"30 Rock" star Alec Baldwin is being investigated by the New York Police Department's Hate Crime Task Force after the actor allegedly hurled racial epithets at an African-American photographer for the New York Post
, calling him a "coon," "crack-head," and "drug dealer."
The confrontation occurred Monday morning near the actor's downtown Manhattan apartment.
Post reporter Tara Palmeri approached the actor and asked him to comment about a recent lawsuit filed by a former student against Baldwin's yoga instructor wife, Hilaria Thomas.
Baldwin, who is notorious for his sidewalk feuds with photographers and reporters, allegedly grabbed Palmeri by the arm and told her, "I want you to choke to death."
Baldwin's anger then shifted to G.N. Miller, the photographer accompanying Palmeri. Miller is a retired detective with the NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau and a staff photographer for The Post.
Baldwin allegedly went off on Miller, and at least one passerby pushing a baby stroller overheard him call the photographer a "drug dealer," who "just got out of jail."
Miller had worked for the NYPD for nearly 15 years and spent most of his time in the narcotics department, The Post reported.
"He was saying some serious racist stuff. He said some choice words about my mother, and he was telling people in the street that I’m a drug dealer," Miller said, adding that Baldwin told him to "suck [his] d***." "He could have said a lot of other stuff. But he used all of the stereotypes associated with black people."
Following the confrontation, Baldwin called police and filed a harassment complaint against Miller, who later filed a cross-complaint against Baldwin.
The entire exchange was captured on Palmeri's audio recorder, which police are using in the investigation.
The NYPD confirmed the investigation. Whether it will result in further action is unclear.
Responding to the accusation that Baldwin’s comments were racially charged, the actor's spokesman Matthew Hiltzik called the charges "outrageous" and "completely false."
"That’s one of the most outrageous things I’ve heard in my life," Hiltzik told the Post.
According to the Post, the day before his wedding last June Baldwin shouted at another black photographer on the street, "You gotta back up there Rodney."
Rodney is a reference to Rodney King, the black construction worker who was severely beaten by several white police officers in California in 1991 after a high-speed car chase.
Baldwin has had a number of public rants, one of which got him booted from an American Airlines plane after he refused requests to turn off his smart phone. A crew member told the Post that Baldwin was removed because he had become “violent” and “aggressive.”
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