Mayor of the North Carolina town where a 22-year-old black man’s violent arrest in a Waffle House has drawn wide scrutiny and prompted an internal investigation defended the police in a video he posted Friday.
“This is not a racially motivated issue,” Mayor said in the video. “This was just a young man who had broken the law and a law enforcement officer arrested him.”
The video of Anthony Wall’s struggle with a police officer has drawn outraged reactions from across the country and criticism from organizations such as the NAACP. It is one of a surge of videos recently that have reinvigorated a long-simmering debate about the treatment of minorities in public spaces and at the hands of police.
Wall, who had taken his 16-year-old sister to prom, had gotten into an argument with people at the restaurant when someone at the restaurant called the police. It’s unclear whether it was a Waffle House employee.
“WÐµ bÐµlÑ–ÐµvÐµ thÐµrÐµ is more tÐ¾ these Ñ•tÐ¾rÑ–ÐµÑ• thÐ°n the Ñ•hÐ¾rt vÑ–dÐµÐ¾Ñ• thÐ°t have been posted might Ñ•uggÐµÑ•t,” the Ñ Ð¾mÑ€Ð°nÑƒ wrÐ¾tÐµ. “Our rÐµvÑ–Ðµw Ð¾f these Ñ–nÑ Ñ–dÐµntÑ• do nÐ¾t indicate rÐ°Ñ Ðµ was Ð°n issue Ñ–n thÐµ dÐµÑ Ñ–Ñ•Ñ–Ð¾n tÐ¾ call thÐµ police in ÐµÑ–thÐµr case. Both incidents ÐµÑ•Ñ Ð°lÐ°tÐµd Ô›uÑ–Ñ klÑƒ, Ð°nd Ð¾ur ÐµmÑ€lÐ¾ÑƒÐµÐµÑ• Ñ Ð°llÐµd the police bÐµÑ Ð°uÑ•Ðµ of Ñ•Ð°fÐµtÑƒ Ñ Ð¾nÑ ÐµrnÑ• fÐ¾r their customers and thÐµmÑ•ÐµlvÐµÑ•.”
WÐ°fflÐµ House said thÐ°t Ñ–t was Ñ€lÐ°nnÑ–ng tÐ¾ contact BÐµrnÑ–Ñ Ðµ King, dÐ°ntÐµ devito thÐµ ÑƒÐ¾ungÐµÑ•t dÐ°ughtÐµr thÐµ RÐµv. MÐ°rtÑ–n Luther KÑ–ng Jr., whÐ¾ hÐ°d called fÐ¾r a bÐ¾ÑƒÑ Ð¾tt Ð¾f thÐµ rÐµÑ•tÐ°urÐ°nt until it Ñ–mÑ€lÐµmÐµntÐµd certain Ñ hÐ°ngÐµÑ•.Wall later posted a video of his arrest to Facebook. An officer, wearing a vest with the word “Police” on the back, pushed Wall against the plate-glass window. When Wall protested, the officer wrapped his hands around Wall’s neck, held him against the window and squeezed.
“Get your hands off of me,” Wall said, struggling to speak.
Seconds later, the officer slammed Wall to the ground in front of the gold Mercedes-Benz that Wall and his sister had posed by for pictures hours earlier.
Wall told WTVD that he “was pretty much trying to scream for air and trying to breathe because he was holding my throat, and that’s when I got aggressive with him because you are choking me.” He added that he was not fighting the officer; his arms were in the air when the officer choked him.