Well, to borrow words from the hep cats, the Raleigh Police Department’s “Running Man” video dropped Monday afternoon and percolated.
By way of artistic prelude, department spokesman Jim Sughrue explains that the Running Man phenomenon began when Hillside, New Jersey, high school students Kevin Vincent and Jeremiah Hall posted their version of the running man dance – performed to the 1996 hit “My Boo” by Ghost Town DJs – on Instagram with the hashtag #runningmanchallenge.
In March, University of Maryland basketball players Jaylen Brantley and Jared Nickens created their own video and challenged other basketball teams.
The challenge captured the imagination of others, including police departments around the country.
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This summer, Running Man challenges were issued to the Raleigh Police Department by the Fayetteville and Durham police departments after each had completed its own energetic video.
“With the help of officers from throughout the city, community members and Raleigh officials, those challenges have been met and, if we may say so ourselves, exceeded,” Sughrue stated in a Don Cornelius-like summation of the video project.
The nearly six-minute video embraces the department’s emphasis on community and on officers partnering with residents to help make the city a safer place. The officers shake and shimmy with members of the Carolina ballet, percolate with youngsters at the historic carousel in Chavis Park and get down in an open field with young adults and members of the city’s emergency medical services.
Even the police horses pulled their weight and pranced a little, with guest appearances by McGruff, the legendary, crime-fighting police dog, and a pop-locking Sir Walter Raleigh.
Mayor Nancy McFarlane is in the video, as is Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown. But the highlights of Raleigh’s “Running Man video are the cover of “My Boo” by the Swift Creek bluegrass band and a break dancing demonstration by one of the younger officers whose moves, if attempted by most of the department’s veterans, would have sent them to a hospital emergency room.
What’s next? The police department issued challenges to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office and the police departments in Chapel Hill and Greensboro.