Burke County Deputy Returns To Duty After Viral TikTok Sparks Investigation 

BURKE, N.C. — A Burke County Deputy has been cleared to return to work after a TikTok video surfaced showing the deputy choking a suspect until he appeared to be unconscious.

The Burke County Sheriff’s Office says after conducting an internal investigation they did not find that the deputy used a hold that restricted the wanted suspect’s ability to breathe.

In return, officials with the Sheriff’s Office say they have removed the deputy from paid administrative leave and returned him to his regular duties.

The Burke County Sheriff’s Office says the deputy was attempting to arrest a suspect, identified as Cole Carter, with an outstanding warrant on Friday, July 16th near a Taco Bell on Miller Bridge Road.

When the deputy told Carter to put his hands on the patrol car and that he was under arrest, police say Carter became combative and argumentative.

The deputy threatened to use pepper spray as Carter continued to resist arrest, but Carter ended up grabbing the spray and deploying its trigger, according to a news release.

The deputy says he was able to move his right arm over Carter’s shoulder with his right forearm under Carter’s chin (but not pressed against Carter’s throat).

He then called for backup which Carter echoed he would need.

Police say when other deputies arrived at the scene to try and calm down the suspect, Carter took the weight off his feet and started falling to the ground.

The deputy says he helped Carter safely to the curb as Carter was trying to keep his eyes shut.

When the deputy reached for Carter’s left arm to handcuff him, Carter abruptly awoke and tried to crawl away.

Carter was then handcuffed and taken to the Burke County Jail, according to a news release.

The Sheriff’s Office met with the DA’s office and shared the TikTok video as well as investigative findings, as they began their internal investigation on the deputy depicted in the video.

After reviewing evidence, the DA’s office chose not to prosecute.

During the investigation, the deputy involved said he was aware of the “use of force policy” and claims to have not used a strangle or chokehold that would violate that policy.