Last month, two North Carolina troopers in Wake County were charged with the assault of Kyron Dwain Hinton, age 29, in April. Among the charges are the infliction of bodily injury and willfully failing to discharge duties.
The incident took place after Hinton and his mother, Vicki Hinton, called 911 to report a nearby shooting. Upon arriving, the officers saw no sign of any shooting and stated that Mr. Hinton was clearly having a “mental episode.” The officers decided to evaluate Mr. Hinton and this was when the situation escalated.
From the dashcam of a police car, Hinton can be seen standing in the middle of the street with officers surrounding him. Sheriff’s Deputy Cameron Broadwell entered the scene with a police dog, threatening Hinton to drop to the ground or he would release the dog. Hinton hesitated to act and Broadwell released the dog, who left several bite marks on Hinton’s body.
Following the use of the K-9, Broadwell, along with North Carolina troopers Michael Blake and Tabitha Davis, proceed to beat the unarmed Hinton with flashlights. Hinton would suffer from a fractured eye socket and a broken nose as a result.
Blake and Davis were charged on May 15 and still face additional charges of claiming no use of force in the reports the next day. An audio recording from the night of Hinton’s beating revealed that the two troopers discussed the option of filing no use force. The reports have yet to be released, according to Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman.
“I do not know what was in [the reports],” Freeman said, “but I do know what was discussed on that audio, and it would be the state’s position that if these officers, in fact went in the next day and filed reports reflecting no use of force when there was a use of force, that is information that would be important for the state of North Carolina to have.”
Wake County Sheriff’s Deputy Cameron Broadwell also faces charged but did not appear in court. Among his charges are assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, assault inflicting serious bodily injury and willfully failing to discharge duties.
“Justice is being served, but I really want Broadwell. He was the main culprit,” said Vicki Hinton. “Firing is fine, but I want convictions and time in prison if possible. If a broken heart could die, I would be dead after watching how they beat him on that video. I want my son to have justice.”
Along with Ms. Hinton, others in the community are eager to see justice. “This is what it looks like to hold law enforcement accountable,” said Dawn Blagrove, director of the Carolina Justice Policy Center. “Now, we need that accountability to happen when the breach of trust initially occurs and not once it is outed in public. But this is a start toward rebuilding trust.”
Sgt. Michael Baker, spokesman for the State Department of Public Safety that oversees the troopers, stated that Blake and Davis are no longer employed. No further statements were given.