York County and Rock Hill, South Carolina prosecutors released Rock Hill police body cam video Thursday and dropped the charge against one of two brothers arrested June 23, reports South Carolina’s News & Observer. The arrests sparked race-related protests and raised issues about the use of police force.
The decision to drop the charges against Travis Price was announced at a news conference where police and prosecutors said the officer who made the arrest, Jonathan Moreno, has been fired and charged with assault and battery.
More than 100 people gathered outside the Rock Hill Police Department Wednesday evening and marched through downtown in protest after a video surfaced showing what appears to be the arrest of two black men earlier in the day.
Watch videos of the viral video and ensuing protest below:
The dismissal of the charge against Travis Price came after 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett and Rock Hill Solicitor Chisa Putman reviewed the body cam footage from Moreno and another officer. It showed that Travis Price did not push, punch, shove or attack Moreno as Rock Hill police had alleged in a written statement June 23 and in arrest warrants.
In the June 23 incident, police had stopped Ricky Price after claiming to have observed a traffic violation. Travis Price arrived when his brother was already in police custody and went to retrieve his brother’s jewelry. A confrontation followed and both Price brothers were arrested. Travis Price was charged with hindering police activity.
“Travis Price was charged in error and I am dismissing the charges,” Putman said at the press conference. He also apologized to Price.
The body camera video from Moreno and another officer were made public Thursday and showed Travis Price did not hinder police, prosecutors said.
Brackett, York County’s top prosecutor, said Thursday that he told SLED agents to seek an arrest warrant charging Moreno with third-degree assault and battery. Brackett said he agreed with the decision to drop the charges against Travis Price. The charges against Ricky Price, including possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of crack cocaine, resisting arrest, and a traffic violation remain pending, Brackett said.
Below, Travis Price speaks out at a press conference.
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