Racist rant subject says cameraman staged video, instructed him - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Racist rant subject says cameraman staged video, instructed him to be racist

(Source: Brandon Levston) (Source: Brandon Levston)

The man caught on camera in the middle of a racially-charged rant told police the person who filmed it paid him to pretend to be racist.

According to Memphis Police Department, Neil Thompson filed an intimidation report saying people had threatened him and his family after a video of him shouting at a black driver went viral.

According to the police report, Thompson said another driver cut him off in traffic, nearly causing Thompson to hit the back of his car. Thompson said he did not know the other driver and continued to his destination.

When Thompson arrived at his destination a man pulled up and said he saw what the other driver did and felt the other driver was in the wrong. Thompson said the witness told him he was a columnist and then offered to pay him $200 to act out a racially-charged rant on video. Thompson said the witness promised to blur his face in the video.

Thompson said the witness told him to use racial slurs and to mention Donald Trump and Black Lives Matter in the video. After the video was recorded, Thompson said the witness drove off without paying him.

Later that day, Thompson said family members told him the video had been shared on social media. When his home address and cellphone number were posted online, Thompson said he received numerous death threats and someone posted a photo of his house online.

Click below to watch the full uncensored video. WARNING: Video contains vulgar language and is not appropriate for all viewers.

The man behind the video, Brandon Levston, has a different story of what happened. He agrees that the incident started over a traffic incident, but said everything else Thompson is saying about the encounter is a complete lie.

Levston said he was the driver who tried to change lanes. He said he and Thompson then pulled into a parking lot and Thompson confronted Levston. When Levston started recording the conversation, he said Thompson started hurling racial slurs at him.

Levston adamantly denies faking the video in any way. He says he's not a columnist and has never claimed to be one.

"Absolutely false, I encourage anybody that has access to it to get a hold of those traffic cameras," Levston said. "Somebody please provide the proof, please. I beg of you, please."

He said he used to feel sorry for Thompson, but this story has caused him to lose empathy for him.

Levston said he doesn't think anyone should threaten or harm Thompson or his family, but he now hopes Thompson will face charges for filing a false police report.

"If he goes to jail for this [filing a false report], I'm not going to feel an ounce of empathy for him at all," Levston said. 

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