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Body camera footage from viral Rock Hill arrests to be released Thursday, NAACP leader says

The leader of Rock Hill's NAACP branch said after this, footage from scrutinized arrests needs to be released quicker.

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Editor's Note: On July 8, the charge against Travis Price was dropped, and the Rock Hill Police Department announced one of the police officers involved had been fired. The announcements were made the same day the York County Solicitor's Office released bodycam videos showing the viral arrest. 

Original reporting continues below.

The leader of Rock Hill's branch of the NAACP says the body camera footage from a viral arrest will be released soon.

During a press conference Tuesday morning, Dr. Norma Gray said the Rock Hill Police Department will share the footage with the public on Thursday, July 8. Demand for the release of the body camera footage came almost immediately after the controversial arrests of brothers Ricky and Travis Price, which was captured on video by a bystander and quickly caught attention online.

RELATED: 11 people arrested following 2nd night of protests in Rock Hill

Gray said during her conference she has been in contact with both RHPD and the Solicitor's Office. However, she specifically said after reviewing the footage herself, she wasn't standing with police until she was invited at a previous press conference with the mayor and other leaders, including police Chief Chris Watts. She also stressed that in her view, the body camera footage does not align with police narratives about what happened.

“I never stood with the police, with the exception when I was invited to stand with the Chief of Police, but I wasn’t the only one. The religious leaders of this community invited the mayor, the sheriff, the chief of police at their conference," she said.

The four officers involved were recently identified as Sgt. Shaun Watson, Ofc. Matthew Palmer, Ofc. Johnathan Moreno, and Ofc. Jonathan Soto. Two of the officers, Watson and Moreno, were on administrative leave. Gray says the footage will come from Moreno's camera, who she believed was the main player.

Gray continued to press for peaceful protests and advocated for equal rights. She also said the process of getting body camera footage publicized needs to be much quicker, and said she was pushing for that to happen.

“After this process is over, we’ve got to speed up the process. The community deserves to see the video. The Rock Hill Branch of the NAACP has said that the second day. Gotta release it," she said. “We cannot keep doing the same old process when we see new enforced violence right in our back door.” 

RELATED: Officers identified in controversial arrest of Ricky Price

Police said they originally pulled Ricky Price over for an illegal turn near a gas station in June 2021. Official narratives from the department said Ricky Price had drugs in his car along with a firearm he was legally barred from owning. They also said he resisted arrest. The viral video captured from the arrest showed officers punching Ricky. His brother, Travis, approached officers before the incident escalated to try to get belongings from Ricky, but surveillance video from the incident shows at least one officer cornering Travis Price against a white tank, and he was accused of trying to interfere in the arrest.

Attorneys representing the brothers, including South Carolina state Rep. Justin Bamberg, decried the police narrative of Travis' actions as they released the surveillance footage.

RELATED: Travis Price, attorneys lambast Rock Hill police narrative about viral arrest

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