Activists, community leaders react to Kyron Hinton's death
Posted February 23, 2019 9:15 p.m. EST
Updated February 24, 2019 7:11 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — Activists and community leaders gathered on Sunday to mourn and reflect on the death of Kyron Hinton, who was beaten by law enforcement officers during an April confrontation.
Hinton died Saturday night, according to Raleigh police, after officers responded to the 700 block of Cooper Road and found EMS performing CPR on Hinton.
Hinton was taken to WakeMed, where he was pronounced dead. An investigation is ongoing and a cause of death has not been determined, but several sources told WRAL News that Hinton died of an apparent drug overdose.
On Sunday, Justice Served NC, a group that serves and supports at-risk youth and adults, joined community members, elected officials and religious leaders to make a public statement on Hinton's death.
Hinton's family was not in attendance on Sunday. Diana Powell, the director of Justice Served NC, said they were in mourning.
"Remember Kyron's mother," Powell said through tears to the crowd gathered at The Light House community center in downtown Raleigh. "I had a chance to talk with her this morning, and she is in crisis."
Powell and other speakers encouraged the public not to remember Hinton as a man beaten by police but as the kind man he was -- a father, a son and a friend.
"We have to do better as a community and as a people and be caring for one another," said Nancy E. Petty, the pastor at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. "I first met Hinton here at The Light House months after he was beaten by the police. He was a bright young man, and he is a son to us all. When we continually fail our sons and daughters in the way we failed Mr. Hinton, we need to really take stock in who we are as a community."
Speakers also reminded the public that Hinton suffered from mental illness.
On April 3, officers were responding to reports of a man, later identified as Hinton, with a gun yelling at passing cars near the intersection of North Raleigh Boulevard and Yonkers Road when they confronted Hinton.
Hinton said he suffered a broken eye socket, broken nose, multiple cuts on his head, "probably 20 bite marks" and memory loss during the incident when several officers pushed him up against a patrol car and beat him up while a Wake County Sheriff's Office K-9 bit him on his right arm, side and head.
Dashboard camera videos from patrol cars at the scene show Broadwell hitting Hinton as his K-9, Loki, takes Hinton to the ground.
During the ensuing scrum with several officers, one officer is seen kicking Hinton, while another can be seen punching him as he refuses to give in to law enforcement.
In the audio for several dashboard camera videos, including Broadwell's and Blake's, someone repeatedly issues an order to hit Hinton in the head.
Troopers Michael Blake and Tabitha Davis were fired by the Highway Patrol in June in connection with the incident and charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and willfully failing to discharge duties.
In December, Blake and Davis were indicted, along with Rodney Goswick, on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice after they were accused of lying about the use of force during Hinton’s arrest.
Wake County Sheriff's Office Deputy Cameron Broadwell also was charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, willfully failing to discharge duties and assault inflicting serious bodily injury.
Hinton had previously filed a lawsuit against former Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison and a deputy, seeking $150,000 in damages. He filed a similar lawsuit against the state Department of Public Safety.
WRAL News has learned that Hinton and the county reached a settlement of more than $80,000.