Four Arrested During Protest Of Neville Case

Four Arrested During Protest Of Neville Case

10:01am Jul 09, 2020
Brittany Battle's voice breaks as she speaks to the crowd during a protest Wednesday night in downtown Winston-Salem. She was later arrested. PAUL GARBER/WFDD

Four people were arrested during a protest in Winston-Salem Wednesday night over the December death of inmate John Neville.

“This is a peaceful protest!” fellow demonstrators chanted as Tony Ndege, Brittany Battle, Kim Porter, and Phillip Summers were led away in handcuffs.

All four were charged with impeding traffic, a misdemeanor, and were released on a written promise to appear in court.

The protest brought out about 50 people hours after a press conference led by District Attorney Jim O’Neill announcing the arrests of six people — five detention officers and an on-duty nurse — in connection with the death of Neville.

O’Neill said Neville died from a brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen after being restrained face down. Neville had some kind of medical emergency in the middle of the night that led him to fall out of his top bunk bed and onto the concrete floor. He was disoriented when officers got to him.

Protesters demanded that video of the incident be released. They also argued that the charges against the officers should have been murder, not manslaughter.

Protesters have shut down several roadways since the protests began here in late May, including many downtown streets, Interstate 40 near Hanes Mall, and U.S. 52 near Martin Luther King Boulevard. No one was arrested.

Last week city police put protesters on notice that they will no longer tolerate such actions, a point reiterated by O’Neill during his press conference.

As marchers entered the roadway behind the county jail, police issued a warning over a public address system and cited the ordinance that people were violating by being in the street.

Minutes later, the arrests began. Both Ndege and Porter have been organizers of past protests and all four spoke out to the crowd before the march began.


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