Raleigh police officers under scrutiny after viral video shows arrest of hit-and-run suspect

Raleigh police officers under scrutiny after viral video shows arrest of hit-and-run suspect

A video of an arrest that took place Tuesday in Raleigh, North Carolina has been making the rounds on social media. Here’s the original clip which has been retweeted more than 26,000 times.

In response to the clip, the police released a statement explaining that this arrest came after multiple hit-and-run reports came into 911:

On January 14, 2020 at approximately 9:30 a.m., Raleigh Police Department officers responded to a report of a hit and run in the 3500 block of Wake Forest Road. Before officers arrived on the scene the suspect vehicle fled the area and was involved in a second hit and run in a parking lot at St. Albans Drive and Wake Forest Road. While fleeing the scene of the second collision the vehicle struck a pole at 4320 Wingate Drive.

A short time later, an officer spotted a vehicle matching the description from the three earlier hit and run incidents driving erratically on Navaho Drive. The officer initiated a traffic stop and observed that the driver appeared to be impaired while transporting three passengers. When Mr. Batista-Concepcion ignored repeated commands to place his hands on the wheel, the officer ordered him to get out of the vehicle. Mr. Batista-Concepcion failed to follow the officer’s commands and officers used force to remove him from the vehicle.

Braily Andres Batista-Concepcion was subsequently charged with DWI, three counts of Hit and Run, two counts of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, Simple Possession of Marijuana, and Resist, Delay and Obstruct.

The police said they would release body cam and cruiser video of the arrest but it’s not available yet. Police did release the audio of two 911 calls. In the first, a man driving a panel van says he was hit by the driver. He was still following the car that hit him when he made the call. He agreed to stop after the dispatcher asked him not to follow the car but to let police handle it. He gave the dispatcher a description of the car including its license plate.

In the second 911 call a woman driver said she was hit by the car and then the car got in front of her and backed up as if trying to hit her again. She had to back up to avoid them. Finally the car drove off and the woman driver continued to work. She also had the license plate of the car.

The News Observer spoke to Batista who seemed not to remember much of what happened:

Batista said he was hospitalized before being taken to jail. He could not remember if he went to WakeMed or Duke, but Navaho Drive is near Duke Raleigh Hospital and the sports bar where he works.

“I’ve got stitches, I’ve got a black eye, bruises,” he said. “My arms are all bruised up, but I don’t think I’ve got broken bones.”

Batista said he wanted officers to read him his rights. He and friends were in another friend’s car early Tuesday morning, but he said he did not remember hitting the car and did not have any marijuana.

That’s not quite what he said in the video which you can view on the News Observer site. What he actually said was, “The cop came and approached me and I was telling him that I would come out. He started hitting me, from what I remember.” He continued, “When I was telling him to come out he wouldn’t let me come out. I’m like why you hitting me. He just kept hitting me and hitting me. They put me down [on the ground]. Then they took me to a hospital. They charged me with some charges that I ain’t —I ain’t had nothing to do with.”

Given that the police had the description of the car and saw a matching car driving erratically minutes later I don’t think it’s likely they got the wrong guy. Two hit and runs plus a third accident in the space of a few minutes suggests Batista was seriously impaired behind the wheel. Claiming he had nothing to do with it just isn’t convincing.

Batista was joined by a community activist today who called the clip evidence of a “continuous tsunami of brutality.”

CBS 17 reported today that the district attorney has viewed the clip and decided no further investigation of the officers by her office is needed at this time. However she could decide to review the police investigation of the incident for further action at a later time:

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John Sexton 7:00 PM on December 09, 2023