A UNT Senior Faces Charges After Brawling With Detroit Cops. But Can Video Prove He Was Provoked?

Just last month, in an effort to curb repeated accusations of use of excessive force by its officers, the Fort Worth Police Department dropped some $700,000 on cameras for patrol officers to wear while on duty. But cameras are already pretty much everywhere these days — as police officers in Detroit can certainly attest.

In May, two Detroit native brothers — one a University of North Texas senior on home for summer break —

But, because the entire fight was caught on the restaurant's security camera, the brothers believe they have a defense, claiming the raw video of the incident proves that their actions were provoked.

UNT senior Naibon Moore and his brother Tywonn Mitchell say they were picking up a to-go dinner order that their mother had placed at a restaurant called Grandy's Coney Island in their native Detroit when a police patrol car suspiciously followed the brothers into the parking lot of the restaurant.

“That's how you know you're back in Detroit,” the elder Moore, Naibon, recalls having told his younger brother at the time. “Police following you for no reason.”

The police — as Moore recalls it — overhead the remark, took offense, and followed the brothers into the restaurant. Then, as the brothers were sitting at a table waiting to pick up their order, one of the police officers approached.

“He immediately asked for identification,” says Naibon.

The brothers responded by asking the officer what exactly they had done wrong. Their reaction was a fitting one, in many regards; Naibon is currently preparing for the Law School Admissions Test; Tywonn studies criminal justice at Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan.

“I'm educated, as to what my rights are,” Naibon says.

But, after a heated argument, things quickly became physical. Naibon claims that the officer pushed him, caused him to push the officer's hands away in response before the four men — the Moores and the two police officers — began engaging in a minute-long fistfight.

Even months removed from the incident, Naibon is steadfast in his belief that he would not have done anything differently that night — even if that meant avoiding legal trouble. Meanwhile, My Fox Detroit reports that the Detroit Police Department is similar convinced it was in the right; the department deemed the force used in the incident as “appropriate and reasonable after intensive review of the video and interviewing the brothers.”

Naibon, of course, disagrees.

“I feel like a compromise from me and my brother, I would consider that a loss,” he says. “A loss of basically standing up for what's right. So many times, we sacrifice having our rights violated to diffuse the situation instead of standing up and asking ‘Why?' It's not a black thing. It's not a white thing. It's not a male thing or a female thing.”

As Naibon sees it, it's mostly a police officer thing.

“Oftentimes,” he says, “they stretch what they have the right to do.”

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