The problem with Facebook posts and some TV reports is that they often don’t give the whole story. Facebook posts are often based on one side of an issue, and TV reports are quite often short and don’t provide full information.
You may have seen a report on a Charlotte TV station about an incident at the Lincoln County Courthouse November 10th, and you may also have read the comments from the mother of the young man whom Sheriff’s deputies say they aided while the TV report appears to suggest that they used excessive force.
We learned about the incident a day after it happened, but because it involved what may have been a medical issue and was not a law enforcement one, we chose not to publish anything about it.
As we understand it, based on multiple interviews and having watched the video, a deputy working in the video control booth at the Lincoln County Courthouse on November 10th observed a young man fall to the floor in the elevator lobby on the third floor. Having watched the video, it appears that the young man intentionally rammed his head into the wall. He could have been having a seizure, but his movements appeared to be intentional, not random.
The deputy went to render aid until medical services, which he called, could arrive. The young man struggled with the deputy and with other officers who arrived and attempted to restrain him, fearing he could do further damage to himself or possibly to someone else.
While waiting for Lincoln County EMS to respond to the scene, officers attempted to provide assistance to the young man, who was bleeding from his nose and mouth. We have chosen not to include the name of the young man in our report. He is from Myrtle Beach, SC, and we understand he had a court appearance on a traffic charge scheduled for that day.
Since the young man continued to struggle, handcuffs having been used to restrain him, ankle restraints were also used. City of Lincolnton firefighters arrived on the scene and helped restrain the man until EMS arrived. Restraints were removed and Lincoln County EMS treated the man on the scene. He was then placed on a stretcher to be transported to Atrium Health – Lincoln.
Because of information on social media, an investigation of the incident was conducted.
Investigators reviewed video footage of the incident which shows that while alone in the elevator lobby, the individual ran head-on into the wall twice, injuring himself. Other than placing restraints and continuing to hold the man down on the floor to keep him from further injuring himself, deputies said (and the video shows) they did nothing more to cause any injury to him.
Statements obtained from a defense attorney, an assistant district attorney, and fire department personnel all agree the officers were rendering aid to the individual and that the officers took no action to injure the individual.
The TV report does not show the entirety of the video from the Courthouse security system. We have downloaded that video unedited. It lasts about twenty minutes, but if you want to see what happened, CLICK HERE.
Attorney David Black, who arrived on the third floor during the incident sent a letter to the Sheriff's Office that exonerates deputies from any wrong in the case. CLICK HERE to read that letter.