Last year, Austin police office Bryan Richter approached a woman in a parking lot and told her to get back into her car. He told the woman, a black 26-year-old school teacher that he'd seen her speeding a few minutes earlier. The woman hesitated and questioned him but got in the car. But she kept her feet out of the car. Officer Richter pulled her from the car and violently slammed her to the ground twice. He handcuffed her and arrested her.
As she was sitting in the back of a patrol car on the way to jail, Richter's partner explained to the woman that it was necessary to throw her to the ground and handcuff her because black people have "violent tendencies."
The officers' superiors reviewed the video and gave Officer Richter the lowest level of discipline: counseling and training. Since that time, the video was viewed by higher ranking members of the force and both officers have been pulled from the streets pending a full investigation. Charges against the woman were dropped.
While King was being transported to jail on a charge of resisting arrest, she spoke with Officer Patrick Spradlin about relations between officers and the black community. Police video caught some of Spradlin's explanations about why some people fear African-Americans.
"I can give you a really good idea why it might be that way. Violent tendencies. And I want you to think about that," Spradlin said on video.
Charges against King were dropped after prosecutors saw the video of her being slammed to the ground. Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said her office viewed the dash camera video two weeks ago and has asked APD's Special Investigations Unit to assist them. Lehmberg said the case will likely go before a grand jury.