GASTONIA, N.C. — Two teenagers accused of assaulting a police officer in Gastonia will not be sent to prison.
The boys were 15 years old when they came upon a police roadblock back in 2021. They said they were just trying to follow their parents’ written instructions on how to get home.
But when they came across a police officer, things got physical and they were charged with attempted murder of police and faced the possibility of years in prison.
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The twins’ mom, Tangyika Brawley, hugged them tightly on Monday after learning neither of them will spend time in prison.
“Overwhelmed with joy. Happiness. Praise God is all I can say,” she said.
She said those emotions don’t outweigh the emotions she felt while seeing body camera video of what happened between her sons and police.
“Enraged, anger, furious,” she said.
Brawley said the twins were riding their bikes home in October 2021. They stopped at a roadblock that had been set up because of a fireworks show.
“I was just trying to go home. Did what my parents told me,” one of the teens said in court on Monday.
Prosecutors said the two brothers got violent and said an officer was placed in a chokehold. The family said the video shows the teens were choked, punched and pepper-sprayed.
“I feel like what happened that day was wrong,” one of the teens said.
Both teens pled guilty to lesser charges; one as an adult in superior court and the other in juvenile court. Both will have the charges wiped from their records.
The pleas were Alford pleas, which means they accepted them because they were in their best interests, but did so without admitting guilt.
Now, the brothers are planning to sue the police department.
“That they get consequences for their actions,” Brawley said.
The teens want the body camera video released.
“The twins want it out there. That’s the first thing they said. ‘We want people to see what happened to us,’” Brawley said.
Police haven’t talked publicly about the case.
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