Man at center of violent Raleigh police encounter a free man but silent about the case

Joel Brown Image
ByJoel Brown via WTVD logo
Wednesday, August 22, 2018

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- Trading in a Wake County jail jumpsuit for khakis and a clean shirt, Frederick Hall arrived at a Raleigh news conference as a free man Tuesday night. It was a far cry from four days ago, when Hall was shirtless and barefoot tussling with Raleigh police officers at Garner Road and Martin Luther King Boulevard.

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"When I saw the video and I saw the anger in him, I didn't recognize that person because I don't know that person," said Angela Salmon, Hall's sister.

Hall's family used much of the news conference to speak to his character.

"You would probably think that he paid me to talk like this; he's a great man. I love this man," Hall's nephew Dimitrius Hinnant said.

Hall chose not to step in front of the microphones.

We asked his mother, Doris Tomberlin, why he wouldn't personally tell his side of the story.

"Because I told him to be quiet," she said. "And furthermore, when mama say, shut up, mama say, shut up."

The family said Hall has long suffered from mental illness and was having an episode Friday in the encounter caught on multiple RPD dash and body cams, which still inexplicably escalated into violence.

Hall is seen on video appearing to bite an officer's leg, hurling haymaker punches, then being subdued by police baton, kicks on the ground, and a Taser.

"The policy was not followed. Best practices were not followed," community advocate Wanda Hunter said.

Community advocates insist RPD officers violated the department's baton policy. They say the incident is proof that police aren't following through on promises for more crisis intervention training to deal with patients suffering from mental health issues -- especially in marginalized communities such as southeast Raleigh.

"When they moved Dorothea Dix (Psychiatric) Hospital and took it out of our community -- what in the world did you expect?" asked Diana Powell, executive director of Justice Served NC. "You're going to have mental illness patients in our streets and they got to encounter law enforcement."

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman spoke to ABC11's Ed Crump on Tuesday to discuss her decision not to press charges against any of the officers in this case.

Meantime, Hall is facing several charges of assault related to the incident.

These community advocates and activists are pledging to flood the next Raleigh City Council meeting September 4, to raise many of the issues we heard Tuesday night.