lucky it wasn't the moronic wayan brohers in white face playing white women.

detective or officer hazelton, do you have a charge to bring before carroll, then do it and do it in the light of day. naacp, have you heard about the founding mission of your priceless organizaton and that it was formed for equal opportunity for all people regardless of race, creed, color, etc.

back up and get yourselves busy in adding value to the community by educating the kids, condemining baby mammas, and music that insults your women. police, if you are acting out and disrespecting people of that community, straighten out or find someother occupation.

we dont have time for this -- and if you have specific reasons about firing commissiioner carroll, let us all in on the secret. that's bull, he may not be the best commissioner in the world, but no way would he stand by for any violence towards citizens.

all this is like blaming a pastor if a congregation member sins or commits a crime. Hell of a healing force you guys are. step up and out before you get more divisiveness in the community. you are too good for this

warren gross

Anonymous on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 19:48

I wonder what would have happened if a white kid used a mocking black voice to Hazelton's cop father. I'll bet the kid would have been arrested for a hate crime and the NAACP would be supporting the cop, not the kid.

Anonymous on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 21:41

Maybe no one told you but you're not allowed to think that way. Gov't sponsored discrimination is acceptable against whites. Just take a look at educational requirements for fed loans and grants for education and the race requirements for jobs relating to the stimulus plan. It' a disdrace that the naacp would support this case. I hope new rochelle fights it to the end and doesn't reward this racial garbage suit or it'll be the first of many other frivolous suits.

Anonymous on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 17:32
Title: the lawsuit

There was going to be a lawsuit here no matter what. Kind of funny though that the kid's father, a police, has not taught his son the proper respect to show an authority figure.

Anonymous on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 14:35

Why didn't the cop simply bust the guy for resisting? I don't see that the comments, insulting or not, of the guy are that interesting. He either failed to comply with the lawful direction of a peace officer or he didn't. Leave it at that. If and when I become a cop, I will keep a digital recorder on me at all times. Why expose yourself to the insanity of the NAACP if you can have the audio equivalent of a dash cam for pennies an hour?

Anonymous on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 13:19
Title: Oh GREAT!!!

Can't wait to start using my plantation black voice...wonder if the NAACP will come to my aide?

Anonymous on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 19:36

At the end of the day, it's always about what's in it for white folks.

Anonymous on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 16:06

Yu sure is brave to be mockin' the plan-tay-shun voice!

Anonymous on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 21:12

Was the PO offended a Kiernan, hmmmm ? That kid is dumb as a rock, alot like his daddy.

Anonymous on Sat, 07/25/2009 - 13:43

What a Stupid comment.Sounds like Petrie

Anonymous on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 21:09

The NAALiberalCP will not come to a white man's side if the roles were reversed.

Anonymous on Wed, 07/22/2009 - 02:56

Wow, maybe I'm missing the point. But I thought the issue was that the child (yes child because he's not of age yet) was arrested for "mocking a white police officer" (i.e. disorderly conduct). Which, yeah I beg to differ, there is an issue with that. I could just write what "disorderly conduct" by law is.. but there's just too much else to say!! :)

""The report said many of the people there, including Hazelton, ran from the police and into traffic on Lincoln Avenue. An officer asked Hazelton to get off the road, the report said, and Hazelton mocked the officer's commands by imitating him with a "white racial monotone voice." The report described the voice as the same one comedian Dave Chappelle uses "when making fun of white people."""

**Sorry but this sounds for crazy! Lets ask ourselves some questions. What is a "white racial monotone voice"?? Why couldn't it JUST be that the juvenile was "mocking" the officer. However, it was made racial by insinuating that it was not merely mocking but "mocking in a white voice". This brings on the debate of "what it means to sound white" of which there is NO SUCH THING!

**Why was there only one arrest when according to the article a party was being broken up? A taser being shot in the air "to show the electrical force" sent everyone running (which I won't even get into how asinine that logic is). If the kids weren't breaking it up (which the article also states) then there should've been more arrests. Dare I state the obvious? .. there was no reason to arrest anyone to begin with.

**This is an "aside" but what is the point of the details on what housing complex it was and how it's for low-income families?? .. trust me that's rhetorical!

**For those of you who stated that if the racial roles were reversed the NAACP wouldn't have jumped in etc etc.. BINGO!! You are RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT! ..they (the NAACP) would have never gotten involved because the juvenile would've never been arrested. I could quote statistics and studies, but I'm tired of writing. Hope it wasn't too white "fa ya'll"!! :)

Anonymous on Thu, 08/20/2009 - 20:52

he is 16, thereby an adult the eyes of the law, which includes obstructing traffic, idiot.

Anonymous on Thu, 07/23/2009 - 03:16

First of all, he is of age. He IS NOT considered a juvenile, by law, once he turned 16.
Second, he was charged, the report says with "Disorderly conduct" which is a violation in NYS. You can't charge so called "juveniles", "minors" or "child" with a violation. Juveniles can only be chaged with misdemeanors and felonies.
Third, the "white monotone voice" was shown on this site in the Dave Chappell video. I think that described it perfectly. If these cops were mocked or disrespected, I'm glad they locked the kid up. He was probably the loudest of the group, why arrest anyone else? If it got any worse, the kid probably could of been charged with inciting a riot or something. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Anonymous on Thu, 07/23/2009 - 02:29

Next time I hear one of the brothers talking ebonics, and I goof on him, then it's personal only, no reflection on a whole race.

Anonymous on Tue, 08/25/2009 - 03:00

I don't think he should go to jail with a criminal record. But he should be dragged through the system and spend a few days in Jail. He must learn to respect the athority of the police. For his saftey and mine. No need to add to the 600,000 black males 18-39 currently in jail in this country. And with a record, he will never be allowed to become a productive member of society. That would co$t os dearly. Here is a chance to send him back to the community with a message. Learn to respect others, especially the police. The other racist coments here are uncalled for. But the right to freedom of speech must not be impeaded. At least all views can be heard (read).

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