07/08/09 — NAACP calls for inquiry into GPD March arrest

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NAACP calls for inquiry into GPD March arrest

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on July 8, 2009 1:43 PM

The Goldsboro-Wayne chapter of the NAACP is reportedly calling for an investigation of the Goldsboro Police Department.

Sylvia Barnes of the Goldsboro/Wayne County NAACP briefly addressed the city council Monday night during the public comment period, saying that the local branch of the national organization is calling for the State Bureau of Investigation to examine the arrest of 17-year-old Tavares Allen this past spring.

The NAACP has asked District Attorney Branny Vickory to request the SBI's involvement, Ms. Barnes said.

The department has already conducted an internal investigation of the alleged incident, Goldsboro police Chief Tim Bell said.

"This stems with an incident that took place on March 29, 2009, involving a couple of police officers," Bell said.

Police arrested Allen on two counts of resisting arrest, two counts of assault on a government official and one count of assault with a deadly weapon.

"Basically, the police officers were there to arrest Mr. Allen on a charge that had been brought out by a gentleman that's been identified as his uncle," Vickory said.

Allen was allegedly injured at the time of his arrest, Ms. Barnes said.

"The allegations by the police were that he resisted arrest, that that's what led to this incident," Vickory said.

Bell said he did not think the two officers involved sought any medical treatment following the incident.

Ms. Barnes reportedly met with Bell and requested an internal investigation of the arrest, which took place at Alpha Arms Apartments off of Patetown Road area.

The internal investigation did not find any wrongdoing, and no action has been taken against the officers, Bell said.

A sergeant "interviewed and re-interviewed" the eyewitnesses and examined the medical records, Bell said, and concluded that there were no violations.

Multiple eyewitnesses submitted signed statements, which were given to Chief Bell and have now been presented to the D.A.'s office, Ms. Barnes said.

"She made the request to me, and of course I can ask for an (SBI) investigation," Vickory said. "What I'm doing right now is I'm reviewing what she's given me."

There are criminal charges pending against Allen, and Vickory said he has been in touch with Allen's lawyer.

"There's a felony charge, so that would involve possible submission to the grand jury," Vickory said.

He has not at this point requested SBI investigation, he said, but that he is continuing to review the files.

"I'm well aware of the complaints," he said.