DURHAM (WTVD) — A man says he was severely hurt when a Durham officer threw him to the ground during an arrest, and it was all caught on camera.
In addition to defending the arresting officer, the police department released the dash cam video of the incident which happened back in September.
The video shows the officer and John Hill, of Durham, the alleged victim he stopped.
Hill filed a complaint, accusing the officer of excessive force.
Police say Hill was arrested after running a red light on his bike. However, what should have been a typical traffic stop was anything but that.
Scott Holmes, Hill’s attorney says the officer was aggressive, throwing his client to the ground, and seriously injuring him.
Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez, however, says what you see is a trained officer dealing with a man who was verbally abusive and aggressive. Police say Hill tried to touch the officer.
“What’s being pretty much promoted is that the officer did something wrong when, in fact, he did a textbook maneuver in order to secure and take into custody an individual,” said Lopez.
This matter recently ended up in court with the judge tossing out the criminal charges against Hill.
“The Durham Police Department’s statement is misleading,” said Holmes, adding that a district court judge found that it was excessive force and found Hill not guilty of running a red light.
“It’s another continuing example that they’re too quick to resort to violence when other appropriate measures could be used,” said Holmes, pointing out his client was on a bicycle.
Durham Police launched an internal investigation of the incident and later found the officer followed department policy. Hill was informed he could appeal the department’s decision but has yet to do so. His attorney says he will continue to investigate, but stopped short commenting on possible civil action.
ABC11 asked Durham’s Police Chief whether there was an alternative to the maneuver used by the officer.
“When you have three seconds, you only think of one way and you take that route to be as safe as you can,” Lopez responded. “If you look at the video, notice the amount of traffic. Anything could’ve happened if the officer hadn’t acted quickly.”