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Protests continue after viral video of Rock Hill police fighting suspects

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 5:51 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2021 at 8:18 PM EDT
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ROCK HILL, S.C. (WIS) - Protests continued Thursday outside of the police department in Rock Hill after a video of police pushing and punching two suspects went viral.

The video sparked protests Wednesday night, with members of the community setting fire to the grass outside the police station.

Protesters chanted Thursday that they are tired of being beaten in the street. They say they are there to protest peacefully.

“We’re out here to use our voices and bring attention to this,” Sonya Lewis, with One Common Cause, said.

Earlier in the day, several cop cars converged on the protesters who they say were blocking Dave Lyle Boulevard near the station.

Police told them to get out of the road, but the protesters insisted they were on the sidewalk and had the right to assemble peacefully.

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Protesters say they are upset after a viral video showed police seemingly fighting with two suspects.

Rock Hill police say they were using arrest tactics like shoving and punching to make the suspects comply.

Protesters say they believe that was wrong and they are here to bring about change.

“We want justice, and we need justice and if we have to shut down every road in Rock Hill -- justice will be served here today,” Latarsiaoa Hinton said.

Protesters say the use of a K-9 officer that was seen in the video is what really made them upset.

“To take a dog -- I thought I was back in the 60s, an era my parents had to fight hoses and dogs,” Lewis said.

Rock Hill police say the K-9 was deployed as a display of force to gain compliance. They said at no time was the K-9 used to bite either suspect.

The police department says they are conducting an internal review of the incident to make sure the officers were following protocol. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is also investigating.

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Rock Hill’s police chief says two officers have been placed on administrative leave.

As for the two men who were arrested, Ricky Price is facing drug charges and Travis Price faces hindrance charges.

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