Roanoke County concludes investigation into Murdoch arrest, finding no fault

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE COUNTY (WSLS 10) - An internal investigation finds Roanoke County police officers' use of force was justified during the arrest of 34-year-old Alvin Murdock.

Police arrested Murdock in August after he ran from them during field sobriety tests.

The incident along Electric Road was caught on camera by a bystander, and that video has since sparked outrage in the community.

It was in a dimly lit parking lot that Khaleed Jones says he saw police on top of Murdock.

He says he's not surprised the county's internal investigation didn't turn anything up, but he says what he saw and heard that night has convinced him that there's more to the story.

Jones says it was the commotion that night that drew him to this spot.

"Before I came around the corner, I heard the gentleman screaming so loud, there is no way possible that somebody couldn't be doing something. That's the only reason that I went back there," said Jones.

Thursday, the county says whatever officers A.W. Ayers and V.G. Branch were "doing" was "within policy" and thus "no disciplinary actions were taken."

Jones heard the news while working in his barber shop Thursday.

He says he remembers the night clearly and doesn't buy the county's explanation.

"Once I asked for a supervisor, the gentleman that was on top of him beating him said he was the supervisor, so who's going to be, who's going to say he wasn't doing something besides him and himself?" said Jones.

As WSLS reported on August 31st, the video doesn't appear to show any clear signs of violence between Murdock and police, but Jones says more than a month later, he and many others in the community still have lingering questions.

"Why was the lights off? Why when I walked up to the truck was the, up to the ambulance, why did they turn the lights off and shut the door inside the ambulance? I mean these things are tell tale situations that something was going amuck in that situation," said Jones.

Jones says he doesn't expect to get any answers to those questions from the county.

He and many others now hope independent investigations will bring more facts to light.

"Just because the initial internal investigation said that it wasn't so, but there's still investigations going on with the ACLU and other organizations also,: said Jones.

Murdock is currently facing charges of DUI, obstruction of justice, and providing officers with falsified identification.

His trial will be in Roanoke Circuit Court on October 25th.