CHAPEL HILL, NC – A Rowland County North Carolina police officer was hospitalized after being repeatedly beaten by a suspect he was attempting to place under arrest while onlookers filmed the encounter, laughing and taunting the officer all the while, according to reports.
Rowland police officer Michael Sale was attempting to take Jamel Alphonso Rogers into custody this past Saturday evening, officials say, when the suspect violently resisted arrest, beginning an 11-minute long confrontation which was filmed by bystanders on a cellphone.
Editors Note: The following video may be considered graphic for language and violence. Viewer discretion advised.
Throughout the video, Rogers can be seen repeatedly disregarding Sale’s lawful orders, and when the incident turns physical, Rogers repeatedly assaults the officer until his face is bloody. Throughout the incident, onlookers not only offer no assistance to Sale in any way, they actually heckled, taunted, and laughed at him instead.
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Sale’s injuries were such that it was deemed necessary to airlift him to UNC Medical Center, official say. He has since been released from the hospital.
The incident marks the second time the officer has been assaulted while in the line of duty; last December, Sale was beaten by a man while employed by the Maxton Police Department after being surrounded by a crowd outside a store.
Rogers has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intentions to kill while inflicting serious injuries, kidnapping, and two counts of resisting a public officer. The Rowland Police Department has not yet issued a statement in regards to the incident; however, Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins, where the Town of Rowland is located, slammed the assault in a Facebook post.
“This is a total disregard for authority and this could have turned out to be a much more tragic situation,” he said. “This is the harsh reality that law enforcement in America is facing right now where some think it’s okay to Defund the Police, Assault the Police and actually laugh and video the event while it’s occurring while at the same time encouraging the suspect to continue to fight the officer even after the officer has lost his weapon and is obviously disabled.”