Charleston police ‘looking into’ video of Charleston officer apparently telling children ‘don’t go to church and get hurt’

Charleston police are “looking into” a video that surfaced on social media this week of an officer reportedly telling a group of rowdy children “don’t go to church and get hurt.”

The shaky cellphone footage opens on a residential street in Charleston as one of the city’s police cruisers approaches and stops before a group of what appears to be school-age children who had gathered on the road.

The children hurl a barrage of obscenities at the officer, who also clutches a cellphone in his hand, apparently filming the encounter.

The officer can be heard saying “don’t go to church and get hurt,” before pulling off further down the road. The statement was made in the wake of a shooting last week at Emanuel AME Church that killed nine parishioners, an incident authorities consider to be a racially motived hate crime.

“The Charleston Police Department is aware of the video and we are looking into this matter,” Charleston police spokesman Charles Francis said in a statement Wednesday. “We will continue to demonstrate through both words and actions that we are here to provide safety, security and comfort to the families, church and community.”

The video is linked on postandcourier.com, but there is extremely graphic language on the post and in the footage.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.