The Roanoke Rapids Police Department said this morning use of force was justified last week in taking a man into custody who has been charged with disobeying the commands of an officer directing traffic at a crash scene.
In a statement Chief Bobby Martin said, “The Roanoke Rapids Police Department is aware of a bystander’s video, appearing on social media, that captured a portion of an incident involving an individual and two uniformed police officers.”
A link to the video can be found by clicking here. In response to a request by rrspin.com for officer body camera video from the matter, City Manager Joseph Scherer said, “Per state general statutes and discussion with our city attorney, we cannot release the requested information without a court order approving the release.”
The man arrested and charged after the stop — Antonia Daniels, 34 of Roanoke Rapids — was not injured.
Daniels was charged with failure to obey a traffic officer; resisting a public officer; and failure to heed blue lights and siren. He was also served an outstanding order for arrest for failure to appear in court on a separate charge.
Martin said Officer Hannah Grimes did receive bruises and abrasions from the struggle with Daniels.
In the statement Martin said, “The RRPD shares the community’s concern whenever it becomes necessary to use force to complete an arrest. We release the following information in pursuit of transparency and increased public trust.”
The narrative of the events contained in the statement is as follows:
“On June 3, 2020 at approximately 12:47 p.m., officers with the RRPD were responding to an accident in the area of Smith Church Road and Hwy 158. Officer J. Rowland was securing the area and directing traffic at the intersection where the wreck occurred when Mr. A. Daniels, driving erratically, ignored his direction to stop and narrowly missed hitting him.
“Officer H. Grimes attempted to stop the vehicle to address this violation, but Mr. A. Daniels failed to stop. When he finally pulled over near the intersection of Virginia Ave. and Hwy 158, Sgt. A. Salmon and Officer H. Grimes approached the vehicle to make an arrest for failure to obey a traffic officer and failure to heed blue lights and sirens.
“Mr. A. Daniels resisted and would not comply with the officers’ verbal orders. The resulting use of force by Sgt. A. Salmon and Officer H. Grimes was an attempt to gain compliance and complete the arrest.
“Upon arrival at the RRPD, Mr. A. Daniels was interviewed and thoroughly checked for injuries. Neither he nor the arresting officers sustained any serious physical injuries and did not require nor request medical attention.
“In accordance with RRPD policy, the officers immediately reported the use of force. The RRPD closely examines all use of force incidents and holds every officer to the highest law enforcement standards. An immediate investigation was conducted, which included a review of the officer’s body cameras. The investigation found that use of force was justifiable under the circumstances presented during this incident.
“When a police officer with lawful authority determines that use of force is needed to protect all involved, a careful balancing of all human interests is required. Law enforcement officers are authorized to use force to resolve situations such as resisting arrest. The RRPD will review our policies and practices to ensure they inspire trust, ensure public and officer safety, and address concerns with police use of force.
“We are pleased to announce that we are collaborating with Dr. Stephanie Hampton Credle to bring a series of training sessions to RRPD including Unconscious Bias, Diversity vs. Inclusion, Conflict Across Cultures and more. We encourage our citizens to reach out directly to Chief Martin with any questions or concerns. We can and will work together for positive change.”