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Frank Moss (police officer)

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Video of the violent arrest [4]

Frank Moss is a police officer​ with the Warsaw Police Department in Warsaw, North Carolina​. In May 2018 he was filmed choking Anthony Wall who was arrested after having an argument with wait staff at a Waffle House​ location. [1]​ [4]

Police Brutality Allegations

On May 5, 2018 Frank Moss choked and slammed Anthony Wall during an arrest outside a Waffle House​ location in Warsaw, North Carolina. On May 8, 2018, Anthony Wall posted video of the incident on Facebook​ which received over 1 million views in 40,000 shares in less than three days. [4]

 

Frank Moss was identified as the man in the video by activist, Shaun King​ who spoke to Warsaw, North Carolina locals who said that Moss is known for brutalizing residents and has been doing it for years. NAACP Legal Defense Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill also identified Frank Moss as the man in the video in a statement. [1]​ [5]

 

Image
Photo from the arrest [4]

The incident occurred after 22-year-old Anthony Wall had just taken his 16-year-old sister to prom​ and went to get something to eat at Waffle House when he said he got into an argument with several wait staff members. [3]

 

From there, police were called to remove Wall, which led to him being choked, slammed, and led away in handcuffs​. [3]

 

"I was pretty much trying to scream for air and trying to breathe because he was holding my throat and that's when I got aggressive with him because you are choking me," said Wall. [3]

 

Police said Wall was charged with resisting arrest​ and disorderly conduct​ for the argument inside the Waffle House. While he takes full responsibility for his interaction with Waffle House employees, he told ABC11 the cop's actions were not justified.  [3]

 

"Your hands should have never been around my neck like that if my hands were in the air," said Wall.  [3]

 

Police Chief Eric Southerland released this statement to ABC11​ [3]​:

 

Image
Close up photo of Frank Moss [5]

"We are currently investigating the whole incident, interviewing witnesses and gathering additional video. We have also reached out to the District Attorney​'s Office to make him aware of the investigation. Once the investigation is complete and the District Attorney has had a chance to review the case we will provide the public with an update on the findings."  [3]

 

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund has responded to the incident and asked the Warsaw Police Department and the Waffle House​ location to release any video or audio they may have from the incident. They compared the incident to the violent arrest of Chikesia Clemon in April. [1]

 

“We’re once again outraged by a video showing police officers using excessive force on an unarmed, non-violent African-American Waffle House customer," the statement read. "Once again this incident was sparked when a Waffle House employee called the police after the patron allegedly complained about customer service. And once again the police responded with violence." [1]

 

"Last month, in Saraland, Alabama​, a customer’s mere questioning of why she was being charged extra for plastic utensils – when she never had before – appeared to spiral out of control after employees called the police," Ifill's statement read. "The dehumanizing arrest of Chikesia Clemons alarmed neither the Saraland Police Department nor Waffle House, who have both failed to accept any responsibility for potential wrongdoing and hold those at fault responsible." [1]

 

“After a reported small disagreement at a Waffle House in Warsaw, North Carolina, it appears that employees unreasonably heightened the situation by calling local law enforcement. Twenty-two-year-old Anthony Wall, who had just taken his sixteen-year-old sister to prom, was then choked and violently thrown on the ground by Warsaw Police Officer Frank Moss. The officer’s actions were grossly inappropriate, and we call on the Warsaw Police Department and District Attorney to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation of the officer’s conduct by publicly releasing any body-worn and/or surveillance camera footage, as well as audio of the call for police service. The officer should also be placed on administrative duty during the investigation." [1]

 

In both Wall and Clemons' cases, Ifill wrote that neither were armed and both were non-violent. [1]

 

"Neither situation warranted police intervention, let alone such gratuitous use-of-force," Ifill wrote. "Waffle House must conduct an extensive review and overhaul of its policies to ensure that employees do not needlessly subject customers of color to police contact and brutality." [1]

 

The Warsaw Police Department and District Attorney​ Ernie Lee are investigating the May 5 incident, Warsaw Police Chief Eric Southerland told The News & Observer​ on May 9. Lee said he has asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation​ to assist. [1]

 

In an interview with The News & Observer, Wall said he was at Waffle House with a group after taking his 16-year-old sister to prom. He said he and his sister argued with Waffle House employees and the police were called. [1]

 

The argument began when a Waffle House employee cursed at people in his group after they sat at a table that had not been cleaned yet, he said. Then, Wall said, a waitress called the police. [1]

 

It was unclear why Wall was choked or slammed by the officer. The video — which features strong language — does not show anything before the physical altercation. Wall had his arms raised above his head before the officer began to choke him. In the video, Wall can be heard demanding the officer's supervisor. [1]

 

Southerland said that is not how his officers are trained to behave. [1]

 

When asked if the officer's behavior in the video reflects what Warsaw officers are trained to do in such situations, Southerland said "no." [1]

 

"It's not what you're trained to do in incidents like this but when you're dealing with someone fighting and resisting against an officer, you try to use proper tactics and go for one move, but that might not work because that person is moving or the officer is moving," Southerland said. "In real versus training situations, moves don't always work out like you want them to." [1]

 

On May 10, Martin Luther King Jr.​'s daughter Bernice King​, CEO​ of The King Center​, reacted on social media to The News & Observer report of Wall's treatment by calling for people to avoid the restaurant chain until it commits to employee training and other changes. [1]

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Created: 05/11/2018 07:56:59 PM UTC
Last Modified: 05/19/2018 04:13:17 AM UTC