On July 21, a local news site published a police surveillance video from 2015, that showed 26-year-old black women being violently arrested. The clip has sparked controversy a year after the arrest, claiming racism and violence against the teacher.
In June 2015, Breaion King was pulled over by Police Officer Bryan Richter for going 15 miles over the speed limit. Following the officer’s orders, King pulled over near Wendy’s restaurant on the road. The surveillance video, shows King stepping out of the car to talk to Richter when he asks her to get back on the vehicle. During this part of the video, the sound is not clear, yet the officer discusses with King.
Seconds after the 26-year-old school teacher got inside the vehicle and the officer grabs her inside her car as she shouts “Oh my god, don’t touch me.” Richter is seen grabbing the woman inside the car and carrying her outside.
A few minutes after, Richter throws the teacher violently into the ground. Even though the arrest occurred a year ago, the surveillance video has recently been acquired by local news site KVUE and the Austin police is facing questioning for not addressing the issue earlier.
Video just surfaced.
Violent Austin police arrest of teacher caught on dashcam https://t.co/X1RHsmjTDn
— El Viejo Ebro (@oldmanebro) July 22, 2016
On Thursday, the Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo issued a press conference to explain the investigations on the case and to express his feelings towards the happening.
A harsh arrest for a misdemeanor
King was stopped for going at 50 mph in a 35 mph zone around 12:30 pm in 2015, yet when police officer Bryan Richter pulled over the young woman, things escalated quickly.
In a published police report, Richter informed the women was “uncooperative” and he began to get worried about the teacher’s behavior. According to King, she has reached for her purse under the driver’s seat, to get her driver’s license. However, Officer Richter thought the women was seeking for a weapon.
In the written report, the officer admits he did not know whether the women had a weapon on the vehicle. So he acted quickly and grabbed the women in the car, as she began to resist the violent grab from the officer. In an exclusive interview with KVUE, the 26-year-old teacher stated she was fearing for her life and didn’t understand what was happening to her at the moment.
maybe this woman was "resisting" because she was rightfully terrified you might kill her? https://t.co/LfldD6XPN0
— Myles Brown (@mdotbrown) July 22, 2016
Another police surveillance video became viral, in which King is seen handcuffed in a squad car talking to another officer identified as Patrick Spradlin. During King’s time in the car, she discusses racism with the officer.
The second-grade teacher asks the officer his opinion on current-day racism, and the officer answers that “violent tendencies” among the black community, is what makes caucasian people afraid. During the 3 minute video, King tries to reason with the officer as he gives his opinions on the matter. Many have classified Spradlin comments as racists, as King tries to discuss the subject. A few hours after the arrest, King’s charges were dropped.
On Thursday, Austin Police Department Chief Acevedo apologized to King for the violent arrest she bared on the hands of Richter and the comments from Spradlin. Acevedo also informed both of the officers are on desk duty and remain under investigation.
“You were approached in a manner and treated in a manner that is not consistent with the expectations of this police chief, of most of the officers of this police department and most importantly, I think, of all of us as human beings,” said Acevedo in the press conference
Studies on director Richter also includes his behavior after Kings’ arrest, both of the officers are facing criminal investigations, especially in black people’s arrest.
Chief Acevedo stated he wished the happening and the violent video served as a comparison point to other officers so they can question their behavior and methods at the time of the arrest. Many have wondered, why the video was released a year after the happening and why the Austin police hadn’t informed the community about Ms. King’s arrest. According to Chief Acevedo, the police department wasn’t informed about the gravity of the arrest.
The video has become viral in social media, as “black lives matter” defenders reassure their case against the way police officers treat black people. During the last few years, the black vs. police subject has gained more attention after several deaths of black subjects in the hands of police officers, which in many cases have been determined as “unjustified.”