New video shows moments before officers struck man with baton in Raleigh

Michael Perchick Image
Sunday, August 19, 2018

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- ABC11 obtained new video Saturday showing a different angle of an encounter that showed the moments before Raleigh Police officers struck Frederick Hall with a baton.

The incident happened at the intersection of Garner Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The clip begins with two officers getting up from the ground, with Hall swinging at one officer who then pushes him off.

Hall, who was not wearing a shirt or shoes during the encounter, continued to throw punches at the two officers during the encounter before a fourth officer pulls up and quickly jumps out of his car.

It appears the officer shot a taser at Hall in an attempt to subdue him, but Hall moved towards the officer.

The officers swung their batons at Hall repeatedly throughout the encounter.

Eventually, the encounter is obstructed by a Raleigh police car.

Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News App

"They're trained to handle an arrest without physically impairing them," explained Reverend Portia Rochelle, the Raleigh-Apex NAACP President.

She led a press conference Saturday afternoon at Martin Street Baptist Church, where Hall's family was joined by local advocates who called for transparency in the investigation.

"We want some answers, an answer, a half-answer would be great at this moment," said Douglas Hall, Frederick's older brother.

Douglas said Frederick has dealt with diagnosed mental health issues since 2012. An added 2016 run-in with authorities left him injured.

In the video that surfaced Friday, officers appear to strike a man who is already on the ground, as well as stomp on the man's foot. Another video from a slightly different angle shows the man grabbing a female police officer's leg and biting her near the ankle area. She then kicks him in the face with her free leg to stop him.

"How can you justify kicking somebody in the head ten times? How can you justify stomping someone's hand? How can you justify beating them with a baton," said Angee Sam, Hall's sister.

Hall is currently being held at WakeMed, where his family has been blocked from visiting or speaking with him.

They provided a video to ABC11 of family attempting to enter the facility, as they were blocked by staff. One family member was eventually arrested, and charged with trespassing.

Diana Powell, a local advocate working with the family, said they were working on securing his release late Saturday afternoon.

Advocates explained they've been told that Hall is alive, but have received no further information on his condition.

"Can I lay down tonight, not knowing where my child is at, what kind of condition he's in. It's not an easy pill to swallow," said Reverend Doris Tomberlin, Frederick's mother.

Family described Hall as quiet, hard-working, and religious, noting he worked two jobs. They declined to say where he worked, but noted he had been sent home from one of his jobs from working too many hours prior to the encounter.

"What in your policy, tell us the point in the video according to your policy that justified what we see now. Now we see a mob attacking the one person," said Reverend Dr. Shawn Singleton, the pastor at Martin Street Baptist Church.

Activists from the Carolina Justice Policy Center spoke out about the incident Friday but said they hadn't spoken to the man in the video.

"It really doesn't matter what happened leading up to it because the standards of care being deployed by our law enforcement shouldn't matter," said activist Dawn Blagrove. "Those standards should stay in place regardless of the situation.

"They are trained law enforcement officers -- we are not talking about a group of vigilante citizens with no training who are trying to subdue a situation," Blagrove added. "What could we know that would justify what we saw? What facts could change what we saw?"

The Wake County District Attorney's Office said it is reviewing the video.

The Raleigh Police Department issued the following statement:

The Raleigh Police Department is aware of the incident that occurred earlier today at Garner Road and Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard; we are reviewing the matter in accordance with our departmental policies. In the spirit of transparency, we have proactively made the District Attorney's office aware of this situation. The Raleigh Police Department offers no further comment on this ongoing investigation.

Full statement from Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman:

Late this afternoon I was made aware of a use of force incident regarding Raleigh Police Department by the Raleigh Police Chief Deck Brown. I have requested that all available video, including body cameras and dash cam video be provided to my office for review. I am in consultation with the State Bureau of Investigation and once we have completed a review, will be making a determination as to what the appropriate next steps are. We are requesting the community's patience as we go through this process.