Officials are investigating an Austin police officer’s violent arrest of an African-American elementary school teacher who was twice thrown to the ground during a traffic stop for speeding and comments by a second officer who told her police are sometimes wary of blacks because of their “violent tendencies.”
Video from the previously unreported June 2015 incident was obtained by the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV this week. The video shows the traffic stop escalating rapidly in the seven seconds from when officer Bryan Richter, who is white, first gives a command to 26-year-old Breaion King to close her car door to when he forcibly removes her from the driver’s seat, pulls her across a vacant parking space and hurls her to the asphalt.
Richter wrote in his report of the incident that he acted quickly because King demonstrated an “uncooperative attitude” and was “reaching for the front passenger side of the vehicle.” He didn’t know whether she had a weapon, he wrote. He said King resisted by pulling away from him and wrapping her hands and arms around the steering wheel.
Police charged King with resisting arrest, but the Travis County attorney dismissed the case after reviewing the police dashcam video.
As King was being driven to jail, a separate police video recorded a conversation between King and officer Patrick Spradlin in which he said whites may be concerned about interacting with blacks because they can appear “intimidating.”
The Austin Police Department issued the lowest level of discipline to Richter — counseling and additional training — after Richter’s supervisors looked into his use of force, but his conduct was never formally investigated by internal affairs. Spradlin was not punished for his comments because the department only learned about them after the Statesman began inquiring.
In an interview this week, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said the department has opened an administrative review into how Richter’s supervisors evaluated his actions and a separate criminal investigation. Officials are also investigating Spradlin’s comments. But Acevedo said that, under state civil service law, he cannot take disciplinary action beyond a written reprimand against the officers for this incident because it happened more than six months ago.
See More- Source: My Statesman