Two police officers are currently under investigation for the violent arrest of an African-American teacher in Austin that happened back on June 15, 2015. The incident was caught on a newly-released police dash cam video (below).
In the video, Officer Bryan Richter pulls up behind Breaion King, who has just parked her car, notes KVUE. She steps out of her car, and he tells her to get back inside.
She sits down in the driver's seat. Moments later, he tells to put her feet back in the car and close the door.
Reportedly, King refused, and Richter pulled her out of the car and slammed her on the concrete. After a few more seconds, Richter slammed King on the ground a second time.
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According to Richter’s police report, he "was increasingly concerned with her uncooperative attitude" and King "began reaching for the front passenger side of the vehicle."
Richter said in the report that he did not know if King had a weapon in her car, and that she wrapped "her hands and arms around the steering wheel."
Later, when King was being transported in a squad car to jail for resisting arrest, Officer Patrick Spradlin went on a racist rant about black people having "violent tendencies" and how white people find black people to be "intimidating."
Prosecutors dropped the charges against King.
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It was only two weeks ago when Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg viewed the video and asked the Austin Police Department's Special Investigations Unit to assist them.
When the incident originally happened, Richter received counseling and training from the police department. Now, since the video has come to light, he may receive an indictment on a criminal charge.
Spradlin was never called out about his racist comments to King because the Austin Police Department was completely unaware of them for over a year. The department only learned about the racist rant after the American-Statesman recently asked questions.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told KVUE that his department is conducting a full review of the video, which the department has been sitting on for more than a year.
Whatever the department finds in its own investigation won't matter much, per state law, as the officers cannot be given more than a written reprimand because the incident happened more than six months ago.
"We need to help our community overcome the fear or reluctance, which I understand, to file a complaint," Acevedo said. "This is critical if we are to weed out bad officers and bad behavior."
It's not clear what part of state law puts the burden of weeding out bad police on the shoulders of civilians who are not paid by the state to do so.
"I’ve become fearful to live my life," King told the American-Statesman. "I would rather stay home. I’ve become afraid of the people who are supposed to protect me and take care of me."
Acevedo apologized to King, her family, and friends July 21:
I’m sorry that in the day you were stopped for going 15 mph, you were… treated in a manner that is not consistent with the expectations of this police chief, of most of the officers of this department, and most importantly, of all of us as human beings. There’s a way to do this job, and that day we did not approach it anywhere near where we should have approached it.