Local NAACP: Both police, suspect should have handled arrest differently
Posted January 18, 2020 6:32 p.m. EST
Updated January 18, 2020 10:09 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — The Raleigh-Apex chapter of the NAACP spoke out Saturday about Raleigh police officers’ use of force when arresting a driver.
Its president, Gerald Givens, said his perspective changed after seeing dash- and body-camera video released by the Raleigh Police Department on Friday.
Both officers and the suspect should have behaved differently, he said.
“Law enforcement has to think about what they’re doing, especially when they’re engaging with people of color,” Givens said. “The more that these things happen, all that happens is that we get more afraid. We do not want to be more afraid.”
He added that the public, especially young drivers, should properly handle the situation if stopped by police.
In a body camera clip, an officer can be heard asking the driver, Braily Andres Batista-Concepcion, to turn off the vehicle three times, to put his hands on the steering wheel four times and to get out the vehicle 14 times.
“It’s important to be respectful towards police,” Givens said. “No matter how much disrespect they show you, keep control of your emotions and do not provoke the person who represents lawful authority.”
Cellphone video showed officers kneeing 22-year-old Batista-Concepcion several times during an arrest Tuesday. Batista-Concepcion was a suspect in three hit-and-run crashes that morning and was driving erratically when he was pulled over, police have said.
The video sparked outrage across the community, with some saying the use of force was excessive.
NAACP leaders didn’t take a stance on officers being aggressive, although they said the situation looked “ugly.”
On Friday, the Raleigh Police Department released dashcam and bodycam video to show more angles and details of the arrest.
Givens said he wants more accountability from police when dealing with the public. He also said he wants the incident to be a teaching moment for police officers and for those stopped by police.
On Friday afternoon, Raleigh Chief of Police Cassandra Deck-Brown said releasing the dashcam and bodycam videos were an effort to be transparent as investigators consider whether the use of force was excessive.
Batista-Concepcion, of 3584 S. Beaver Lane in Raleigh, was charged with two counts of hit-and-run with property damage, failure to report an accident, driving while impaired, resisting a public officer, possession of up to a half-ounce of marijuana and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.