Robeson County, NC – A bystander cheered as he recorded a man viciously beating a Rowland police officer, leaving the officer so badly injured that he had to be airlifted to a hospital (video below).
The violent attack occurred in the area of Benton Court at approximately 1 a.m. on Oct. 17, as Rowland Police Office Michael Sales, 27, was responding to a report of a disturbance, WPDE reported.
Officer Sales was the only Rowland officer on duty in the area that night, Rowland Police Chief Hubert Graham later told the news outlet.
When he arrived at the scene, Officer Sales ended up in a physical confrontation with a suspect later identified by police as Jamel Alphonso Rogers, WPDE reported.
Details regarding what led up to the confrontation are unclear.
By the time the bystander began recording the 11-minute incident, the attack was already underway.
The footage was broadcast on Facebook Live, WTVD reported.
The lone officer managed to handcuff one of Rogers’ hands, but was struggling to gain control of the suspect’s second hand at the start of the video.
Officer Sales asked the bystander for his help at one point.
“Well, you’re the police. Why Imma help you folk?” the onlooker responded, breaking into laughter.
Rogers then wrapped his arms around the officer’s lower legs, knocking him onto the ground, the video showed.
The suspect managed to get away from Officer Sales at that point.
“Get the f—k outta here,” the man recording the incident told Rogers as the officer jumped to his feet and began chasing after him.
Rogers again grabbed Officer Sales by the lower legs and slammed him back onto the ground, the video showed.
“He f—kin’ that police up!” the onlooker yelled triumphantly, breaking into laughter yet again.
Additional bystanders flocked to the scene as the officer wrestled with Rogers on the ground.
Rogers managed to climb on top of Officer Sales, then sat on his chest as the officer gripped the handcuff that was still hanging from the suspect’s left hand, the video showed.
Another onlooker swooped in and pulled Rogers off of the officer, much to the dismay of the man recording the scene.
“Let him whoop his -ss, goddamn,” he yelled.
Officer Sales got back to his feet and tried to resume handcuffing the combative suspect as the man behind the camera urged the suspect not to “let” the officer take him to jail, the video showed.
“Don’t let that man take you to damn jail,” he repeatedly yelled. “F—k that s—t…f—k the police!”
“Police scared as hell,” he laughed a moment later. “He said, ‘help me, y’all!’ That man asked me to help him, and he’s the goddamned police.”
Rogers slammed Officer Sales into the side of a patrol car before he suddenly lashed out and punched the officer in his face, the video showed.
He delivered at least two more blows as the officer continued to try to take him into custody.
It was at that moment that the bystander realized that Officer Sales had lost his gun at some point during the brawl.
“That man looking for his goddam gun,” he said. “Where your gun at? You ain’t got your gun! I’m gonna find that mother—ker…you can’t do nothin’ without your gun!”
Rogers kept urging the officer to try to arrest him again, but Officer Sales didn’t engage him until Rogers started to move out of his reach, the video showed.
They went to the ground again a moment later, at which point the suspect punched him several more times.
The bystander continued laughing and told the officer that he should have just left Rogers alone as Officer Sales tried to hold onto the suspect while wrestling with him on the ground.
“He let the man goddamn take his gun!” the man behind the camera jeered. “That’s on him…he better call backup…we ain’t breaking s—t up!”
Another bystander walked around the area carrying what appeared to be Officer Sales’ radio as the officer locked legs with the suspect and held him to the ground for several moments.
But Rogers managed to get his hands loose, and started wailing on the officer yet again, the video showed.
“Don’t kill the man out here,” the man recording the attack told Rogers multiple times between fits of laughter.
Rogers punched Officer Sales several more times, but the injured officer managed to retain his grip on the suspect’s foot, preventing his escape.
The person recording the attack got down onto the ground to record the officer’s bloodied face shortly before the clip came to an end.
“Damn boy, you f—ked him up!” he quipped.
Dillon County sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene shortly thereafter, followed by deputies from Robeson County, Chief Graham told WPDE.
Officer Sales was airlifted to a local hospital with multiple injuries, including a possible orbital fracture, he said.
He has since been released from the hospital and is recovering at home, the chief told WPDE.
Chief Graham confirmed that Officer Sales lost some of his equipment and his duty weapon during the fight, but said his gun and gear have all been recovered.
Rogers was arrested on charges of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon with the intention to kill while inflicting serious injuries, and two counts of resisting a public officer, WPDE reported.
Chief Graham said he was upset by the violent attack and by the fact that people refused to step in to help Officer Sales.
“Today’s society, that’s just how they think and operate,” the chief told WPDE. “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.”
Chief Graham said that he is also thankful for the footage “because it pretty much proves my case for my officer.”
Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said the brutal attack on Officer Sales exemplified the “harsh reality that law enforcement in America is facing right now.”
“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,” Sheriff Wilkins wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday morning.
He noted that the attack could have ended up being “a much more tragic situation,” and that society needs to stand up for the nation’s law enforcement officers.
“A community won’t feel safe with their own law enforcement officers being attacked such as this,” Sheriff Wilkins wrote. “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.”
“We try so hard to bring our county’s reputation out of the gutter and a few people such as seen here can turn it upside down,” he continued. “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.”
Less than one year ago, Officer Sales was brutally attacked and beaten while on duty with the Maxton Police Department, WPDE reported.
A bystander also recorded that assault and shared it on social media.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content and Obscene Language: