Complaint against Raleigh police alleges excessive force

Two community groups will file a federal complaint Monday alleging Raleigh police used excessive force in their 2016 arrest of Rashon McNeil, a 24-year-old man officers pushed to the ground on Martin Street.

In a news release, Save Our Sons of Raleigh and Raleigh PACT said two white officers arrested McNeil, who is black, believing that his name was Lamar — a suspect in a case — without asking his name or confirming his identity. A video on PACT's Web site shows McNeil wrestled to the ground shouting, "My name is not Lamar."

McNeil was charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer, charges that a Wake County judge later dismissed.

“They didn’t treat me like a human being, and what’s worse is that I’ve come to expect this from Raleigh PD,” McNeil said in the release. “That wasn’t my first unjust encounter with police, and it wasn’t the last."

A Raleigh police spokesman could not be reached for comment Sunday. The two community groups have scheduled a press conference for 1:15 p.m. Monday at City Hall on Hargett Street.

Save Our Sons, founded in 2004, describes itself as a nonprofit seeking fair sentencing laws. PACT's Web site shows a timeline for the group starting shortly after 24-year-old Akiel Denkins was shot in Southeast Raleigh in 2016.

After McNeil's arrest, Save Our Sons said it submitted a complaint to the Raleigh Police Department's internal affairs division, hearing in March that the complaint was judged "unsustained."

"I'm not surprised that a department that polices itself decided that there was no wrongdoing," said Kimberly Muktarian, president of Save Our Sons. "We have a problem in this country and in Raleigh where we expect an internal department to hold police accountable when we deserve impartial community oversight."

The groups said they are seeking: a formal apology, a review of the department's stop-and-search data to investigate bias and a recommendation from the city that a community oversight board with subpoena and disciplinary power be established.

Josh Shaffer: 919-829-4818, @joshshaffer08