A Prairie View, Texas police officer has been indicted after video emerged showing him tase a City Councilman in the back by while he was on his knees, officials said Monday.
Prairie View Councilman Jonathan Miller said he was practicing a step routine for homecoming with some fraternity brothers outside his home when city police pulled up and started questioning people back in October.
“She’s like, ‘What are you guys doing?'” Miller’s friend and witness Alaric Jones said. “We’re like, ‘Nothing. Gonna practice some steps.’ And she said, ‘No it looks like you guys are doing some drug-related stuff because this is a high-drug area, high crime area also.'”
After Miller came to check on his friends, police climed he started interfering with their investigation by not backing away when commanded and continued asking questions.
They say Miller was told he was being placed under arrest and was then tased after he began wrestling with a male officer. Witnesses from the scene however, disputed that claim.
“That’s not true. That’s not true,” Miller’s friend, who caught part of the altercation on his cellphone camera, Brandon Wilson said. “The only wrestling was when he [the officer] slammed him on the ground. He got him on the ground so easily, he’s only 130 pounds.”
In dash-cam footage recorded from the scene, officer Michael Kelley can be seen attempting to take Miller to the ground – which he resists but does not “fight” back.
While on his knees speaking calmly with the officers, Miller is told to put his hands behind his back before Kelley deploys his taser, hitting him in the back. He then falls to the ground.
Watch the raw footage:
Miller was booked on charges of “interfering with public duties” and “resisting arrest, search or transport.” When asked by local reporters if he “did anything that could be seen as resisting arrest,” Miller responded by saying, “I don’t feel so.”
He was taken to jail and released the next day on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond before being treated at a local hospital for back injuries.
On Friday, a grand jury refused to indict Miller on the interference charge and on Monday, prosecutors dropped the resisting arrest charge, Waller County Assistant Criminal District Attorney Noah Johnson said.
Officer Kelley was indicted for official oppression, a misdemeanor, and is accused of unlawfully arresting the Councilman. His bond has been set at $3,000. If convicted, he faces up to a $4,000 fine and up to a year in prison.
National news coverage from the time of the incident showing cellphone video: