DURHAM: Officer used 'minimum force' with stopped bicyclist - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Durham officer used 'minimum force' with stopped bicyclist

Posted: Updated:
Daniels then attempted restrain Hill by placing him in a standard arm bar, police said. Daniels then attempted restrain Hill by placing him in a standard arm bar, police said.
DURHAM, N.C. -

The Durham Police Department said a police officer used the “minimum amount of force necessary” when he placed a cyclist in an arm bar after the man became argumentative with the officer.

The police department released a statement Tuesday concerning a September 2013 incident involving an officer and bicyclist.

Police say on September 28, 2013, Officer J.A. Daniels stopped bicyclist John Hill at the intersection of Lawson Street and Alston Avenue, police said. Daniels stopped Hill for running a red light.

According to North Carolina General Statute 20-158, bicyclists must obey the same traffic laws that apply to drivers of vehicles.

Police said Daniels was going to give Hill a verbal warning during the traffic stop, but Hill became argumentative with Daniels, at which point back-up officers were called to the scene.

Durham police released dashcam video of the incident from Daniels’ cruiser as well as from a second officer who arrived at the scene.

While it is clear in the video that Daniels and Hill exchanged words, the video from Daniels’ cruiser does not contain audio because Daniels said he forgot to attach his microphone to his belt before exiting his vehicle.

The video further shows Hill throwing his bike behind him when Daniels asked him to get off the bike. Hill then took an aggressive stance when talking with Daniels, police said.

Durham police said Daniels repeatedly asked Hill to have a seat on the curb. Police said Hill refused to comply with Daniels or provide his identification.

Daniels told Hill he had the red light violation on tape in his police vehicle, but Daniels did not realize the video was not recording for the minute prior to him turning on his emergency lights, police said.

Daniels then attempted restrain Hill by placing him in a standard arm bar, police said.

The North Carolina Justice Academy and the Durham Police Department both approve of the arm bar technique used by Daniels in the video, police said.

The Durham Police Department investigated the use of force by Daniels, which is departmental policy. The investigation determined, “Officers did not punch, kick or use a weapon on Mr. Hill. The minimum amount of force necessary to subdue Mr. Hill was used by Officer Daniels.”

EMS treated Hill on the scene for small abrasions on his head, police said.

Durham police said other officers arrive on the scene and notice the smell of alcohol on Hill.

Hill was then taken to jail and charged with running a red light and resisting, delaying, and obstructing an officer, police said.

Durham police said Hill’s bike was returned to him two days later.

Two month after the traffic stop, police said Hill filed a complaint saying Daniels knocked him unconscious and broke his arm during the incident.

Police said Hill refused to cooperate with the Durham Police Department’s Professional Standards Division or the City of Durham’s Audit Services Department. Hill has also refused to provide any paperwork concerning his injuries, police said.

Police said Hill did not appeal to the citizen review board despite being told he could do so.

The Durham Police Department said it released the statement after the Herald-Sun of Durham published an article on May 9 containing claims of officer misconduct during the September 2013 incident. The police department said the statement was released in an effort to maintain transparency.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow