Philadelphia official arrested on I-76; Mayor Parker calls video 'very concerning'

Bryanna Gallagher Image
Sunday, March 3, 2024
Philly official arrested on I-76; mayor calls video 'very concerning'
Philadelphia official arrested on I-76; Mayor Parker calls video 'very concerning'

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Celena Morrison, Philadelphia's executive director of the Office of LGBT Affairs, was arrested Saturday along with her husband following a traffic stop on I-76.

Video circulating online of the incident is now part of the investigation.

According to Pennsylvania State Police, a trooper initiated a traffic stop on I-76 westbound around 9 a.m. for a vehicle with multiple violations. A portion of the incident was filmed by Celena Morrison.

"I work for the mayor," Morrison can be heard yelling in the video.

While police didn't identify those involved, Mayor Cherelle Parker did in her social media post, and so did Morrison's sister who posted the video on Facebook.

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

Morrison was driving a gray Infiniti sedan- the vehicle the trooper initially pulled over.

State police say a green Dodge sedan then pulled up, parking behind the trooper, which prompted the trooper to approach the Dodge.

The driver of the Dodge, who was identified online as Morrison's husband -- Darius McLean -- was verbally combative and resisted arrest, according to police.

"That is my husband... That's my husband please," says Morrison in the video as the trooper stands over McLean on the side of the road.

While the trooper is trying to handcuff McLean, Morrison captures it on her phone before a scuffle ensues.

"It's cause I'm Black," McLean syas.

"It's not cause you're Black," the trooper replies.

The trooper then walks toward Morrison and the phone falls to the ground.

"Turn around," the trooper yells. "Give me your hands or you're getting tased."

Morrison tells her husband to not worry before saying in the video, "He just punched me."

"What is going on? Why are you so aggressive?" Morrison later says.

The trooper picks up the phone and can be heard saying, "This was a simple traffic stop cause you didn't have your lights on. You didn't have your lights on and you're tailgating."

The trooper briefly explains why he approached the Dodge that pulled up behind him as he was conducting a traffic stop.

"I don't know who you are so I don't need someone rolling up on me," he says.

"I'm her husband," McLean responds.

Both Morrison and McLean were taken into custody for resisting arrest and other related charges. They were released from custody later Saturday night.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's office says it has made "no charging decision pending a thorough, even-handed investigation."

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to contact the DA's Special Investigations Unit at DAO_SIU@phila.gov or 215-686-9608.