MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - In a world where cameras are everywhere, what you do when you're off the clock - but on camera - can get you fired.
Such was the case for former Shelby County Deputy Jailer De Lano Parker, who was fired after appearing in an amateur rap video. In the video, according to court documents, Parker says, "I've been in the rap game for 15 years, and before that I was a Vice Lord for 18 years".
We can't show you Parker's part in the video because it has been destroyed - by Parker himself, according to a Chancery Court records employee.
But Parker denies that. The video was evidence a lawsuit Parker has filed against the Shelby County Sheriff's Department. Parker says he was only acting in the video, and is not a gang member.
"It's a fictitious character - totally over the top and fictitious," he said.
Yet Parker was fired for "personal conduct", and "truthfulness."
In a civil service board hearing Parker's attorney argues, "They said he was lying when he said he wasn't in a gang, despite the fact that you're not going to see any evidence whatsoever that he's in a gang."
The video is full of pornography, profanity. and gang references, but Parker's attorney argues, "regardless of what you think about the video, there's no evidence that he knew the contents of the rest of the video. This is a three second blurb of my client protected under the Fourth Amendment that is so preposterous and so outrageous that only a fool would believe it's truthful."
Based on the years Parker said he was a rapper and a gang member, his attorney said, "He would be in the womb being a Vice Lord, if you believe the statements that are right here contained in the case summary."
"If they don't like you, they will find a way to get rid of you," Parker said of the Sheriff's Department.
The Sheriff's Department's attorney argues quote, "...
"As a jailer, he comes in contact with all the different competing gangs, the Crips, Bloods, Vice Lords, and we can't have someone who's a jailer saying in a commercial enterprise, publicly, that he is a member of the Traveling Vice Lords," a Sheriff's Department attorney argued. "Regardless if he's shooting his mouth off or not, you can't say something like that and then put them in an environment like 201 Poplar, because somebody may very well take him seriously, and somebody might even be killed."
Parker, who is convinced that he should be allowed to "act" in his own time, is now waiting for a judge's decision on his lawsuit, which he hopes results in getting his job back with back pay.
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