Two police officers in Austin, Texas are under investigation after a disturbing video surfaced of one of them slamming a woman to the ground.
It happened a year ago when Bryan Richter, who is white, pulled over 26-year-old Breaion King for speeding. In the video, Richter asked the elementary school teacher to get out of the car, and when she didn’t get out immediately he pulled her out and to the ground.
That’s when things got out of control. The officer then slammed her to the ground before pinning her to the hood of a police car.
King was charged with resisting arrest, but was later cleared.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said the officer’s actions are not up to the expectations with the department.
“My heart was sickened and saddened when I first learned of this incident,” Acevedo said in a news conference Thursday.
“Police officers have a sworn duty to try to calm things down, approach incidents [and] approach people in a manner that enhances the probability that everyone gets to go on with their day– especially over a speeding ticket– and that we build relationships while we’re doing our job,” the chief said.
As if slamming King to the ground wasn’t enough, a camera recording inside the patrol car of another officer– Patrick Spradlin– who transported her to jail caught that officer suggesting to King that African Americans have “violent tendencies.”
“Ninety-nine percent of the time, when you hear about stuff like that, it is the black community that is being violent,” Officer Spradlin can be heard saying.
“That’s why a lot of the white people are afraid– and I don’t blame them. There are some guys I look at, and I know it is my job to deal with them, and I know it might go ugly, but that’s the way it goes.”
He continued, “But yeah, some of them, because of their appearance and whatnot, some of them are very intimidating.”
Neither officer was removed from the department. Richter is being disciplined with counseling and additional training.
Spradlin may get off scot free for his racist comments because of a loophole in the state of Texas’ civil service law. Since the department learned about what he said more than six months after the comments were made, the department may only be able to give him a written reprimand.
Acevedo Thursday apologized to King, and said racist comments like the ones made by Officer Spradlin will not be tolerated.
King relived the incident in an emotional interview with the Austin American Statesman.
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