PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – A Philadelphia police officer could be in serious trouble after video surfaced online that shows him pressuring a driver to buy tickets to a fundraiser – or else.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told Action News that Internal Affairs is investigating the incident involving the officer, 32-year-old Matthew Zagursky.
He’s a nine year veteran of the force.
In the video, Zagursky is heard asking the driver if he has money to buy tickets to the Police and Fire Hero Thrill Show fundraiser. Money from the show is used to pay college tuition for children of Philadelphia police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.
“You and your friend got any money to buy these thrill show tickets? Support your police department. Ten bucks each, man,” Zagursky is heard saying in the video.
The incident was part of what police call a “live stop,” part of crackdown on unregistered and uninsured vehicles.
“Either you buy these, or I take your car because it’s unregistered. Ten bucks each man,” Zarursky says.
The driver then hands Zagursky money and takes the tickets.
Zagursky was also heard on video making a homophobic remark while discussing pink windshield wipers on the car.
Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Zagursky appears to have a good record, but says the officer’s behavior is inexcusable.
But worse, Ramsey says it diminishes a charity that supports the families of fallen officers and firefighters.
“He’s tarnished that entire event, and the entire cause that it represents, by his actions,” said Ramsey.
Internal Affairs is investigating and has already contacted the driver who recorded the video. The district attorney’s will then have to decide if criminal charges should be filed against the officer.
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