'I just believe I'm pushing for the right thing:' Activists, local man take fight to federal level

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Activists, local man take fight to federal level
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Community activists in Raleigh are fighting for justice.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Community activists in Raleigh are taking their fight to the federal level.

The legal fight began in 2016 after Rashon McNeil was arrested and charged with resisting and obstructing an officer.

Afterward, a video emerged of McNeil being wrestled to the ground by two Raleigh police officers.

"Just because I'm a young black man with hair and tattoos, whatever it may be, I shouldn't be segregated and pointed out," said McNeil, who is now 26-years-old. "Mentally I gotta let it go, emotionally I gotta let it go."

Prosecutors eventually dropped those charges.

Raleigh police dismissed its internal affairs probe in March, but McNeil and other advocates hope to bring some kind of resolution the case.

"We can't allow American police officers to continue this behavior and call it justice," said Kimberly Muktarian, president of Save Our Sons of Raleigh. "Rashon is one of thousands of young men in Wake County who are falsely accused and their cases are dismissed."

McNeil is no stranger to authorities; he served six years for armed robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Related: More charged in Raleigh murder

Court records show other charges on his record as well.

However, McNeil said if he was held accountable for his actions, then so should Raleigh police.

"I just believe that I'm pushing for the right thing," he said. "An unjust act cannot go without justice. I just want people to know I'm not a statistic."

Activists said even if the DOJ investigation comes back empty, they'll continue to fight for policy change locally including pushing for a citizens advisory board to oversee law enforcement.

Raleigh police said it does comment on pending or active litigation.