Civil rights groups file complaint in Warsaw Waffle House choking case

WARSAW, NC (WTVD) -- Community advocates filed a complaint against the Town of Warsaw in response to the recent officer-involved choking incident at a Waffle House that garnered national attention.

The complaint was announced in a news conference by Jesus Uniting Souls to Increase Community Engagement (JUSTICE) Ministration and its Oxford-based Stop Killing Us (SKU) Solutions Campaign in partnership with the National Congress On Faith & Social Justice.

"Citizen advisory review boards are necessary," said Dawn Blagrove of the Carolina Justice Policy Center. "And that those review boards have the power and the authority to actually protect the community from those folks in law enforcement who mean us harm."

The Rev. Curtis Gatewood headed up the announcement of the complaint, which was filed at state and federal levels.

Gatewood was incensed earlier this week when he and others who showed up at the Warsaw commissioners meeting weren't allowed inside because the chamber was full.

READ MORE: SKU's Universal standards for law enforcement

He said they believe they could have been accommodated but the viral video of a young Fayetteville man being put in a chokehold by a Warsaw police officer had caused too much controversy.

Now, Gatewood and others are calling for the officer seen in the viral video and for the Warsaw mayor to be removed from their jobs.

Mayor AJ Connors had earlier called for people to wait to pass judgment on the incident, but Gatewood said the bulk of what he needs to know is on camera.

"I know there are certain things that we're going to have to find out through the investigative process," Gatewood said. "I understand that. I'm an intelligent man. At the same time, I can see. ... And there is no justification for this officer to go straight to the neck of that young man. There's no justification."
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