A bystander recording a police officer being viciously beaten cheered as the attack occurred, in which the officer was so severely injured that he was airlifted to the hospital. 27-year-old Rowland Police Officer Michael Sales had responded to a disturbance report at around 1 a.m. when he ended up in a confrontation with the suspect, who was later identified as Jamel Alphonso Rogers.
By the time the recording started, the attack was already underway. According to Rowland Police Chief Hubert Graham, Sales was the only officer in the area when the call came in.
In the video, Sales had managed to handcuff one of Rogers’ hands, but was struggling to get a hold of the second one, prompting him to ask the bystander for help.
“Well, you’re the police. Why Imma help you folk?” the bystander asked, laughing. Rogers grabbed Sales’ lower legs and knocked him to the ground before fleeing. “Get the f—k outta here,” the bystander told Rogers as Sales stood up and ran after Rogers. Rogers grabbed the officer by the legs again and threw him onto the ground, to which the man recording the video commented: “He f—kin’ that police up!” and started laughing again. Other onlookers appeared at the scene as the two wrestled on the ground.
Rogers climbed on top of Sales and sat on his chest, with Sales gripping the handcuff on Rogers’ hand. When one onlooker tried to help Sales, the man recording the video yelled: “Let him whoop his -ss, goddamn.”
When Sales got back on his feet and tried to cuff Rogers, the man recording the video yelled repeatedly: “Don’t let that man take you to damn jail. F—k that s—t…f—k the police!”
“Police scared as hell,” he laughed. “He said, ‘help me, y’all!’ That man asked me to help him, and he’s the goddamned police.”
Rogers slammed Sales into the side of a patrol car and began punching him, and that was when the bystander realized that Sales had lost his gun.
“That man looking for his goddam gun. Where your gun at? You ain’t got your gun! I’m gonna find that mother—ker…you can’t do nothin’ without your gun!” the bystander is heard shouting.
Rogers taunted Sales to arrest him, but Sales refused to engage until Rogers tried moving out of reach. Trying to keep his hold on Rogers, the two fell to the ground a moment later, and Rogers kept punching Sales.
“He let the man goddamn take his gun! That’s on him…he better call backup…we ain’t breaking s—t up!” the man yelled as he recorded the incident.
Another bystander could be seen walking around with what looked like Sales’ radio as Sales held Rogers to the ground for several moments.
Rogers freed his hands and began beating the officer again. “Don’t kill the man out here,” the bystander said, laughing. Rogers punched Sales repeatedly, but Sales managed to maintain his hold on Rogers’ foot, preventing him from escaping. The man recording dropped to the ground to get a closer shot of Sales’ bloodied face, and the video ended. “Damn boy, you f—ked him up!” he stated.
Dillon County sheriff’s deputies responded shortly thereafter, with deputies from Robeson County showing up moments later, Chief Graham told WPDE. Officer Sales sustained multiple injuries, including a possible orbital fracture, and was airlifted to a local hospital. Sales has since been released from hospital and is recovering at home.
Chief Graham stated that Sales did lose some of his equipment and his duty weapon during the altercation but stated that the gun and gear had all been recovered. Rogers was charged with kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon with the intention to kill while inflicting serious injuries, and two counts of resisting a public officer.
Speaking of the attack and the bystanders’ refusal to help Officer Sales, Chief Graham stated: “Today’s society, that’s just how they think and operate. This is something that we, as law enforcement, been telling the public for years. It’s not shocking to us because we been doing this for years.” He stated that he was grateful for the footage “because it pretty much proves my case for my officer.”
Sources: The Police Tribune