Lawsuit After Video Shows Beating Arrest Of Jaywalkers
A federal excessive force lawsuit has now been filed following the release of a video that showed Austin, Texas police officers beating and arresting several San Antonio tourists last November.
The footage shows the cops pushing Jeremy King, 22, and Lourdes Glen, 24, up against a wall along 6th street in Austin as the “suspects” and dumbfounded onlookers scream, “What the fuck!?”
Like brain-dead automatons being driven by some force outside of themselves, the officers can be seen brutalizing the men with punches and knee strikes as they tell them to “get on the ground.”
The men had come to the city from San Antonio to attend a music festival and have now named officers Richard Munoz, Brian Huckaby, Gustave Gallenkamp, Vanessa Jiminez and other “unknown officers” in the suit.
King said he and his friends had crossed the street before being given a walk signal, and when the cops approached, made the mistake of uttering an insult under their breath.
Apparently that’s all the officers needed for an excuse to pounce like a pack of hyenas onto their unsuspecting prey.
“What are y’all gonna do with him?” a female bystander asks the officers after they cuff and gain control of one of the men.
“Take him to jail,” an officer responds.
“For what? What did he do?” the woman pleads. “What crime did he commit?”
“Crossing against the light,” the cop says.
The footage then shows some of the cops slam the other man face down in the street before the woman is also handcuffed and detained while condemning their actions.
Watch the raw footage:
The man who recorded the footage, Rolando Ramiro, said the incident occurred after the group crossed a street that was barricaded making it impossible for any traffic to be on it.
He said the walking light changed as they were crossing, prompting the officers to demand their IDs and accuse them of jaywalking – despite the street being cordoned off.
Apparently the under the breath “insult” was one of the men responding to the order to provide their papers with a “Fuck no,” as he pointed out that the street was barricaded with no traffic, according to Ramiro.
On Monday, the lawsuit was filed alleging excessive force and violations of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. After the arrest, King was not charged with a crime but required hospitalization for multiple sprained muscles and cuts and bruises.
He and Glen are suing for damages, but another man who was arrested during the incident for “resisting arrest” – Matthew Wallace, 23 – has not joined the suit, but has been urged to by the men’s attorney Brian McGiverin.
“What happened here is outrageous. It was unreasonable… and it was unconstitutional,” McGiverin said. “We deserve a police department that is going to abide by the restrictions of the Constitution.”
Austin police said they launched an internal investigation to evaluate what transpired following the encounter but no action has since been taken against the officers. Officials have not commented on the suit except to say they “are aware of [it] and are prepared to defend the police department.”