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Transparency: Burlington Police Chief Wants Body Cam Video Released in Controversial Arrest

Bobby Harvey faces charges of Felony Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer and Resist, Delay and Obstruct.

BURLINGTON, N.C. — Burlington Police are releasing more details after a video posted on Facebook showed officers striking a black man while detaining him. 

Police held a press conference Monday morning concerning the arrest of 41-year-old Bobby Harvey. He's charged with felony assault on police officers and resisting arrest. The incident happened Friday night in front of a house on Dailey Street in Burlington. 

Police say officers responded to the area for an alleged assault. Upon arrival, officers approached Harvey, who matched the description of the suspect in their investigation. Chief Smythe says when the officers asked Harvey to verify who he was, he became uncooperative and assaulted officers. 

On the video posted to social media, officers were seen using force to get Harvey into custody. Chief Smythe says during the struggle, Harvey grabbed a taser and tased one officer in the chest and attempted to tase another. Smythe says Harvey also bit one of the officers in the leg. 

Chief Smythe says he believes his officers followed protocol, but he plans to sit down with Harvey's family to talk about the arrest. 

"I think some of [Harvey's sister's] concerns is that we randomly targeted a black man, her brother, walking down the street, and I want to be completely clear that's absolutely not the case and this is a focused investigation with specific facts, location and place to find Mr. Harvey," said Smythe. 

Smythe says there will be an internal investigation, and they have already requested a court order for the body camera video to be released. 


Police say the officers and Mr. Harvey were all taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries after the arrest. 

Chief Smythe says police verified Mr. Harvey was not the suspect involved in the alleged assault. Smythe says Mr. Harvey is still in the hospital for health concerns unrelated to the arrest.

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