Philadelphia police officer to driver: 'You buy these, or I take your car'

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 assigned to the 24th District.

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.

In the video, Zagursky is heard to say, "You and your friend got any money to buy these thrill show tickets? Support your police department. Ten bucks each, man."

The incident was part of what police call a "live stop," part of crackdown on unregistered and uninsured vehicles.

Zagursky continues, "Either you buy these, or I take your car because it's unregistered. Ten bucks each man."

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.

The driver of the car posted the video on his Facebook page and it has gone viral, which is an awful embarrassment for the police force.

Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Zagursky appears to have a good record, but says the officer's behavior is inexcusable.

"Anyone with any kind of clear thought at all would know that that's just not good, it's not what you do," Ramsey said.

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.

The commissioner has taken the officer off the streets but is waiting for Internal Affairs to complete its investigation before deciding to fire him.

Internal Affairs has already contacted the driver who recorded the video.

The district attorney will then have to decide if criminal charges should be filed against the officer.
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