Fuquay-Varina leaders seek to improve police relations after teen’s family says he was wrongfully detained

North Carolina

FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WNCN) — It has been nearly a month since Ty Ziglar says her and family’s lives changed. 

“There hasn’t been a day that haven’t just replayed that whole day,” she said emotionally. 

Ziglar spoke with CBS 17 News Friday about the incident last month between Fuquay-Varina police officers and her 14-year-old son, Malcolm. 

“There is a loss of trust with law enforcement and so that makes it hard,” Ziglar said. 

According to Fuquay-Varina police, on Jan. 30, a woman and her boyfriend met an online seller at the seller’s home. 

They believed the seller had her dirt bike that was reported stolen to Harnett County authorities. Police said the dirt bike was listed for sale on a social media site by this seller. 

Ziglar said the seller was Malcolm. 

She said both her and her husband were home when the couple arrived to check out the bike. 

Police said after a discussion, the couple left to get money to pay, but instead went to the Fuquay-Varina Police Department to report that the woman knew where her property was located. 

Ziglar told CBS 17 she wasn’t home when officers arrived. She also said while her husband was inside their home, the interaction between the officers and Malcolm did not go well. 

“They put my son in the back of the patrol car. From the time they put the cuffs on him he kept telling them that ‘I have the bill of sale in the house’,” Ziglar said. 

She says they didn’t know the dirt bike was stolen and says Malcolm and his father bought the bike more than a week earlier from someone online. 

Ziglar said her son’s friend, who she said is white, was there with him when officer showed up.  Ziglar said Malcolm’s friend wasn’t detained. 

The family also claims Malcolm asked for his father, who was inside the home, but was denied.  They say Malcolm was eventually release. 

“I do want the citizens to know that this can be devastating for young people,” said Bill Harris, a Fuquay-Varina commissioner. 

This week, the town’s board of commissioners passed a resolution to have the public safety committee form a group to come up with recommendations to help improve relations and examine police practices. 

The goal is to have input from the community and police. 

“We can move forward and be stronger after this,” said Harris. 

The town and Harris said the next step is for the public safety committee to meet and develop a game plan. 

“We have to go deeper and have some courageous conversations,” Ziglar said. 

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