Society

Texas Cop Watches Her Husband Choke Man Who Later Dies (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Shauna Thompson assisted her husband, Terry Thompson, while he used a chokehold on John Hernandez on May 28 in Harris County, Texas (video below).

According to the Houston Chronicle, Terry confronted Hernandez for allegedly urinating outside a Denny's restaurant, which led to a fight between the two men near the entrance.

Shauna arrived in a separate vehicle, called the sheriff's office and paramedics, according to authorities, and was filmed helping Terry restrain Hernandez.

Shauna, who was off-duty, told Hernandez, "Stay the f*** down!"

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"Do you want me to hit you again?" Terry asked Hernandez, who could only grunt in response.

A woman identified as the Thompsons' daughter tried to stop a bystander from filming the public incident: "Why are you recording? Stop. Just stop... It's illegal to record, just stop."

An unidentified man also tried to block the filming: "That lady is a sheriff's deputy. If you continue, you will go to jail."

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in February that people can film the police in public, reported Ars Technica; lower courts have repeatedly ruled that people can film police.

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According to authorities, Hernandez stopped moving and was rushed to a local hospital, where he died three days later, notes the Houston Chronicle.

The video was given to criminal offense attorney Jack Carroll, who represents the person who filmed the incident.

"First time I saw it over the weekend, I was pretty shocked," Carroll told a press conference on June 5. "It's a sad video, because you're watching a man basically get killed. He was kicking his legs in a helpless fashion ... begging for it to stop."

Scot Courtney, a lawyer representing Terry, insisted that Hernandez was the aggressor: "This is absolutely not the full footage. I think the comments made by the other attorneys are a little irresponsible. You need all of the facts before coming to the conclusions they're making."

Randall Kallinen, a lawyer for the Hernandez family, told the Houston Press: "This clearly showed Terry Thompson choking and eventually killing John Hernandez."

Kallinen said that Shauna was legally responsible to prevent the killing.

Harris County Sheriff's Office spokesman Jason Spencer refused to identify the deputy in the video, refused to confirm that Shauna is a deputy, but said the deputy is on active duty.

The Harris County Medical Examiner has not released a statement on Hernandez's cause of death, but Kallinen said that an unnamed doctor, who treated Hernandez, believed that he died from strangulation, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Despite video of the choking, no charges have been filed yet. The Harris County District Attorney's Office is waiting for the Harris County Sheriff's Office to complete its investigation.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has asked the U.S. Department of Justice and Texas Rangers to join an investigation of the incident.

Sources: Houston ChronicleHouston PressArs Technica / Photo credit: Mesa0789/Flickr

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