Miami police arrested a white man who was filmed pulling a gun and screaming “stupid n------, fuckin’ dumbass fuckin n------” at a group of black teens during an annual demonstration held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The man, identified as Mark Bartlett, 51, confronted the teens Monday during “Wheels Up, Guns Down,” when hundreds of bikers and ATV riders take to the streets of Miami to promote peace over gun violence. As Bartlett exited his vehicle, he pulled out a gun and started yelling racial slurs, according to video taken by Dream Defenders, a Florida-based activist group.
Police arrested Bartlett later that day on a felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and released him on $5,000 bond.
The situation started when a woman approached a group of black teens with their bikes and began yelling about how they were blocking the street. Another black teen rode up on his bike, and the woman accused him of running over her foot with his tire.
“Don’t touch me, you bunch of thugs,” she’s heard saying in the video. As she starts walking away from the group — who do not pursue her — a white man, later identified as Bartlett, steps out of his car, with his gun drawn, and asks her what happened. “That guy in the red, he ran over my foot,” she yells and takes out her cellphone to film the confrontation.
“Get the fuck out of here, you fucking piece of shit,” Bartlett says in the video. The group goes very quiet. “Fuckin’ losers,” he goes on. “Stupid n------, fuckin’ dumbass fuckin n------.”
Dream Defenders also posted another video showing the same woman shouting at a different group of bikers earlier in the day about blocking traffic.
According to arrest records obtained by the Miami Herald, Bartlett was confused as to why he, rather than the teens, were under arrest. “Why am I being arrested when those kids are free to ride around?” Bartlett asked. “I did pull out my gun. But I never pointed it at them.”
But some local officials said Bartlett’s getting off easy.
“I wonder what the narrative would have been had he shot one of those children,” wrote city Commissioner Keon Hardemon in a post on Instagram. “Assault with a deadly weapon and calling them n------ sounds like a hate crime to me.”
Hardemon added that he hopes Florida’s state attorney’s office will decide to pursue further charges against Bartlett. The police department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Police also arrested at least 10 other people in connection with the demonstration; ATVs are illegal to ride on roadways. Miami police wrote on Twitter that they’d seized at least 33 ATVs and dirt bikes by the evening. Three guns were also seized.
Bartlett has one prior offense, a 2008 misdemeanor for violating boating safety regulations, according to public records.
Cover image: Screenshot from video taken by Dream Defenders