Breaion King, a schoolteacher in Austin, Texas, was pulled over by police for a routine traffic stop in June of last year. In a recently obtained dash camera video, King, a Black woman, is violently arrested and thrown to the ground twice which has sparked an investigation by the Austin Police Department.
The video footage was exclusively obtained by local television outlet KVUE and the Austin American-Statesman. As reported by KVUE, King’s confrontation with the police appears to have turned left after officers assumed she was defying their orders although King sas she was fearing for her life.
Video obtained exclusively by the KVUE Defenders and Austin American-Statesman (available at the bottom of this story) shows the June 15, 2015 traffic stop of Breaion King, 26, rapidly escalating. Officer Bryan Richter gives King a command to close her car door, and seven seconds later is shown on dash camera video forcibly removing her from the driver’s seat, pulling her across a vacant parking spot and throwing her to the ground. Richter stated in his report that he initially stopped her after clocking her going 50 mph in a 35 mph zone along East Riverside Drive. Dash camera video shows the stop happened around 12:30 p.m.
Richter’s arrest report states he acted quickly because he “was increasingly concerned with her uncooperative attitude” and “began reaching for the front passenger side of the vehicle.” Richter noted he did not know if there was a weapon in the vehicle, and that King resisted by pulling her arms away from him and wrapping “her hands and arms around the steering wheel.”
“I was trying to figure out why is this happening to me. Oh my god. I was genuinely like fearful for my life. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I literally didn’t understand what was happening,” King told KVUE.
To make matters worse, there is footage of the other arresting officer, Patrick Spradlin, saying to King that the relations between police and Black people are strained because of “violent tendencies.”
The footage was reviewed two weeks ago by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who said the case will possibly be heard by a grand jury. Charges of resisting arrest against King were dropped after a review of the footage. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo apologized to King in a news conference and vowed that the APD will thoroughly investigate.
Photo: KVUE/Austin American-Statesman