The town of Wrightsville Beach and the Wrightsville Beach Police Department have released multiple videos of the events of Nov. 8, 2011, when Adam Mills was arrested for suspicion of driving while impaired.
On July 1, 2013, Mills filed a civil rights violation lawsuit against WBPD officers J. Rich and J. McCubbins, alleging that the two officers used unnecessary force while detaining him. Mills claims he suffered a broken nose and fractured left orbital wall as a result of the two officers' actions.
The first video from the evening is from the dash camera of officer Rich's police cruiser. Rich begins to pursue Mills west on Wrightsville Avenue near the intersection with Eastwood Road and reaches speeds as high as 103 mph to catch Mills' pickup truck. Parked in front of the office building now home to Sage Island at the intersection of Wrightsville Avenue and Military Cutoff Road, Rich and officer T. Green appear to conduct a field sobriety test on Mills before placing him in handcuffs and transporting him back to the WBPD.
When back at the WBPD, a video from inside the booking room shows Rich processing Mills. Throughout the entire process Mills verbally accosts Rich. Around 1:46 a.m. Rich asks Mills to get up from the bench but Mills refuses and Rich grabs him by the arms to lift him up. Rich puts Mills' right arm behind his back and the two appear to wander toward a door leading to the back staircase of the police department.
From another camera pointed at the outside of that door Mills appears to open the door twice as his foot is visible outside the partially opened door. On the interior camera Mills audibly says something about being outside while Rich turns on his walkie talkie.
Whether he saw Mills out of the partially open door or heard the scuffle on the walkie talkie, officer McCubbins exits a police cruiser near the same back door, runs up the stairs and into the booking room where Rich now has Mills about to sit back down on the bench. McCubbins can be seen on the interior camera entering the room, punching Mills as Rich tries to get him to sit down, and the two officers held onto Mills as they pin him on the floor.
Mills is first subdued on the floor by the officers and then lies there on his own. Rich notices the blood from Mills' head begin to pool on the floor and leaves to get gloves and paper towels to clean him up while McCubbins kneels over Mills.
Mills then sits up on the floor and continues to do so until an EMS crew tends to his wounds and wraps his head in gauze.
For the remainder of the video Mills is placed in a confined holding cell where he repeatedly bangs against the door and continues to yell at the officers. At 4:13 a.m. Rich and another officer lead Mills into the elevator to transport him to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
In a press release from the town of Wrightsville Beach that accompanied the video, it states investigations by the town and the North Carolina Department of Justice resulted in the determination that the actions of officers Rich and McCubbins were not in violation of police department policies and that no criminal charges against the two officers were warranted.
UPDATE: Here is the statement from NC Special Deputy Attorney General G. Patrick Murphy in response to the request of District Attorney Ben David's request that the state office investigate the matter. The response is dated Feb. 17, 2012.
"On November 18,2011, you requested that the North Carolina Department of Justice
assume responsibility to review the referenced matter. This office has thoroughly reviewed and
investigated the complaint of excessive force made by Mr. Adam D. Mills which stems from
actiOns which occurred at the Wrightsville Beach Police Department following Mr. Mills arrest
on November 8, 2011 on the charge of DWl. Upon my review of the actions of all parties
to this incident and the provisions of N.C.G.S. S15A-401 which authorize a law-enforcement
officer to use reasonable force upon another person when and to the extent that the law-
enforcement officer reasonably believes it necessary in an arrest, it is my decision that criminal
charges against Officer McCubbins are not warranted. Accordingly, this office will not pursue
any further action against Officer McCubbins."
See a related article on the front page of the current edition of Lumina News and watch portions of the videos online at www.facebook.com/LuminaNews