DA: Viral video ‘unfortunate, troubling,’ but Raleigh officers will not face charges

August 21, 2018

Lorrin Freeman

After watching body camera video from an incident in which a Raleigh man fights six police officers before they subdue him with fists and clubs, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said Monday there would be no charges against the officers.

“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. “In this case, officers twice attempted to subdue Mr. Hall by using a Taser prior to using other force. The actions of the officers involved in this incident do not rise to the level of criminal assault.”

Frederick Darnell Hall, 44, was caught on video punching at Raleigh police officers in the intersection of Garner Road and Martin Luther King Boulevard Friday morning. Officers ordered Hall to calm down, but he did not respond. Ultimately, a half dozen officers used their clubs and fists to get him under control.

A judge on Monday set bond at $20,000 secured for Hall.

“We are declining to open a criminal investigation in this matter. There’s no question that watching these videos that have been released is difficult ... but we could not find that the actions of the officers rose to the level that would justify or warrant a criminal investigation,” Freeman said.

The City of Raleigh released 10 videos on Monday afternoon, five dashboard camera videos and five body camera videos, after Raleigh’s police chief petitioned the Wake County Superior Court to release the footage.

In the videos, Hall can be seen swinging at officers as they attempt to put him in handcuffs.

Two officers fall to the ground after being hit by Hall, but they manage to get him on the ground.

In another video, a female officer can be heard saying, “stop biting me.” That’s when officers realize he is biting her leg, and they begin to use force.

Officers are seen using their batons and trying to remove his grip. They eventually get him in handcuffs.

“State law provides that law enforcement may use that force that is necessary to end an assault or attack on them,” Freeman said.

She said the officers in this case did not violate state law.

Hall may be eligible for pre-trial release if he can raise the money, but he’ll be subject to a mental evaluation before that would happen, the judge said.

Hall was hospitalized over the weekend, and he made his appearance in court Monday via video conference because authorities consider him a security risk. He is charged with resisting a public officer and assault on a government official, and his original bond was set at $45,000.

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