Austin authorities are investigating two police officers after the violent arrest of a black schoolteacher during a traffic stop.
The Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV obtained footage of the arrest this week.
The video shows Officer Bryan Richter hurling Breaion King, 26, out of her car and to the ground just seconds after telling her to close her car door during the June 15, 2015, incident.
In an arrest report, Richter wrote that he had pulled King over for going 50 mph in a 35 mph zone. He said that King was “uncooperative” and had resisted arrest by pulling away from him and holding onto the steering wheel.
King is heard screaming as Richter grabs her and yells at her to stop resisting.
King said she didn’t have a chance to obey the officer’s orders.
“It happened really fast,” she said. “I wasn’t given enough time.”
After King is in custody, Richter tells two other officers that he “didn’t want to hit her” but that she took a swing at him.
A distraught King was driven to the police station by Officer Patrick Spradlin, with whom she tried to discuss racism.
Spradlin is heard telling her that so many white people are afraid of blacks because of “violent tendencies.”
“I don’t blame them,” he says.
He goes on to say that “because of their appearance and whatnot, some of them are very intimidating.”
At the time, Richter was ordered to attend counseling and additional training — the lowest level of discipline given by the Austin Police Department. Spradlin was not punished.
Austin police Chief Art Acevedo said this week that there would be an internal review of the incident in addition to a criminal investigation. He said he regrets not knowing about the incident sooner.
“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,” he said.
King was charged with resisting arrest, but Travis County Attorney David Escamilla dropped that charge after reviewing the footage earlier this year.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said she will most likely present the case against Richter to a grand jury.
As for King, she said she has hired attorneys and is considering a lawsuit over the incident, which she said has changed her feelings about police.
“I’ve become fearful to live my life,” she said. “I would rather stay home. I’ve become afraid of the people who are supposed to protect me and take care of me.”