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Arrest caught on camera creates tension in Roanoke Rapids

Posted September 9, 2015
Updated September 10, 2015

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— An arrest of a Roanoke Rapids woman that was caught on camera by a bystander this week has created increased tension between law enforcement officers and the community.

Alvina Michelle Moody, 25, was arrested Monday afternoon at a Dollar General and charged with possession of marijuana, possession with the intent to sell and deliver marijuana, drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest. The video of the arrest was posted on YouTube and Facebook with the caption, "police brutality." As of Wednesday, the video had more than 30,000 views. Viewer warning: The video contains obscene language.

Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp said Moody was resisting arrest when a crowd started yelling at Deputy Chris Boden. Boden immediately called for help and asked the people to step away, Tripp said.

"I stand beside my officer," Tripp said. "I back him up. He used no more force than necessary to effect the arrest."

Frances Smith, said she was standing nearby and witnessed the officer grab Moody's arm behind her back. Smith, 53, of Roanoke Rapids, was one of three people arrested for obstructing the officer.

"I was only trying to help a citizen," she said. "She was hollering and he was dragging her to the car. When he dragged her to the car, that's when I ran back and said, 'Sheriff, please stop beating her.'"

Tripp said he believes the incident is an example the intense scrutiny officers are facing.

"Law enforcement officers have to have a thick skin," he said. "When they come to work, they come with a bull’s eye on their chest, and also on their back."

Tripp worries that similar situations could escalate quickly.

"With this national war against police, a deputy sheriff in Texas can't even go gas up his vehicle without getting killed execution style, so it's on the mind of all of our officers," he said, referring to Deputy Darren GoForth, who was shot while filling his patrol car with gas at a station in suburban Houston on Aug. 28.

The YouTube video, along with the video from Boden's body camera, was given to the Halifax County District Attorney for review.

Tripp said his deputies began wearing body cameras in April. Since then, the cameras have cut down on the number of substantiated complaints, he said.


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  • JoAnn Lynn Sep 11, 2015
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    I am confused.... How was this brutality ? Looks like he was pretty gentle with her considering she was resisting. He didn't hit her nor did he kick her, nor did he punch her and not once did he slam her on the ground. She was resisting... clearly! Everyone wants to scream brutality these days. Glad it was taped!

  • King Mopar Sep 11, 2015
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    Thanks Scott for pointing that out before I could. Yes, there is a war now on white police officers and you can best believe that the normal, hard working black person-also sees the free loaders taking away their SS and Medicare. They are also smart enough to see thru the BS. What "normally" happens is between a officer who is white, and a black offender who wants to live some type of "mug life"..and the story goes down hill, and the "mug life" bandwagon jumps on board. "Some" of the officer involved shooting are justified, some are simply not and they should sent to jail or the death sentence. They simply killed him because they could, and that has to STOP. Black lives do matter..and so do any other color. All lives matter, plain and simple. I had to change the "tug" life to mug life for censorship issues.

  • Scott Boykin Sep 10, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    A "Black Lives Matter" protest/march walks down the street and chants "Pigs in a blanket, Fry them like Bacon"... How are we supposed to interpret that? They certainly were not talking about cooking breakfast... They are talking about killing police officers... Unfortunately, this has come to be during recent months. But according to Matthew, there is no "War on Police". I guess we all have "mis-understood" the chants.

    There is an "us vs them" mentality, but it was started (and is continually fueled) by the Black community. A black community claims unjust shooting by a White officer (Ferguson & Baltimore), and riots go on for weeks. A white community endures an assassination (Roanoke & Fox Lake), No protests, No riots. Did you ever ask "Why?"

  • Doug Smallen Sep 10, 2015
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    Only problem i see is WRAL reporting it, and the bystanders promoting racial conflict.

  • Stan Creech Sep 10, 2015
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    She was resisting arrest. Possibly high on something also. I think this Deputy did an outstanding job considering the situation.

  • Matthew Smith Sep 10, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    the fact that you can't spell "you're" correctly while calling me ignorant speaks volumes.

  • Karla Hudson Smith Sep 10, 2015
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    This is crazy! This officer did absolutely nothing wrong! I thought he handled the issue very professionally. He ought to be commended for a job well done! The women resisted arrest! If u act like a fool u deserve whatever is coming to u! Now for all those ppl that are screaming and yelling at him causing him to tell them to stay back, they deserve to have been arrested themselves and charged with obstruction of justice, especially that loud obnoxious 1 in the white shirt and black pants.

  • Ryan Kurtz Sep 10, 2015
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    Do you all not see the bigger picture here? WRAL, and other local and national media outlets, are winning by all of you clicking on the story and commenting. They know that this lady, as well as most of the other liberal movements currently taking the social stage nationally, are great fodder for supporting and opposing sides, and as long as we keep feeding them the viewership or clicks on these kind of stories, they’re going to keep reporting them. It’s not a matter of “cop did what he’s supposed to do” or “cop did wrong”, WRAL just wants your views, it’s more money for them. That’s how the media works, they lost their integrity a long time ago.

  • Jim Hugs Sep 10, 2015
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    Maybe this president should focus more on building cell towers and less on selling phones.

  • King Mopar Sep 10, 2015
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    Seems what "Frances Smith" said to WRAL, surely differs from what is shown on video. The video showed her being an ignorant FOOL, and arrested for it. The officer was just doing his job and it's sad they have to face these situations every day, especially those on gov support in our county. I think we need to do away with all these so called entitlements, which is HIGHLY abused in our county. That way they understand what doing a JOB- earning your own money, like the officer was doing, would mean-and could appreciate it. I also doubt that these few arrested, was their first trip to Halifax lockup. They show their true colors, video doesn't lie.