Discover more from This Week in the Triangle
Raleigh Police "Health Hazard" Hypocrisy
Plus 10 more "Moments of Interest" from leaked 2020 bodycam footage
On April 14th, 2020, the Raleigh Police shut down an anti-lockdown protest for engaging in the "non-essential activity" of protesting the governor's executive order. Last Friday, on the third anniversary of that police action, I was able to publish an exclusive video containing previously unreleased footage captured by bodycams worn by Raleigh Police officers.
Included in the footage is one bodycam recording at the staging area where Raleigh Police gathered before dispersing the protest. One of the scenes in the video which resonated the most with viewers was RPD Captain Dedric Bond instructing unmasked, non-socially distanced officers to mask up and wear gloves to “support [his] claim” that the protest was a “public health hazard”. Here’s that video, as well as ten other selected clips from staging area (in chronological order):
1. Officers laugh at the idea that Captain Bond would arrest protesters for telling him to "pound sand"
Officer 1: "What's the new information?"
Officer 2: "They basically told Bond to pound sand, so we're going to arrest the motherf*****s"
2. Officer 1 repeats the "pound sand" claim to more officers.
The officers laugh, mock Captain Bond's "stuttering", and make comments like:
"I like that kind of bravado!"
"Set the city on fire! Do something! I've had 20 years of almost doing stuff!"
3. Captain Bond gathers the officers for a briefing
Bond indicates that the protest was "in violation of the executive order" regardless of whether the protesters socially distanced, but he could "work with" them as long if they did socially distance and it stayed small.
As a note, the officers Bond is addressing are not wearing masks and are not socially distanced.
4. Captain Bond is dismissive of the protesters’ first amendment rights
"Some people were...you know, saying that it was their constitutional right to be here, this that and the other"
5. Call with Police Chiefs and District Attorney
Captain Bond relays that he has got off a call with Wake County DA Lorrin Freeman, the State Capitol Police Chief, and the General Assembly Legislative Police Chief
"We got the blessing from everybody, the Secretary of State is cool with it, so we're at the point of no return"
6. Captain Bond is acutely aware of the media present
"One of the things that I talked to Lorrin [Freeman] about: there are families out there with kids...and the media is already out there too...try to avoid a parent being one of the first ones [arrested]"
7. Captain Bond presents an "agitator" narrative, wants to “make an example”
“What I want to do is make an example out of [unintelligible]...and what I'm hoping is once we start locking up a few of these agitators that the rest will just automatically disperse"
8. Captain Bond wants to set an example so the police wouldn’t have to “go through the same thing” again
"When...you see the videos that are already online and everything it's obvious that we can't allow that to continue to happen; and then we already got the intel that they're planning to do this again next Tuesday...I think this is our opportunity to get it right this time, and hope that we won't have to go through the same thing again next Tuesday"
9. Captain Bond doesn’t want the crowd to “continue to grow”
"I want to go ahead and start making some moves now, because I don't want the crowd to continue to grow...I want to go ahead and start locking some people up as soon as possible...so that will encourage everybody else to disperse"
10. Captain Bond is incorrect about protesters in vehicles
"The one good thing is nobody is in cars, so we shouldn't have that issue..."
In fact, many of the protesters were hanging out in/around their vehicles (the protest called for the attendees to regularly honk their horns)
11. Captain Bond instructs officers to wear PPE for arrests
This is the moment that has resonated the most with people watching the video; Captain Bond tells the huddled, unmasked officers to wear PPE to "support [his] claim” that the protest is a “public health hazard”:
“The other thing that I talk about, making sure everybody has PPE: so make sure that if you're the arrest team, make sure you have gloves, make sure you have a mask; because one of the things that I'm going to say in my address to them is that ‘this is a public health hazard because you all are gathered and everything.’ So, knowing that this is a public health hazard, we need to treat this as such. So, make sure that we're having proper PPE equipment on as we're addressing them, so that I can kind of use that to support my claim that this is a public health hazard.