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DA: No charges for police videotaped subduing man with baton

August 20, 2018

This undated mugshot shows Frederick Darnell Hall, who was charged with assaulting police officers after dramatic video surfaced on Friday, Aug. 18, 2018, showing their altercation. Video shows at least one officer striking Hall with a baton after he was on the ground. Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said Monday that her office won't prosecute officers involved in the arrest of Hall. The decision comes after a review of body camera footage and bystander video of police subduing Hall Friday. (Wake City-County Bureau of Identification via AP)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — No charges will be filed against North Carolina police captured on video striking a suspect with a baton, the district attorney said Monday, as police released new footage of the man throwing punches at officers and knocking one down.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman announced that her office won’t prosecute officers shown subduing Frederick Darnell Hall in bystander video that began circulating Friday. Newly released police dashboard video taken from a different angle shows Hall throwing punches at officers before he’s brought to the ground.

“While this incident is unfortunate and troubling to watch, law enforcement officers are authorized under the law to use force to stop an attack when necessary,” Freeman said in a statement. She noted officers tried to use a stun gun on Hall before using other force.

One bystander video that surfaced Friday, gaining scores of views on social media, showed what happened after Hall was already on the ground, as an officer repeatedly strikes him with a baton. Another witness video showed Hall swinging at officers.

Community activists have decried the altercation with Hall as yet another example of excessive force by police.

Hall was charged over the weekend with multiple counts of assault, as well as resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

The public defender’s office didn’t immediately respond to a message late Monday asking if Hall has a lawyer. Multiple phone listings associated with Hall’s address were disconnected.

The Raleigh Police Department obtained a court order allowing it to release multiple clips of dashboard and body camera video Monday. North Carolina law generally requires a judge to sign off on the release of police video.

The department also issued a statement with new details on what happened. Officers were called Friday morning to investigate a car left unoccupied in a busy road with music playing loudly. They said they found the suspect walking around an intersection with no shirt or shoes.

The news release said Hall, who seemed agitated and “in an altered state,” would not cooperate when officers talked to him. After officers tried to stop him from getting back in his car, he attacked them, police said.

The news release said officers suffered cuts, scrapes, bites and bruises that required treatment at a hospital.

In releasing the new footage, the department wrote that some video clips previously posted on social media and aired by news outlets “do not fully and accurately depict the incident.”

It’s not the first time this year that Freeman’s office has weighed whether officers went too far in a videotaped confrontation. Two former state troopers and a sheriff’s deputy were charged with assaulting a pedestrian with flashlights and a police dog during an April altercation.

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Follow Drew at https://twitter.com/JonathanLDrew

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