Calls for Roanoke County officers to be fired following use of force arrest
ROANOKE COUNTY (WSLS 10) - A video of an altercation between a man and two Roanoke County police officers had several people calling for those officers' jobs Wednesday night.
Police say 34-year-old Alvin Murdock ran away from the officers during a field sobriety test.
Police say he had to be detained by force, but several people, including Murdock's mother, say the extent of that force was more than necessary.
The video appears to show what occurred directly after the police chase.
The officers appear to handcuff Murdock, stand over him, and roll him over at one point, before sitting him up, but Khalid Jones, the man who took that footage, says what he saw that night convinced him the officers were out of line.
"As a police officer, you're supposed to arrest them, book them, and take them to jail, not beat the heck out of them," said Jones.
Jones says it was that beating that made him approach officers Sunday night.
"I heard all of those screams and hollers and stuff, and it sounded like somebody was tazing someone, so I just went to check it out, to see what was going on, and when I got back there, I was surprised at my eyes at what I saw," said Jones.
That's when Jones started filming with his phone.
"I witnessed them, two of the officers on top of a man that had handcuffs on just pumping down on top of him like that, and by the time that I pulled my camera out to get a good close view, they were telling me to back up," said Jones.
WSLS was able to brighten up Jones' video.
It doesn't appear to show any clear example of violence, but Murdock's mother, Cynthia Holloway, claims her son had bruises and swelling the next day in jail.
"His arm is swole, his eye is swole, and his ribs are messed up and he's swolen. He could not, when he talked to me yesterday, he could not bend over to do nothing because he was in so much pain," said Holloway.
Roanoke County Police confirm Murdock was taken by ambulance to the emergency room at Roanoke Memorial Hospital after his arrest.
Community Advocate Martin Jeffrey called several groups together Wednesday afternoon to discuss the incident, including the "Justice for Kionte" group, the "Black Lives Matter" group, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the "Raise Up $15" group.
He says the video, coupled with the injuries Murdock sustained, have convinced him this is another instance of police brutality.
"The essential question is, is there real video, or real footage, of this supervisor of the Roanoke County Police Department, and one of his subordinates, beating the crap out of this young man with his pants down to his ankles, and getting him in handcuffs behind a Roanoke County business in the dark? And that is clear on the video footage that we did release," said Jeffrey.
Roanoke County Police identified the officers as A.W. Ayers and V.G. Branch.
"We want those two officers, we want them fired, because the video shows everything," said Jeffrey.
The SCLC says it intends to quote "get involved... to make sure justice is done."
Murdock's mother tells me her son is not currently speaking with police and is asking to be represented by an attorney.
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