Charges will be dropped against the juvenile and adult protesters arrested by Raleigh police Thursday night, and Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said the department will be conducting an internal review of the incident.
“Based on my initial review of the body camera footage, I am concerned by the actions of some of our officers, and based on that I have asked also for the internal affairs unit to conduct a full investigation on this matter,” Deck-Brown said at a press conference Friday.
Videos of the arrest circulated on social media showing officers dragging a young Black protester by the arm across the pavement while detaining her. As she is handcuffed and taken away by police, other protesters can be heard shouting, “She’s 17,” and “She didn’t do anything.” Another video taken during the arrests shows a Raleigh Police officer shouting at protesters while wielding a baton.
Police initially claimed she had assaulted an officer, but protesters disputed that version of events, saying an officer on a motorcycle had run over the girl’s foot.
The video did not show the alleged assault, or the events leading up to the arrest of the two protesters.
Deck-Brown said that the protesters were blocking traffic, and the decision was made to clear the road in light of two recent pedestrian deaths.
Deck-Brown said she will be petitioning for the release of the body camera footage. She did not say how many officers will be investigated, nor if the officers would be placed on administrative duty pending the completion of the investigation.
“Looking at the frontend of the videos, the body-worn cameras, those are the things that bring a concern to me so I do think it warrants further investigation,” Deck-Brown said.
The minor arrested was released to her parents and Deck-Brown said she will be asking the courts to drop charges against the other adult protester arrested.
After seeing the videos, Councilmember Saige Martin responded with a statement that he would be submitting a proposal to defund the police department and reallocate the money. When asked about Martin’s statement, Deck-Brown said the resources are necessary to ensure public safety and sound policing.
“To defund when we are serving a city of half a million people, the resources are already limited,” Deck-Brown said.
Throughout the day Friday, protesters marched peacefully downtown in honor of Juneteenth.
This is a developing story.
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