A man charged with impersonating a peace officer this week appears to have been playing cop for while, and in at least one instance, the Mobile Police Department may have played along.
Records from Mobile Metro Jail indicate 34-year-old Tyonne Frazier was booked into custody shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday, April 25, for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, carrying a pistol without a permit and impersonating a peace officer.
He was arrested at the scene of a shooting near Government Boulevard and Satchel Paige Drive.
According to an arrest warrant filed in district court, MPD officers observed Frazier during their investigation, stating that he was “wearing a reflective vest” that read “POLICE” and “wearing a badge on his belt.”
In posts on his Facebook account, Frazier can be seen in similar outfits.
The warrant claims Frazier was observed “walking the area as if he was investigating the scene” of the shooting that evening.
However, he “never interacted with any other officers,” but was eventually noticed by Officer David Reyes when he realized Frazier looked unfamiliar.
Fraizer’s Facebook account claims he has previously gone through MPD’s Citizen Police Academy — a biannual course intended to show citizens what being an officer is like.
MPD spokeswoman Charlette Solis refuted those claims.
“We have no record of anyone by his name attending the Citizens Academy,” she said. “We checked all the rosters back to Class 1 from 2001, and he is not a member of the Mobile Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association.”
Frazier has been arrested a number of times locally on charges including drug possession, theft, forgery and probation violations.
Yet, Frazier has shared videos of himself responding to dispatch calls, tailing motorists, discussing investigations with MPD officers and observing them from afar. It also includes a banner photo of a Ford Mustang that’s been retrofitted with blue police lights.
In a series of live videos posted Feb. 11, Frazier live-streamed himself responding to a domestic call at Windsor Apartments. He tells viewers he’s on his way to the scene and describes the call police received including a description of the suspect and the alleged victim.
A dispatch scanner is also seen and heard in the video.
Upon his arrival, Frazier’s car pulls up near two MPD cruisers and he begins talking to someone off camera about the reported domestic assault as the live video continues to broadcast. Shortly afterward, an MPD officer and an unidentified male are seen walking toward the MPD cruisers.
From there, Frazier waits from a distance as two uniformed MPD officers speak with a woman on a second story balcony. At one point he’s seen leaving his car and walking around the parking lot in his yellow vest and black “POLICE” shirt.
He then returns to his car to narrate the situation to his live audience on Facebook.
“Apparently we have a domestic situation with a black male and black female,” Frazier says. “He apparently knocked this female unconscious and drug her into Windsor Place, so I will be out patrolling the area to see if I can find this perp and kick his ass.”
“He wanna hit females like that, so he’ll get a nice ass whooping when we find him,” he adds.
Frazier posted another video Jan. 15 showing him checking motorists’ speed with a radar gun from his vehicle and eventually tailing one. Fraizer then says “Operation Winter Storm… all these damn speeders” referencing an MPD narcotics operation conducted three days earlier.
The video ends shortly after that, so it’s unclear if the motorist was ever actually pulled over.
The earliest video Lagniappe could find was posted to YouTube in December 2017 by an account purporting to be Frazier’s. It was shared on his Facebook page around the same time as well.
Titled “Best Prank Ever,” the video shows the accused cop impersonator in a police outfit handcuffing a man and forcing him to the ground. He then questions a second individual about drinking in public and moves to arrest him before revealing the whole thing has been a prank.
So far, it’s unclear how many times Frazier might have responded to crime scenes or held himself out to be an officer of the law. He was arrested during a rash of shootings in Mobile, and as such, Chief Lawrence Battiste said his case had “not been a top priority.”
He did say it was being investigated, though.
“It was alarming to us, and there are some things that we’re looking deeper into,” Battiste said. “We’ve got him detained, and we don’t expect him to get out any time soon.”