Warning: The content of the video may be disturbing to some viewers
Two police officers in Austin, Texas, face investigation after an upsetting video released Thursday, showed them violently slamming a teacher on the ground and stating black people have “violent tendencies.”
Breaion King, 26, was stopped for speeding on the afternoon of June 15, 2015, by police officer Bryan Richter. The incident escalated into violence in just a few seconds when Richter asked King to close the car door and then suddenly, forcibly dragged her out from the vehicle and hurled her onto the concrete.
Also, in the video published by the Austin America-Statesman, the second officer, Patrick Spradlin, is heard asking King why so many people are afraid of white people. When King replied she didn’t know, Spradlin said, “I can give you a really good idea why it might be that way: violent tendencies.”
As King was being driven to jail, a separate dashcam video recorded Spradlin saying “some of them, because of their appearance and whatnot, some of them are very intimidating.”
Richter explained in his report that he reacted aggressively because King was being “uncooperative” and was reaching “for the front passenger side of the vehicle” — which led him to suspect she might have a weapon.
Police charged King with resisting arrest but the Travis County attorney dismissed the case after he viewed the tape. King had to pay a $165 fine and court costs for speeding.
The Austin Police Department only issued the lowest level of disciplinary action to Richter, counseling and extra training, but his conduct was never formally investigated by the internal affairs department.
Spradlin was not punished at all for his derogatory comments, and Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said that under civil service law he cannot take discipline beyond a written reprimand against the officers because the incident happened more than six months ago.
The emergence of the video came during high tensions between the police and African-American communities — a storm that has been brewing for at least the past three years.
Texas police are still struggling with the aftermath of the Sandra Bland case, which made headlines after she was wrestled to the ground by a cop during a traffic stop, wrongfully arrested and allegedly committed suicide in jail.
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