Man accuses police of excessive force after video shows Raleigh officer knee, punch him during arrest

Joel Brown Image
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Man claims excessive force after video shows Raleigh officer knee, punch him during arrest
Man claims excessive force after video shows Raleigh officer knee, punch him during arrest

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Video of an arrest by Raleigh officers went viral after it was posted to Twitter Wednesday and now Raleigh Police Department officials say they're investigating the incident.

The video, posted to Twitter and retweeted more than 5,000 times as of 4:30 p.m. showed officers kneeing a driver, pulling him out of his vehicle and repeatedly hitting him during an arrest.

The driver in the video, Braily Andres Batista Concepcion, 22, was arrested and charged with DWI, three counts of hit-and-run, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, simple possession of marijuana and resisting arrest.

The arrest happened on Navaho Drive Tuesday morning.

Officer said around 9:30 a.m. they received a report of a hit-and-run in the 3500 block of Wake Forest Road. According to the report, the suspect had fled the area and was involved in a second hit-and-run in a parking lot at St. Albans Drive and Wake Forest Road. Then, while taking off from that crash, the driver also hit a utility pole.

"We just got ran into," one man tells a 911 dispatcher. "And the guy took off, twice. He ran into us twice and took off."

In another call to 911, a woman tells dispatch, "They hit me. And then I stopped at the red light and they looked in the mirror and they were trying to back up and hit me again."

Police pulled over Batista Concepcion because they said his car matched the description of the one involved. Officers said he appeared to be impaired.

Batista Concepcion said they punched him, which caused one of the passengers in the back of the car to pull out their phone and record what was happening.

In the video, an officer knees Batista Concepcion in the side while he's sitting in the driver's seat. The officer demands Batista Concepcion to get out of the vehicle.

"Mr. Batista-Concepcion failed to follow the officer's commands and officers used force to remove him from the vehicle," a statement from the Raleigh Police Department said.

The officer then grabbed him, pulling on him and hitting him. The officer eventually gets him out of the car with the help of a second officer.

The two officers can then be seen on top of Batista Concepcion struggling to handcuff him.

Batista Concepcion posted pictures of his bloodied face a day after the arrest. He accuses the officers of using excessive force and said he is considering filing a lawsuit.

He was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor because police said two minors were in the car at the time of the hit-and-run crashes.

The Raleigh Police Department said the officers were wearing body cameras and they will petition the Superior Court for release of the videos.

An exclusive interview with Braily Andres Batista Concepcion and community activist Kerwin Pittman:

In an interview with ABC11, Batista explained why he continued to hold on to the steering wheel instead of getting out as instructed.

"Because (the officer) started attacking me," he said. "(The officer's) like, 'Get out of the car, get out of the car.' So, I'm like, I'm not about to get out of the car because you hitting me."

Batista denies the charges that he was driving impaired, possessed marijuana and said he doesn't remember any hit and runs.

Despite the allegations, community activist Kerwin Pittman, executive director of Recidivism Reduction Educational Program Services, says the police response was extreme.

"It still does not warrant the sense of force that was used against him," Pittman said. "And for him to be left bloodied on the concrete essentially."