Man beaten by Raleigh police has a history of mental illness, his brother says

Video shows Raleigh police officers struggling to arrest man during intense struggle

Raleigh police officers use batons in a struggle with a man during an intense struggle near the intersection of Rock Quarry Road and MLK Blvd. Friday, August 17, 2018.
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Raleigh police officers use batons in a struggle with a man during an intense struggle near the intersection of Rock Quarry Road and MLK Blvd. Friday, August 17, 2018.

The man who tried to assault police officers before they restrained him and beat him with a baton in a Raleigh intersection has a history of mental illness and was beaten by police two years ago, according to his brother.

Police did not release the name of the man seen in videos posted on social media having an altercation with police at Garner Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Southeast Raleigh on Friday afternoon. But the man’s brother contacted The News & Observer and identified him as 44-year-old Frederick Hall.

Douglas Hall said he was trying to find his brother and learned that he was taken to WakeMed Hospital, where he was in stable condition Friday night.

“I called the Raleigh Police Department; there’s no report on file,” the brother said. “I called the Wake County jail. He’s not in the system.”

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An undated photo of Frederick Hall Courtesy of Douglas Hall

Videos surfaced online Friday afternoon showing Frederick Hall trying to punch three or four Raleigh police officers in the middle of the street. The officers can be seen trying to fend him off with batons. At one point, an officer tackles Hall around the legs.

Raleigh police officers are seen restraining, striking and stomping a man near the intersection of Garner Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018.

The struggle continues once Frederick Hall is on the ground and about seven officers restrain him. One officer strikes him with a baton several times on the back, another kicks him, and another stomps on his hand.

A police spokeswoman said Friday evening that the department was aware of the incident and contacted the Wake County District Attorney’s Office “in the spirit of transparency.”

Frederick Hall has a history of mental illness dating back to 2012 and has been hospitalized about half a dozen times, his brother said. The Hall brothers live together on Crosslink Road, a short distance from the intersection where Frederick Hall encountered police Friday. Frederick Hall works two jobs, his brother said, including at a local McDonald’s.

Douglas Hall said his brother was badly beaten by police in 2016, when the sport utility vehicle he was driving stalled on Interstate 540. Frederick Hall was outside of the vehicle when he was struck by a tow truck, his brother said.

“He was hit in the ribs by the tow truck,” Douglas Hall said late Friday night. “Within two minutes he was surrounded by four Raleigh police officers and two state troopers.”

Douglas Hall said the tow truck driver called 911. When the officers arrived, they first spoke with the driver.

“Then they snatched my brother out of the car, handcuffed him, maced him, beat him unconscious and then took him to WakeMed,” Douglas Hall said.

Frederick Hall was then taken to Holly Hill Hospital, a mental-health facility in Raleigh, his brother said.

Records show that Frederick Hall was charged on March 23, 2016, with resisting an officer and assaulting a law enforcement officer. State prison records do not show that he was convicted or sentenced for the charges.

Community activists quickly rallied to speak out against the officers’ actions Friday and hosted a meeting in the evening. They said the incident shows issues between African-American residents and the police.

“There is a lack of trust between the black community and law enforcement because law enforcement displays over and over again their utter lack of respect for the lives of the citizens,” said Dawn Blagrove, an attorney with the Carolina Justice Policy Center.

State records show Frederick Hall was convicted in 1992 in Onslow County for breaking and entering vehicles. He was placed on probation.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said Friday night that the case stemming from Friday’s incident is under review.

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