Cellphone Video Captures Deputy Placing His Knee On A Black Man's Neck

Cellphone Video Captures Deputy Placing His Knee On A Black Man’s Neck

The Washington County Police Department in North Carolina fired a sheriff’s deputy after cell phone video footage caught the deputy placing his knee on the neck of a Black man, WITN reports.

Deputy Aaron Edwards arrested Gary Thomas for marijuana possession. The video, captured by Thomas’ girlfriend, shows the situation swiftly escalated into a violent altercation when Edwards put his knee on Thomas’ neck before dragging the man’s limp body inside a courthouse, according to The Huffington Post.

Deputy Aaron Edwards drags Gary Thomas into the courthouse. Photo Credit: Cell Phone Video

The police department terminated Edwards on Tuesday, said Washington County Manager Curtis Potter to WITN.

An internal investigation and a review of the deputy’s body camera, security footage, and eye witness accounts led to Edwards firing, said Sheriff Johnny Barnes.

Sheriff Johnny Barnes’ Facebook post read, “On March 2 2022, this office received a complaint against one of the Sheriff’s Office Deputies for excessive force against an arrestee. This office takes these complaints seriously, and we investigated the incident to the fullest extent possible. As a result , and in conjunction with the District Attorneys Office, The SBI has been called in to address any criminal involvement and those findings will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for his determination. As a result of the Sheriff’s Office Internal Investigation, and after reviewing all body camera and security footage along with interviews of those involved. The Sheriff’s Office has terminated the Deputy involved.”

Sheriff, Johnny Barnes, states that “this incident went beyond the scope of acceptable force and will not be tolerated in this office. Our Officers work hard daily to earn the trust of our citizens and we will continue to strive to serve our citizens with professionalism nothing less will be acceptable.”

The post also disclosed that District Attorney Seth Edwards and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation would determine if they would bring up criminal charges against the deputy, according to WITN.