Man who was called a racial slur by St. Pete officer speaks out

Posted at 9:47 PM, Jun 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-12 23:14:26-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Levonte Daniels told ABC Action News he called police for help after a pizza delivery driver threw money in his face and tried to run him over with her car. But, Daniels claims police didn’t believe his version of events and ended up citing him with vandalism.

“Unfortunately, this is something we prepare ourselves for growing up as black kids in certain areas,” Daniels said.  

Related: St. Pete officer resigns after caught on video usingracialslur, police say

Daniels says that in order to understand what led to the video of the officer using a racial slur, we have to know the backstory of what happened.

He says he ordered a pizza and the driver was rude, “She banged on my door and when I opened it she through the money in my face,” he said.  

When the situation escalated, Daniels said the driver tried to hit him so he grabbed a nearby fire extinguisher.

"I was scared,” Daniels said. “The lady was trying to hit me with her vehicle and when I moved out of the way swinging the fire extinguisher it hit her car, and this is what I admitted to one of the officers, I told him this.”

With no previous arrests, Daniels was issued an adult pre-arrest diversion citation for vandalism by officer Michael Naples. When Naples reportedly left out his side of the story he questioned the officer and things escalated again.

“So, once I told him ‘you are trying to railroad me’… he said yeah well ‘you are a piece of s***' and if you hear my reaction I say, ‘well you are a piece of s*** too’ and he said well you are a piece of s*** n****** and that’s how that played out.  I feel like I was portrayed in a bad light like I’m a good dad to my kids I’ve never been to jail.”

After that incident, around 1 p.m. Tuesday, Naples resigned.

"We hold our officers to the highest professional standard. The use of profanity and racial slurs is not tolerated under any circumstances," said Chief of Police Anthony Holloway.

Naples was a probationary officer and was sworn in on July 10, 2017. 

The pizza delivery driver was not cited.

Daniels said he was told by officers on the scene she would be.

"We are going to bring more awareness, we are going to try and get something done about this driver who tried to hit me with the car,” Daniels said. “And, the two other officers who lied and said I was prosecuting someone and there is no paperwork to prove anything.”