Speaking to NBC News, Kevin Mitchell said he was confronted by Slidell police Capt. Kevin Swann for cursing at his son after almost hitting a truck with their car door when he was getting down.
“I told my son, ‘Don’t be doing that f—ing s—,’” he said.
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According to Mitchell, Swann, who was in the truck, told him he was wrong for cursing at his son and couldn’t hurl expletives in public. Mitchell, however, said he took issue with the officer trying to tell him what he could and could not say to his son.
“You can hear me telling the man, ‘You can’t tell me how to talk to my children.’ He kept saying, ‘You can’t curse in Slidell. You can’t do this in Slidell,’ and I just told the man, ‘What are you going to do?’ and he arrested me,” Mitchell told WDSU.
He also alleged Swann taunted him.
“That’s when the officer let his window down and said, ‘You can’t be cursing like that.’ I said, ‘Sir, I’m talking to my children,’ and he kept saying, ‘Well, you can’t talk like that in Slidell.’ I said ‘Sir, I’m talking to my children,’” he added.
Mitchell and his family entered the store after the confrontation but they were met by several officers when they came out. He was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace, WDSU reports.
“It’s just outrageous about the way he reacted with the whole situation. I feel like if I say something wrong, you approach me as a man,” he said.
The incident was recorded by Mitchell and his family and was shared on Facebook. He told NBC News he apologized to his son for cursing at him but won’t apologize to Swann.
Mitchell’s arrest was justified by Slidell Police Chief, Randy Fandal, in a statement to WDSU.
“I am aware of the arrest in question and have reviewed the videos taken by Mr. Mitchell. There was more than enough probable cause to arrest Mr. Mitchell. At this time, based on what I have reviewed, the officers acted appropriately; however, Mr. Mitchell did file an internal affairs complaint with this agency, yesterday afternoon. We will do a full investigation into this matter by gathering all of the facts in order to determine if there were any policy violations committed by my officers.”
A statement was also released by the Slidell police.
“More than enough probable cause existed. Mr. Mitchell was not arrested for disciplining his child, however, according to 14:92, he easily could have for “Use any vile, obscene or indecent language” towards a juvenile.”
“Not in relation to this particular incident, but in general, if someone is repeatedly yelling extreme profanities and racial slurs, at a public place like Walmart (during a Mardi Gras parade), and refuses to calm down and continues to carry on, causing alarm and distress to innocent bystanders…yes, they will be arrested. That is normal is will remain the standard for anyone acting like that inside the city limits of Slidell. It should be noted that Disturbing the Peace is a state law and can be enforced everywhere in the State of Louisiana. People live in our community because they enjoy a safe and family-oriented place to live. People should not fear going out in public to have their peace disturbed by someone screaming profanities and racial slurs.”
Mitchell, who is scheduled to appear in court on May 4, wants Swann fired after filing a formal complaint against him. He also wants all charges against him dropped.
“A policeman like that shouldn’t have a badge. I feel like a policeman like that shouldn’t work in the city of Slidell when you approach people in that manner. And the way you approached my wife and asking her for her personal information of her children, should definitely lose his job,” he told WDSU.