A surveillance video (below) from inside a Houston jail on Dec. 8, 2014, recently surfaced after being suppressed by the Houston Police Department for a year and a half.
According to KTRK, Reuben Williams was suspected of drunk driving and taken into custody by officers who said that Williams subsequently spat and urinated while in a squad car. When Williams arrived at the jail, he refused a blood test, so officers held him down while the test was performed.
After the forced blood test, Williams was handcuffed and walked to a detention cell.
That's when a police officer accused Williams of spitting at him, and appeared to push Williams' head into the cell door, which caused Williams to become bloodied.
Williams is then seen rolling around on the cell floor with a bloody head injury.
"Cops can just do whatever they want to because this video was never supposed to surface," Williams told the news station.
In a report of the incident, the officer suggested that Williams "purposefully propelled himself" forward.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Houston Police Department refused to comment about the incident because Williams may still file a lawsuit.
The officer involved told the news station he would try to get permission to speak about the incident, but never called back.
Two inmates in the cell said that Williams did not spit at the officer.
"[L]ooked like the lawman knocked him over his head," one inmate told KTRK.
"I didn't have nothing to do with anything spitting," Williams added. "At that moment, walking to the thing, I was in handcuffs and had no way of even reacting to a man behind me."
The HPD investigated the incident and counseled the officer, who was cleared by a grand jury.
The Harris County District Attorney's Office said that it took the HPD six months to give the surveillance video to Williams' ex-attorney, and after doing so, the HPD asked a judge to issue an order that said, "the (video) is not intended for public dissemination."
The District Attorney's Office added that Williams is a fugitive: "We encourage him to resolve the matters pending against him as quickly as possible if he wants to present additional information."
Williams' family showed the video to KTRK.
"I am trying to get my story heard," Williams insisted.
Williams has apparently succeeded, as local activists are threatening to shut down the city and disrupt the Super Bowl over both this incident and the July 9 police shooting of Alva Braziel, reports KTRK.
The activists' main gripe centers around the lack of transparency, and how Texas state law and police policies allow surveillance or body cameras videos to be hidden from public view.
In response to this lack of transparency, Mayor Turner issued a statement on Aug. 2: "My goal is always to be as transparent as possible. There are different circumstances and legalities associated with each instance. We will have to make decisions on a case-by-case basis. There just isn't an answer that I can give at this time that will be applicable to every situation."