Travis Price got his indictment to prevent police dropped on Thursday and his record was ruled out, according to his attorney Justin Bamberg.
Travis Price was told he was arrested for mixing and physically contacting officers during the Rock Hill incident on June 23, when his brother, Ricky Price, was arrested after a traffic jam.
Meanwhile, former Rock Hill police officer Jonathan Moreno has been charged with third-degree assault and battery in connection with his confrontation with Travis Price, said Kevin Brackett, a lawyer for a court that includes York County.
At a news conference Thursday, Brackett said Moreno did not know Travis Price had permission from other officers to pick up his brother̵
An investigation revealed that Moreno’s interaction with Travis Price was contrary to the department’s policy, citing his lack of escalation of the situation, Rock Hill Police Chief Chris Watts said at the news conference.
“In fact, he escalated the situation,” the police chief said.
“Investigator Moreno’s actions were not in line with police department values or expectations,” Watts said. “Based on the actions of the overall investigator Moreno, his employment has ended.”
Moreno attended Thursday’s press conference before surrendering to jail for reservation. In doing so, he apologized to Travis Price, saying he wanted “my feelings did not get the best of me.”
“My word choice does not define my character. I sincerely apologize for what you have experienced. What happened is beyond my character,” Moreno said. “As a man, a father and a former police officer, the only thing that is held accountable. And I am no exception. I am here to be held accountable for my actions.”
The investigation showed that actions by other officers involved were not contrary to the department’s standard, Watts said. No charges were filed against officers in the arrest of Ricky Price, who Watts said was “actively fighting officers.”
Chisa Putman, a senior lawyer in the town of Rock Hill, said at Thursday’s press conference that she and the police chief had reviewed the footage of the incident and both acknowledged problems with Travis Price’s arrest.
“Based on our review, we agreed that Mr. Travis Price was charged by mistake,” she said. “Therefore, the city’s law firm has dismissed the charge of obstructing the police as it concerns Mr. Travis Price and it will be deleted from his record.”
“Mr. Price,” she added, “I apologize.”
Officials did not report any changes to the charges against Ricky Price. He had been charged with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, carrying a gun illegally, unlawful possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a violent offense, and assault on a police officer while resisting the arrest, according to police.
However, Bamberg told CNN on Friday that the firearms tax had been dropped and possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine had been reduced to simple possession.
Ricky Price was trying to help his brother when the incident occurred, the lawyer says
The incident began when officers from the Rock Hill Police Department Violent Crimes Unit and agents from the Department of Homeland Security pulled Ricky Price out of an illegal turn and lane change under surveillance of him, according to a June statement from Rock Hill police.
Ricky Price pulled into a gas station where police said he called his brother, Travis Price, from inside the car.
Police found two bags of marijuana hidden in the driver’s door panel and a 9mm gun in the back seat of the car, according to the statement. Officers later found a bag containing crack cocaine in which Ricky Price was sitting, the statement said.
Ricky Price was handcuffed and arrested, police said, but Travis Price tried to get closer to his brother to reach property, which officers removed from Ricky Price during his arrest. Travis Price “used his body to push the officers backwards,” police said in the June statement.
Travis Price was told by police he was under arrest for mixing and physically contacting officers, according to police, and officers pushed him toward a large gas tank only after he pushed them and would not put his hands behind his back.
The video shows Travis Price and officers falling to the ground. The video then shows a quarrel between Ricky Price and several officers, which eventually leads to him and several officers also falling to the ground.
Officers took off Ricky Price’s handcuffs to remove jewelry, which he said he would have removed, police said as he tried to flee and threw blows at them. One of the blows hit an officer in the face, according to a June police statement.
In the video, one can see an officer apparently beating Ricky Price as they fight on the ground. According to police, the officer punched his upper thigh “on the common peroneal nerve for compliance,” but when that did not work, the officer hit him in the nose and caused him to bleed.
The woman who shot the video can be heard saying Ricky Price was notified, but police said officers did not use weapons or use Tasers on any of the men.
In a statement, Bamberg, who also represents Ricky Price, rejected Watts’ claim that his client was fighting officers, saying that Ricky Price “never resisted the arrest.”
“When Moreno started using force illegally on Travis, things changed,” Bamberg said. “To say that Ricky was ‘actively fighting officers’ is just law enforcement’s way of trying to bury him to compensate for their own pitfalls on the spot.”
“Ricky was trying to help his little brother, who at the time was being attacked by a now former officer who already acknowledged his own misconduct and was jailed for assault and battery,” Bamberg said.
CNN’s Joe Sutton, Rebekah Riess, Devon Sayers and Chris Boyette contributed to this report.