A homeless man from North Carolina was reportedly beaten by police officers in Raleigh so severely that he suffered a fractured eye socket and a broken nose.
He was also bitten more than 20 times by a K-9 animal.
Kyron Dwain Hinton, 29, was unarmed during the violent arrest. But police accused him of disorderly conduct, resisting a public officer, and assaulting a law enforcement animal.
The bloody encounter happened on April 4. Hinton claimed he had left Good Luck Sweepstakes after losing all the money he had on a game. As he headed to downtown Raleigh, police stopped him.
Officers alleged he engaged in “violent conduct,” causing a public disturbance and “creating the threat of imminent fighting and violence." In his arrest warrant, they stated that the man claimed he had a gun and that he ignored the deputy’s commands.
Hinton, however, said he never threatened anybody.
"I was angry," he admitted. "I didn't say I wasn't, and I was moving my arms and hands from side to side, but not with a threatening action."
Because of his mental state and how quickly the entire incident happened, he said he didn’t see the members of special operations arriving in patrol cars. He also alleged that the only reason why he tried stopping the animal was that he thought the dog was going to “mess with my privates."
"I didn't hit nobody," he said. I "didn't grab nobody. I really couldn't."
"I heard a female officer's voice and multiple men's voices. Then one of the officers punched me in the side of the face," he explained. "The only thing I was doing was talking junk. I was saying, 'Why you stopped me? This is some bull*****.' I didn't threaten nobody. I didn't have [a] gun."
While he was on the ground, he added, the animal started biting him on his side, arms, and head.
He was already handcuffed when he felt his pants being pulled down and when the dog started sniffing him.
Hinton, who said he wasn’t aware why he was arrested and why he was beaten and then attacked by a K-9, has an attorney but has yet to file a formal complaint.
After the case was publicized, the State Bureau of Investigation announced it had opened a probe into the use of force in this incident.
Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said in an email that her office takes “this matter extremely seriously."
"Our immediate focus is on protecting the integrity of the investigation. As with all of these types of investigations, we understand the intense interest from the public, and will make every effort to release information, including video in the possession of law enforcement, that can be shared without undermining the investigation or any potential prosecution," she said.
The Raleigh Police Department’s policy says that "deputies shall not utilize force merely as a result of verbal provocation, however extreme. Deputies shall not strike or attempt to strike individuals who are handcuffed or otherwise sufficiently restrained unless such person is attempting to kick, bite or otherwise assault the deputy, and the deputy cannot otherwise reasonably avoid such assault from the individual."
Unfortunately, cases like Hinton’s happen all too often. And what’s worse, many end up losing their lives because of police brutality.
While the country has been struggling with this problem for decades, we see governments, both state and federal, doing little to prevent this type of behavior. Hopefully, Hinton’s case will inspire North Carolina lawmakers and officials to finally tackle this issue, at least locally.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters/Sait Serkan Gurbuz