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Austin, Texas Community News

Austin Texas - 15 Jun 2015 - Officer throws Women To Ground After Stopping Her For Speeding The lady, who is black, was approached by the officer after she had pulled into a parking space at some business. Evidently the officer wanted to cite her for driving 15 miles over the speed limit. The officer approached the lady soon after she got out of her car, and politely asked her to get back in her car(3 times) so he could cite her for speeding. The lady hesitantly partially complied while talking to him. It's hard to tell for sure, from the officers dash cam video, but it appears she didn't get all of the way back in the drivers seat. After the lady sat down the officer calmly talked to her about the citation. Then the officer says something about getting in the car so he could shut the door. He repeated the "command" twice then after a second abruptly grabbed the lady, where she was sitting. She started yelling and resisting the officer. The officer soon pulled her out of the car while she was still resisting, while he yelled three times to stop resisting. Just before the officer's final effort to pull her from the car he made a call on his radio, using the microphone on his uniform. After forcefully pulling the lady from the car(with her still resisting) he flung her around and down to the ground while trying to subdue her, she was violently resisting most of the time. It took the officer over a minute to handcuff the lady even though he must of weighed at least 75 pounds more than her. The officer didn't use any abusive language or physical abuse(such as hitting). It was much like a wrestling match. Once the officer subdued the lady he returned to his calm demeanor, while she kept resisting, but to a lesser degree. A second officer then took her to the police station.

One of the odd things about this incident was that, even though the officer appeared to use excessive force, the lady apparently didn't make a stink about it later. As a matter of fact, even though the whole thing was recorded on the police car video cam, it was a whole year before the incident came to the attention of the Police Chief. At the time of the incident lower level authorities had given the first officer informal discipline and counseling.

Just yesterday (Thursday, 22 Jul 2016) the police Chief apologized saying his "heart was sickened by the arrest". He also pledged a series of administrative investigations. The Chief also said the manner in which the lady was treated was not consistent with the departments expectations.

A second officer(the one that took the lady to the police station) is also in trouble because his car video cam recorded a conversation he had with the speeding suspect. In a calm manner the two talked about race relations, the officer made a statement that people might be afraid of Blacks because of violent tendencies. He admitted that he wasn't sure of that and that he couldn't prove it. His statement was in response to the ladies question "Why are so many people afraid of black people?". The Police Chief said the officers statement indicates a racist mindset. However the Chief said he would defer final judgment of the intent of the officer until after an administrative investigation.

Both officers have now (22 Jul 2016) been taken off of law enforcement duties and an administrative investigation will take place into past conduct. In addition a criminal investigation will take place and the District Attorney will decide if charges will be made.

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