A "dream proposal" in which an Alabama man faked an armed arrest with real police officers is drawing anger on social media and mixed reactions from city officials who say the viral video is in poor taste.
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said he would have never consented to city cops taking part in Friday night's stunt if he had known about it beforehand.
"That's not something we're going to promote us engaging in in that kind of fashion going forward because should it go awry, it's a bad news story," Stimpson told NBC affiliate WPMI.
The video, which has been viewed millions of times on Facebook, shows Shawna Blackmon arriving at a gas station to find her boyfriend, Daiwon McPherson, on his knees just as cops surround him.
McPherson was late to their date, which was part of the ruse to lure Blackmon to the scene. She was told that he had been pulled over by police for illegal biking activity, and that he sped off with a loaded gun.
A crowd had already gathered at a gas station where police cruisers' lights were flashing. Blackmon saw cops holding Tasers at McPherson, and she swooped in front of them to diffuse the situation.
That's when McPherson pulled out a box with a ring inside — not a gun. The tense scene turned into a moment of merriment once Blackmon realized McPherson was actually popping the question.
"I was scared ... he was going to jail, they are going to shoot him," she later told WPMI.
McPherson and Blackmon could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday, but the bride-to-be has said she's pleased with how the proposal turned out. McPherson, who is black, told WPMI that the staged arrest was intended to get people to think about the issue of police-involved shootings and the Black Lives Matter movement.
"First thing you're going to think is we got another black man going to get killed by two police officers," McPherson said of the video. "Nope. That was the whole flip."
Mobile Police Chief James Barber said McPherson's "dream proposal" didn't ultimately harm anyone, and was more "unusual" than anything.
But social media users disagree. Some say McPherson has made a "mockery" of police-involved shootings and there's "nothing romantic" about them.