Hate crime? Police chief weighs in on officer being assaulted on camera: ‘This is the harsh reality’

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ROWLAND, NC – We at Law Enforcement Today have received an update regarding the officer that caught on camera being brutally beaten by a suspect that he was trying to place under arrest on October 17th.

Rowland Police Officer Michael Sale was said to have sustained a broken nose and lacerations to the face when trying to enact the arrest of 26-year-old Jamel Alphonso Rogers.

In a statement released by the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office related to the assault on the officer that was filmed by an onlooker cheering on the attack, the following was noted:

“This is the harsh reality that law enforcement in America is facing right now where some think it’s okay to Defund the Police, Assault the Police and actually laugh and video the event while it’s occurring while at the same time encouraging the suspect to continue to fight the officer even after the officer has lost his weapon and is obviously disabled.”

Hate crime?  Police chief weighs in on officer being assaulted on camera: 'This is the harsh reality'
Jamel Alphonso Rogers – Rowland Police Department

Also in the released statement, the sheriff’s office stated that they will not “debate cases across the country that some seem to compare this with and say the officer deserved this,” obviously acknowledging the trolls who witnessed the video online and thought Officer Sale was deserving of the brutal attack.

The only commentary that the RCSO was willing to deliver pertaining to the assault was that things could’ve turned out far worse for Officer Sale and that assaults on officers is nothing “new” to policing:

“What I will say, is that this is a total disregard for authority and this could have turned out to be a much more tragic situation. To echo the comment made by Rowland Police Chief Hubert Graham, this isn’t new to law enforcement.”

Making mention of how these incidents create concerns with residents pertaining to safety, the sheriff’s office’s statement said they will not stand by idly and allow “the criminal element” to continue carrying out these sorts of attacks:

“A community won’t feel safe with their own law enforcement officers being attacked such as this. In saying this, we will not stand by and allow the criminal element regardless of your race, creed, nationality and so on to wreak havoc in our county.”

Prior to the statement wishing Officer Sale a prompt recovery, the RCSO wanted to convey that police officers “aren’t the enemy”:

“Law Enforcement is here to protect and serve. We aren’t the enemy. But we will be seeking out the enemy in the days ahead.”

Regarding the suspect in custody related to the assault, Rogers has been charged with assault on a government official and resisting a public official, according to Rowland Police Chief Hubert Graham.

He’s currently being held at the Robeson County jail and had his bond set at $500,000.

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Here’s our previous report on this incident, as well as the disturbing video footage captured of the assault. 

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ROBESON COUNTY, NC  An officer with the Rowland Police Department had to be airlifted to a hospital Oct. 17 following a vicious attack lodged against him when he tried to make an arrest during a disturbance call. 

The brutal beating was captured on video by a bystander who encouraged the suspect to continue attacking the police officer.

Rowland Police Chief Hubert B. Graham identified the officer who was attacked on video as 27-year-old Michael Sale. The officer was reportedly responding to a disturbance call when he encountered Jamel Alphonso Rogers.

While it’s not clear what Rogers was initially suspected of, at some point during that response Officer Sale attempted to place Rogers in handcuffs.

The video recorded by a bystander shows the suspect with a pair of handcuffs dangling from one of his wrists while he struggles with the officer.

North Carolina officer airlifted to hospital after brutal beating, which was filmed by bystanders
Suspect throwing punch at officer – YouTube screenshot

The entire video runs about 11 minutes and shows the suspect constantly resisting arrest and intermittently throwing punches at Sale.

During the physical altercation, Sale calls for help from the bystander filming the altercation.

In response, the unidentified man instead mocks the officer, saying he has no intention of helping him out – and then goads the suspect into continuing the attack on the officer.

At one point, another onlooker pulled the suspect off of Sale, which provoked the man recording to tell others to not get involved or help the officer.

North Carolina officer airlifted to hospital after brutal beating, which was filmed by bystanders
Suspect standing over officer while throwing punches – YouTube screenshot

According to Graham, Sale was the only officer on duty that evening in the rural town about 50 miles south of Fayetteville, which is why backup hadn’t arrived on scene as quickly as one might expect.

At some point during the altercation, Sale lost his equipment – including his side arm.

The loss of the officer’s gun during the assault was also mocked by the unidentified man who was recording.

During the disturbing assault, the man recording brings the camera in for a close-up of the officer’s face. In the frames in which Officer Sale’s face is most visible, blood is seen pouring from his nose and mouth and from under his right eye.

North Carolina officer airlifted to hospital after brutal beating, which was filmed by bystanders
Officer Michael Sale after beating – YouTube screenshot

EMS had arrived on the scene slightly after 1 a.m. and the officer was airlifted to UNC Medical Center.

The extent of Sale’s injuries is unclear at this time, but the airlift was appropriate, according to Chief Graham, as there was suspicion that the officer may have suffered a fracture around his eye.

While the video is disturbing, Graham noted that its existence is valuable because it demonstrates the abuse to which many officers are being subject in the current anti-cop climate. 

“Today’s society, that’s just how they think and operate. This is something that we, as law enforcement, been telling the public for years. It’s not shocking to us because we been doing this for years.”

Aside from helping illustrate how dangerous policing is, Graham stated that the captured video will serve as all the evidence needed to convict Rogers:

“I’m thankful for the video because it pretty much proves my case for my officer.”

In regard to the suspect, he was later taken into custody and charged with a slew of serious offenses. According to Graham, Rogers was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intentions to kill while inflicting serious injuries, kidnapping and two counts of resisting a public officer. Rogers is being held at the Robeson County Detention Center.

This is surprisingly not the first time Sale has been attacked on camera. In 2019 when he was with the Maxton Police Department, he was brutally assaulted on camera by a man outside the Minit Shop in Maxton, North Carolina.

In that instance, Sale was ordering a group of people gathered outside the convenience store to disperse when he was attacked by a man in the crowd. As in the recent attack, Sale was left bloodied and bruised from the assault last year.

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