Philly’s trans LGBTQ director and hubby allege police brutality at traffic stop. Video: ‘I work for the mayor! It’s because I’m black!’

Philadelphia’s transgender LGBTQ director and his husband are accusing the city’s police of “excessive force” after they were pulled over for “multiple vehicle code violations.”

Celena Morrison, executive director of Philly’s Office of LGBT Affairs, recorded a portion of the encounter. It was uploaded to Facebook by Morrison’s sister, LaTasha Morrison Sinclair, and then deleted — but not before the video went viral.

In the clip, Morrison’s husband, Darius McLean, is seen lying on the ground. An unidentified trooper is attempting to place handcuffs on him.

“I don’t know why he is doing this!” McLean can be heard sobbing.

“That’s my husband!” Morrison tells the trooper. “That’s my husband!”

“I work for the mayor!” Morrison shouts. “I work for the mayor!”

“Shut the f**k up!” the trooper yells back.

“Please just stop,” McLean cries.

“It’s because I’m black,” he claims while refusing to comply with the trooper’s orders.

“It’s not ’cause you’re black,” the trooper tells him.

“Yes, it is!” Morrison snaps back.

The trooper finally gets the cuffs on a screaming McLean and storms over to Morrison. The camera is blocked, but the audio continues.

“He just punched me,” Morrison claimed.

“I don’t know why this is happening,” Morrison can be heard saying. “We ain’t done nuthin’ wrong.”

The duo was arrested for resisting arrest, obstruction of justice, disorderly conduct, and related charges, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

According to a state police news release, which didn’t identify Morrison or McLean by name, at about 9:10 a.m. on Saturday, the trooper pulled over a gray Infiniti sedan on I-76 after spotting “multiple vehicle code violation.”

Before he was able to make contact with the driver, a green Dodge sedan pulled up and parked behind the trooper’s patrol car.

“It was unclear from the news release whether Morrison was driving the Infiniti that the trooper had initially pulled over,” according to the Inquirer.

“The trooper approached the Dodge and the operator of the vehicle became verbally combative toward the trooper,” the release stated. “The individual refused multiple lawful orders made by the trooper and the trooper subsequently attempted to place the individual under arrest.”

“The individual resisted arrest on multiple occasions,” state police added.

The driver of the Infiniti “interfered with the trooper’s attempt at making an arrest,” according to the release.

On X, Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle L. Parker confirmed the arrests.

“A video circulating on social media that depicts a portion of the incident is very concerning to me,” the mayor said, “and I will have no further comment until the investigation has been completed.”

Users on X, however, had plenty to say.

“What is really disturbing about this is one of your people is trying to pull the ‘I work for the Mayor’ privilege card to get out of a traffic violation(s) and then resisting arrest,” one user told the mayor. “You need to back the police up on this 100% and tell your people that they’re not gonna get ANY breaks from violating the law.”

“I’m guessing a case of non-compliance?” replied another. “When people don’t respect law enforcement this is the result. Just comply and everyone is going home unscathed.”

“The only thing ‘concerning’ about the video is it’s [sic] editing,” stated a third. “Where’s the beginning of the footage? If you acknowledge this is only ‘partial footage’ shouldn’t you keep your mouth shut until ALL the facts come out?”

“They love to play victim but never want to take responsibility for their actions,” one user wrote. “It IS because he’s black and trans that he started the altercation himself.”

“And the other dude is calling it a husband?” the user added. “Very perplexing. What a freak show our country has become.”

On Sunday, a spokesperson for the state police announced that Morrison and McLean were released from custody.

They “were not charged with any crimes,” the Inquirer reports.

Melissa Fine


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