Police say Kinston officers seen punching man in viral video used appropriate force

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) – An Eastern Carolina police department says their officers used appropriate force when arresting a man earlier this month.

The arrest of Kahlil Branch on May 10th was caught on camera and went viral.

The video sparked outrage on social media and has been shared hundreds of times.

It shows Kinston officers on top of Branch with one punching him in the side and another eventually tasing him.

Another video shows Branch getting tased in a police car.

Branch was charged with misdemeanor second-degree trespass and misdemeanor resisting public officer.

Police said they saw a group of people with known gang ties loitering in a housing authority parking lot. While trying to question them, police said they noticed a bulge in the waistband of Branch, so officers tried to frisk him for weapons.

They say Branch resisted and after being brought to the ground, they used stunning techniques, which include closed fist strikes and using a taser.

Police say it took the officers over three minutes to put Branch in handcuffs, and during that time a large crowd had formed.

After an investigation by their Professional Standards Division, the department says the officers used proper force against Branch. “While closed-fist strikes may appear excessive in nature to untrained observers, the striking techniques of employed by the officer are currently taught in the North Carolina Department of Justice – Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) curriculum for use in such circumstances,” a police statement said.