Raleigh police chief says she's 'concerned' by officers' actions during demonstrator arrests

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Friday, June 19, 2020
RPD Chief Deck-Brown promises internal affairs investigation after demonstrators arrested
RPD Chief Deck-Brown said she was concerned by some of the actions of her officers during the arrests.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said during a news conference on Friday that after watching the body camera video of the arrests of two people during a demonstration, she is 'concerned' about the officers' actions and will be launching an investigation.

The arrests happened as demonstrators marched in downtown Raleigh Thursday night. During the march, two people, both who are Black and one who is a minor, were arrested.

Deck-Brown said the initial report was called in as an assault on a law enforcement officers, and that the demonstrators had been running into traffic and blocking intersections.

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The woman who was arrested was cited and released. However, Deck-Brown said she has requested that charges be dismissed.The minor, a girl whose age was not disclosed, was released to her parents and will not face charges.

Two Raleigh City Council members, Jonathan Melton and Saige Martin, took to Twitter after the arrests, expressing their disappointment in the actions by the Raleigh Police Department.

While Deck-Brown said her officers didn't target the women based on their sexuality, gender or race, she did say that after reviewing social media videos and body camera footage, she found the officers' actions concerning. Deck-Brown also said RPD's internal affairs is launching an investigation into the arrests.

While Deck-Brown spoke against defunding the police department, saying her department was already under-resourced, she did say her agency is working to be more transparent, truthful and accountable.

"We're at a very pivotal point in law enforcement," Deck-Brown said. "We have got to find a way to all live, work and play in a community together. And we all have to recognize the error of our ways, if you will, of where law enforcement has been historically. But how do we get to what the 21st century looks like in terms of policing? And what does that relationship look like in a community?"

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"We want to be the change that we expect to see this world," Deck-Brown added. "We want to be those change agents. We have to be."