Winston-Salem Police Release Information On Officer Suspension

Winston-Salem Police Release Information On Officer Suspension

5:16pm Jul 21, 2021
Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson appears at a press conference Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. Screen capture of press conference posted on the city of Winston-Salem's YouTube channel/WFDD FILE.

The Winston-Salem Police Department says it suspended a police officer without pay for the way he treated a Black teen during an encounter captured on video last year.

Officer Zacharie Jones was suspended without pay for two days about six months after a video surfaced showing that he tackled a 15-year-old Black girl in November.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that David Freedman, an attorney for the officer, says an internal police investigation did not find that Jones used excessive force or discriminated against the girl.

The video was captured on cell phone by a neighbor and shared widely on social media. 

At the time, some city officials questioned the officer’s actions, including Mayor Allen Joines and North District Ward Councilwoman D.D. Adams. The outcry was such that Police Chief Catrina Thompson spoke out to urge patience as the investigation continued.

The girl was one of a group of juveniles who were confronted by police as they investigated the break-in of a house. The teens were all later released.

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