NC cop chokes, slams black man in tuxedo to the ground at Waffle House, video shows
A video posted to Facebook on May 8 shows a North Carolina police officer choking a man wearing prom attire and slamming him to the ground.
Warsaw Police Chief Eric Southerland told The News & Observer in an interview Wednesday that the officer in the video is a part of the Warsaw Police Department. Warsaw is about an hour south and east of Raleigh.
The department and District Attorney Ernie Lee are investigating the May 5 incident, Southerland said. Lee said he has asked the State Bureau of Investigation to assist.
Southerland did not identify the officer or the man involved in the video.
"We are aware of the video and currently working on an investigation, following up based on the video posted, doing interviews, gathering video evidence," Southerland said.
Anthony Wall, 22, of Fayetteville, said he was at Waffle House with a group after taking his 16-year-old sister to prom. He said he and his sister argued with Waffle House employees and the police were called.
The argument began when a Waffle House employee cursed at people in his group after they sat at a table that had not been cleaned yet, he said. Then, Wall said, a waitress called the police.
It was unclear why Wall was choked or slammed by the officer. The video — which features strong language — does not show anything before the physical altercation. Wall had his arms raised above his head before the officer began to choke him.
Southerland said that is not how his officers are trained to behave.
Wall told The News & Observer in an interview on May 9 that his head and back were injured in the altercation and he had a cut on his arm. The video shows him struggling on the ground while the officer tries to put him in handcuffs.
"I 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," Wall told ABC11.
In the video, Wall can be heard demanding the officer's supervisor.
Southerland said additional information, including any pending charges, would be released after the investigation into the video.
Wall said he was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct for arguing with the Waffle House employees.
Southerland said social media comments on the video posted by Anthony Wall that had been shared more than 2,200 times "gets ugly."
"I wish people would not blow things out of proportion and not let one situation create any additional situations," Southerland said.
When asked if the officer's behavior in the video reflects what Warsaw officers are trained to do in such situations, Southerland said "no."
"It's not what you're trained to do in incidents like this but when you're dealing with someone fighting and resisting against an officer, you try to use proper tactics and go for one move, but that might not work because that person is moving or the officer is moving," Southerland said. "In real versus training situations, moves don't always work out like you want them to."
On his Facebook post, Wall wrote: "This have to stop please help by share reporting to every news report u know please."