A video that shows a black Texas elementary school teacher, Breaion King, being thrown to the ground by a white police officer as he is taking her to jail has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube and is causing outcry, Denver Channel 7 and ABC News said. Another white officer then told her on the way to jail that blacks have “violent tendencies” so police are afraid of them, said My Statesman.
Watch the video here (warning, graphic):
The Austin police chief has “condemned Richter’s method of restraining King” and Austin Mayor Steve Adler says the video is “deeply troubling,” said KXAN. The video is under investigation.
Denver 7 says the first officer, Bryan Richter, “nearly threw King into an adjacent truck in the parking lot of a Wendy’s after pulling her over for going 15 mph over the speed limit around lunchtime.” There was a struggle, and the second officer, Patrick Spradlin, drove King to jail and told her that ‘I don’t blame’ whites for being afraid of black violence, said the Denver television station, citing The Associated Press. According to ABC, Spradlin said, “But 99 percent of the time, when you hear about stuff like that, it’s the black community that’s being violent. That’s why the white people are afraid, and I don’t blame them.”
The incident dates to a June 15, 2015, arrest, but the footage is newly released, and the officer has apologized, said Channel 7, quoting the Associated Press. The Austin American-Statesman newspaper and KVUE-TV first published the video on July 21, said The Statesman.
KXAN reviewed Officer Richter’s record and found it was mixed. The station said that Richter had been praised by superiors for his policing skills and “work ethic” but added that he had also “led his region in ‘response to resistance,'” which are “use-of-force events.” The second officer’s record also was mixed; he had received commendations and positive reviews but also some complaints, said KXAN.
My Statesman said Richter wrote a report saying that King showed as “uncooperative attitude” and was “reaching for the front passenger side of the vehicle.” He said he didn’t know whether she was armed and that she had ” resisted by pulling away from him and wrapping her hands and arms around the steering wheel,” said My Statesman. She was initially charged with resisting arrest, but prosecutors dismissed the charge after watching the dashcam video, said My Statesman.
Denver 7 outlined the King-Spradlin exchange this way: Spradlin asks King, “Why are so many people afraid of black people?” King says “she is also trying to figure that out.” “I can give you a really good idea why it might be that way,” he said. “Violent tendencies….Some of them, because of their appearance and whatnot, some of them are very intimidating.”