A Wake County judge will allow the release of body camera footage showing police handcuffing and detaining a Black Fuquay-Varina teenager after family members say he was falsely accused of stealing a dirt bike he’d paid for. 

On January 30, Malcolm Ziglar, 14, was in his front yard with a friend when two Fuquay-Varina cop cars pulled up. Within seconds, he was handcuffed and placed in the back of a cruiser despite pleas for officers to talk to his father who was inside the home. The teen claims he had a bill of sale for the $900 dirt bike, which he had repaired himself and listed on Facebook Marketplace.

The encounter was traumatizing, the family says. They have asked the department to release body camera footage of the incident. After petitioning the courts, Wake County Judge Vince Rozier Wednesday approved the release of the footage with several redactions, including the faces of the other minors present and footage of an officer’s cell phone that contained personal information. A dialogue containing information about the ongoing investigation into the stolen bike will also be redacted.

It is unclear how quickly the footage will be released to the general public.

Emancipate NC executive director Dawn Blagrove, who has been advocating for the release of the video on behalf of the family, was pleased with the judge’s decision to make the footage public.

“We believe that it is important for the people of Fuquay-Varina to see Malcolm’s face while he experiences the trauma of this interaction. Hear the humiliation and fear in his voice,” Blagrove told the INDY. “This situation could have been handled with so much more care. We hope FVPD and Town Council take seriously the demands for an oversight board and deep dive into policies that make interactions like this one okay.”

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