Responding to a call about a man walking down the street with a gun, North Carolina cops proceeded to beat him without even confirming if he did, indeed, have a gun.
Turns out, Kyron Dwain Hinton did not have a gun.
And now three cops who beat him, including two North Carolina state troopers and a Wake County sheriff's deputy, have been indicted by a grand jury for beating him with their flashlights as well as siccing a police dog on him.
Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman presented the case to a grand jury last week after reviewing bodycam footage from the cops, which he still has not released.
The bodycam footage is also what prompted Freeman to drop the charges of disorderly conduct, resisting a public officer and assault on a law enforcement animal against him.
According to an arrest warrant, Hinton was yelling in the roadway at North Raleigh Boulevard and Yonkers Road, implying he had a gun and pointing his hand in the air as if he had a firearm in it. The warrant states that he ignored commands to get on the ground, physically resisted officers when being handcuffed and hit a police dog on the head and face.
Hinton, who was unarmed, said he was approached by several State Highway Patrol troopers and Raleigh police officers who pushed him up against a patrol car and beat him up while a Wake County Sheriff's Office K-9 bit him on his right arm, side and head.
He said he suffered a broken eye socket, broken nose, multiple cuts on his head, "probably 20 bite marks" and memory loss as a result of the incident.
The indictments allege Broadwell beat and kicked Hinton and Blake and Davis hit him with their flashlights. All three are accused of violating the Highway Patrol's and the Wake County Sheriff's Office's use-of-force policies, and Broadwell also is accused of improper handling of his K-9.
"When you see the video, all conversation ends," Hinton said, referring to footage from the body-worn cameras of the officers. "You see how quickly the DA dropped the charges against me. You see how quickly they were indicted. It speaks for itself."
The indicted cops are North Carolina state troopers Michael Blake and Tabitha Davis as well as Wake County sheriff's deputyCameron Broadwell. They were each indicted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and willfully failing to discharge duties. Broadwell also was indicted on a charge of assault inflicting serious bodily injury.
The incident took place April 3 as Hinton was walking home from a sweepstakes parlor in Raleigh. Two people called 911 and reported he may have a gun.
Hinton was confronted by the cops as he crossed a street. He said he was angry at having lost his money at the sweepstakes parlor, so he snapped at the officers for stopping him when he had committed no crime.
Next thing he knew, a cop had punched him and a police dog was attacking him. Police later claimed he made them fear for their lives by pointing his hand in the air as if it were a gun.
The bodycam footage apparently proves that was a lie.
However, the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association said it was "extremely disappointed" by the decision to indict the cops because "the actions of officers are often made in a split second during rapidly evolving circumstances."
In other words, cops are not expected to determine if a citizen does have a gun as long as an anonymous caller says he has a gun.