Police Investigating After Video Shows Officer Choking Black Man In Prom Tux
The video shows a white police officer choking a young tuxedo-clad man who is African-American, pushing him against a storefront and then slamming him to the ground outside a North Carolina Waffle House.
The 27-second clip provides no context for the confrontation, but the image of the burly officer, dressed in tactical gear, subduing the skinny young man, who is pleading to be let go, is the latest such video to go viral, sparking outrage and accusations of police brutality.
Here it is, but first a warning: some may find the video disturbing and the F-word is heard at least twice.
And here is a bit of the context: It was taken May 5 and posted to Facebook on May 8 by Anthony Wall, 22, who says the video is of him. Wall is outside the restaurant after taking his 16-year-old sister to the prom.
Some of the audio is difficult to understand, but it does seem clear that Wall says loudly "Get your hands off me!" multiple times and "get your supervisor" while a woman's voice off camera can be heard saying "I'm glad I'm recording this. He's not supposed to be doing that."
While the officer's name has not been made public, the Warsaw, N.C., police department acknowledged Thursday that he comes from the department's ranks.
Channel 11, a Raleigh, N.C., ABC affiliate, and other local television stations also show a clip from a second video that shows Wall and his sister in what appears to be a heated argument with a Waffle House employee inside the restaurant — an event that seems to have precipitated the confrontation with the officer.
Speaking with ABC11 later, Wall said, "I was pretty much trying to scream for air and trying to breathe because he was holding my throat and that's when I got aggressive with him because you are choking me."
"While he takes full responsibility for his interaction with Waffle House employees, he told ABC11 the cop's actions were not justified. 'Your hands should have never been around my neck like that if my hands were in the air,' said Wall.
"In a statement to the television station, Warsaw Police Chief Eric Sutherland said the department was 'investigating the whole incident, interviewing witnesses and gathering additional video.' "
"We have also reached out to the District Attorney's Office to make him aware of the investigation," Sutherland said. "Once the investigation is complete and the District Attorney has had a chance to review the case we will provide the public with an update on the findings."
Last month, a video taken at a Waffle House in Alabama showed officers knocking down and arresting a black woman inside the restaurant. Employees had called officers reporting that the woman appeared drunk and had refused to leave when asked. In the video, one officer can be heard telling the woman that he will break her arm.
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