Austin Police Chief Defends Jaywalking Arrest: She's Lucky I Wasn’t The Arresting Officer

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo defended officers who arrested a 24-year-old jogger for jaywalking.

Acevedo insisted that University of Texas student, Amanda Jo Stephen, was lucky she wasn’t charged with resisting arrest.

Stephen allegedly crossed an intersection against a light on Thursday. A video of her subsequent arrest went viral.

The student who filmed the incident said Stephen was still jogging "when they grabbed her arm from behind, and I think it's perfectly understandable that she was kind of startled and jerked her arm away and was like, 'Who's grabbing me?'"

Police slapped handcuffs on her. In the video, she can be heard screaming and shouting “I haven’t done anything wrong,” as police load her in the back of a squad car parked in an alley.

“I think he grabbed her slightly from behind,” said witness Chris Quintero.

“Whether or not he grabbed her from behind is not relevant,” Acevedo said in a press conference. “At some point, she knows it’s a cop.”

Acevedo said the woman was arrested for failure to identify herself to the officer. He said she wasn’t cooperative, doing the “limp routine.”

“Quite frankly, she wasn’t charged with resisting, and she was lucky I wasn’t the arresting officer because I wouldn’t have been quite as generous,” Acevedo said.

“It’s kind of interesting what passes for controversy in Austin, Texas,” he added sarcastically. “Thank you lord that it’s a controversy in Austin, Texas, that we actually have the audacity to touch somebody by the arm and tell them, 'Oh my goodness, Austin Police, we’re trying to get your attention.' In other cities cops are actually committing sexual assaults on duty.”

Sources: Daily Mail, Newser