A video of a US police officer choking a black man outside a Waffle House has now gone viral. An officer, reportedly Frank Moss, was filmed grabbing 22-year-old Anthony Wall by the neck outside the restaurant in Warsaw, North Carolina, before pushing him against a window and subsequently wrestling him to the ground. Members of the Black Lives Matter movement, and other civil rights activists, have condemned the footage as an example of racially-aggravated police brutality.
The incident allegedly occurred after Wall, a cashier at Wendy's who lives in Fayetteville, got into a minor confrontation with Waffle House employees, after taking his 16-year-old sister to her prom. Wall admits that while he may have been out of line during his altercation with staff, he was shocked by his treatment at the hands of the police, and felt that Moss' response was completely unjustified. He was later charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Outraged, Wall took to Facebook to upload the video of the incident, with the accompanying caption: "This have to stop please help by share reporting to ever news report u know please. [sic]" The video has since received over 900,000 views, and had over 38,000 shares.
In an interview with ABC 11, Wall stated: "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 ... [Moss'] hands should have never been around my neck like that if my hands were in the air. [sic]"
Warsaw Police Chief Eric Southerland has since announced that he will be opening an internal investigation into the alleged excessive force, and that Moss will be reprimanded if he is found to be guilty of misconduct. "We are currently investigating the whole incident, interviewing witnesses and gathering additional video," he stated. "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."
The police did not make public the name of the officer captured on video, but Moss was later identified by civil rights activist Shaun King on Twitter. King also tweeted that: "Several Black families throughout the area told me he has terrorised & brutalised them for years. He's a huge man and abuses his power often ... as soon as locals saw the video, they knew it was him. Said they've seen him do this before."