Body-cam video: Raleigh police shoved protesters to ground during arrest now under investigation
Posted June 26, 2020 3:35 p.m. EDT
Updated June 26, 2020 6:55 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Police officers shoved several protesters to the ground in Raleigh last week as they tried to take a teen accused of assaulting an officer into custody, according to footage from police body-worn cameras that was released Friday.
The incident occurred as NC BORN – Building Our Revolution Now – staged a June 18 protest downtown on, and dozens of people sat in the intersection of Hillsborough and McDowell streets.
WARNING: Videos contain profanity.
Body-cam video shows an officer on a motorcycle approached the group and talked with members for a few minutes to persuade them to get out of the intersection. There is no audio on the video, so it's unclear what was said during the encounter.
Several protesters can be seen surrounding the motorcycle, yelling at the officer, including the teen, who was using a bullhorn. The video shows the officer trying to turn around to leave the area, but the teen steps in front of the motorcycle several times.
Moments later, several officers converged on the crowd and took the teen into custody, pushing several others back telling them to "get off" and "back up."
Some protesters were knocked to the ground, and one officer can be seen pointing what appears to be a can of pepper spray at the crowd to hold them off. Another officer lunged at the crowd several times as he held with a long wooden baton in front of him to push the crowd back.
The protesters screamed obscenities at the officers, and many stood with the hands in the air, yelling the girl was "only 17" and that "she didn't do anything."
An officer can be heard yelling at the girl, "You assaulted me. You're not going to assault the police."
"She didn't assault anyone. You assaulted her," one woman yelled.
"You ran her over," a man yelled.
The officer later yelled at protesters, "You're not going to block me on my motorcycle. That's assault. You block me in again. That's assault."
A woman who held tightly to the teen was told to let go of her "or you're going to come too." After she released the crying teen, police also arrested her.
"She assaulted an officer," an officer told the woman.
"When did she do that? When did she do that?" the woman asked.
The crowd surrounded a police van as the woman and the teen were placed in the back, yelling, "Let her go" and "This is why we're out here."
A woman who identified herself as a first responder said she needed to check on the teen, but police pushed her back. A man who said he was the girl's grandfather also wanted to talk to her, but an officer told him he would have to talk to a supervisor.
Police had to push the protesters back from the van as an officer drove the woman and the teen away, leaving an angry crowd yelling after them as officers slowly left the area.
Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said the teen was never charged with anything and was released to her parent that night.
The woman was charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing a law enforcement officer, but that charge was dismissed the following day, Deck-Brown said.
"I am concerned by the actions of some of our officers," she said at a June 19 news conference, adding that the department was investigating the incident.
Police haven't said how many officers are under investigation and whether any are still on patrol.