A 38-year-old woman from Dream Park in Fort Worth, Texas was charged for impersonating an officer, however, that isn’t what made this woman go viral. The woman in question, Samantha Louise Eley, was seen yelling at Latinx teens who were in a playground earlier this month on Oct. 16. A group of Latinx teens were hanging out in the playground when the white woman aggressively approached them, stopped the swing from swinging and told them to leave.
“It’s a children’s park,” she said in the video. “Stop now.”
One of the teens responded to her and said, “We are children.”
Then Eley told the teens she was an officer and that she would charge them if they didn’t leave the playground. “Get out of here now if you’re not here to play as a child,” she told them. Another teen remarked how Eley wasn’t speaking as if she were a police officer nor was she behaving like a professional.
After the clip went viral, people on social media tagged Eley as “swing set Susan.” The name coincides with other viral clips in which white people either call the police for noncrimes or go into hysterics because people of color happen to be around where they are.
Some people on social media concluded that Eley must be racist because she targeted Latinx teens, however, other footage shows her behaving erratically to white people as well. In a separate clip, Eley, who is seen in the same playground and wearing the same clothing as the viral clip, is confronting white people who accuse her of not giving other kids a turn on the swing.
A day after the clip went viral, Fort Worth Police stated on Twitter, “In regards to the video that was captured on Oct. 16 at 3:41 p.m. at the Dream Park located at 2001 University Dr. in Fort Worth: It has been confirmed this person is NOT a FWPD officer, but a possible local resident. We are actively investigating this incident.”
In regards to the video that was captured on Oct. 16 at 3:41 p.m. at the Dream Park located at 2001 University Dr. in Fort Worth: It has been confirmed this person is NOT a FWPD officer, but a possible local resident. We are actively investigating this incident
— Fort Worth Police (@fortworthpd) October 17, 2019
One of the Latinx teens in the viral clip was asked to identify Eley in a lineup, which resulted in Eley’s arrest. According to the New York Times, Eley was charged last week and faces a “maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.”
While we don’t know Eley’s motivation for her disruptive behavior against the Latinx teens, we can certainly say after seeing both clips that she was having a very bad day.