The Albuquerque Police Department has launched an investigation into an interaction between APD officers and a group that included UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones ahead of a Black Lives Matter protest Monday, per Ryan Laughlin of KOB 4.
The conversation occurred outside the Jackson Wink MMA Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
"I'm sure you guys can deescalate just by talking to them," an officer is seen saying on video. "But obviously with us in uniform, they think of us a little bit different. So I mean, if you guys just talk to them on that level."
Said Jones: "If we get in the way, and we're being more of a distraction than help, just give one of us a call, and we'll clear the area as soon as possible."
The APD mentioned the situation in a pair of tweets Tuesday:
"We want to discourage that kind of activity because, regardless of their intentions, it has the potential to actually escalate the situation," APD spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said. "... We very much understand the frustration of business owners, in particular, who are trying to protect their property. But the police—we're downtown and dealing with these situations, we have a whole series of steps we take to try to create the least amount of escalation or potential for escalation as possible at first."
Jones was later seen "helping defuse the situation" between the New Mexico Civil Guard and protestors with help from protest organizers Frankie Grady and Arthur Bell, per Laughlin.
Jones also posted video on Instagram of his confiscating spray-paint cans and wrote the following:
"Is this s--t even about George Floyd anymore?!? Why the f--k are you punk ass teenagers destroying our cities!?? As a young black man trust me I’m frustrated as well but this is not the way, we are starting to make a bad situation worse. If you really got love for your city (505), protect your s--t. All you old heads need to speak up, call your young family members and tell them to come home tonight."
Jones has a record of 26-1 with one no contest. The 32-year-old is ranked the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.