Authorities Investigating Officers Who Made Racist Comments After Brutally Arresting a Black Schoolteacher
Officials in Texas are investigating two Austin police officers after video surfaced of a brutal arrest of an African-American elementary school teacher during a traffic stop that culminated in one officer telling her police are wary of black people because of their “violent tendencies.”
The Austin American-Statesman obtained video of the June 2015 incident, which shows a routine traffic stop develop into a violent altercation as Officer Bryan Richter pulls 26-year-old Breaion King from the driver’s seat and throws her onto the ground.
“Oh my god,” she screams. “Why are you doing this to me?”
According to the Statesman, Richter, 26, charged King with resisting arrest, writing in his incident report she had an “uncooperative attitude” and was “reaching for the front passenger side of the vehicle. The prosecutor dropped the charges after watching the police dash cam video.
King requested to be transported by a different officer, telling police she didn’t trust Richter. Officer Patrick Spraldin drove her to the precinct; subsequent footage obtained by the Statesman captured the officer telling King some officers fear black people “because of their appearance and whatnot.”
“Why are so many people afraid of black people?” the officer asks King, who’s handcuffed in the back seat of the vehicle.
“That’s what I want to figure out because I’m not a bad black person,” King replies.
Spraldin tells King he “can give you a really good idea why it might be that way,” before saying, “violent tendencies.”
King asks Spraldin if he thinks racism still exists, to which he responds, “Let me ask you this. Do you believe it goes both ways?”
“Ninety-nine percent of the time, when you hear about stuff like that, it is the black community that is being violent,” Spraldin says. “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.”
“But yeah, some of them, because of their appearance and whatnot, some of them are very intimidating,” he adds.
The Austin Police Department is investigating both officers involved in the incident.
“After reviewing both videos, I and our leadership team were highly disturbed and disappointed in both the way Ms. King was approached and handled and in the mindset that we saw on display in those videos,” Police Chief Art Acevedo told the Statesman.
At a press conference Thursday, Acevedo apologized to King for the officer’s actions. “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,” Acevedo said.
Watch the video below, via the American Statesman.