Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

North Carolina town probing officer seen choking black man in prom attire

North Carolina town probing officer seen choking black man in prom attire

Police are investigating an incident caught on video in which a local police officer can be seen choking a young black man outside a Waffle House restaurant in North Carolina.

Wall, 22, told television station WTVD he took his 16-year-old sister to prom Saturday before his and his siblings went to the Warsaw Waffle House. "Get your hands off of me", Wall says, before the officer throws him to the ground.

"Your hands should have never been around my neck like that if my hands was in the air", he continued. The restaurant released a statement about both incidents Friday.

The district attorney, who serves Duplin, Sampson, Jones and Onslow counties, said he was made aware Wednesday afternoon, May 9, of the May 4 incident at the Waffle House, located on N.C. 24 near Interstate 40, not far from the Sampson-Duplin line.

Warsaw Police Chief Eric Southerland responded to the incident on Wednesday, telling The News & Observer that the department and District Attorney Ernie Lee have launched an investigation into the incident.

It is unclear whether the officer, who has not been identified, remains on duty while police investigate his use of force.

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At some point, Wall and his younger sister got into a shouting match with people at the restaurant. Since the incident went viral, the police department has also removed its Facebook page.

If Waffle House were to heed that call, the company would be following in the footsteps of another US corporate giant, Starbucks, which recently seized the moment of a racially-charged public relations crisis to open a wider discussion into company culture.

On the subject of Wall's Facebook video, which has been viewed half a million times, Southerland said that the comments "get ugly".

The incident comes after Chikesia Clemons, 25, controversial arrest.

" 'I'll break your arm, that's what I'm about to do, ' an officer says". Starbucks apologized last month after an employee at a Philadelphia shop called police on two black men who were waiting for a colleague. She tweeted a request to boycott the restaurant until the corporate office "legitimately and seriously commits to 1) discussion on racism, 2) employee training, and 3) other plans to change; and until they start to implement changes".

But Moore, of the Duplin County NAACP, said that regardless of what happened initially with Wall, the sight of a white officer aggressively taking down an unarmed black man remains hard to watch - especially when several such instances have ended in death.

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