NAACP leaders in Rowan County accuse police of brutality, racial profiling

by: Nate Stewart Updated:

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SALISBURY, N.C. - Channel 9 has been reporting on the NAACP's complaints against Salisbury police for years.

The civil rights group now has a new case that the city is already investigating, accusing police of brutality and crushing a man's windpipe.

Video of 30-year-old Graham Hosch shows a bandage on his neck where the NAACP says a Salisbury police officer choked him and crushed his windpipe.

"This type of behavior we won't tolerate," said Scott Teamer with the Salisbury Chapter of the NAACP.

Hosch didn't speak at Thursday night's meeting but his mother says he was only walking home Sunday night when police confronted him.

"This has been going on for far too long," said Jill Tilean.

Hosch was charged with a misdemeanor. Channel 9 looked and could find no record against him with the department of corrections.

Tonight, the NAACP held a community meeting, demanding action.

"We want to sound the alarm tonight and to let people know it’s OK for your children to be treated this way," said Teamer.

The city of Salisbury sent Channel 9 a statement which said, "We take all allegations very seriously, and will conduct a thorough investigation. Once the investigation is complete we will take appropriate action and release a statement to the public about the outcome of the investigation."

But the NAACP says this is just the latest in a series of complaints against Salisbury police. The civil rights group has been making claims of police brutality and racial profiling since 2009 and it may ask the feds to step in.

"We are leaning towards the U.S. Justice Department to look at this police department internally and externally on violations of people's rights," said Teamer.

NAACP leaders also accuse Salisbury police of not promoting African Americans within the department.
The city sent this in response: "The City of Salisbury's values as an organization its diversity. In the last year we've hired 12 police officers and of those hires, five were minority hires."