Austin police officials are investigating the violent arrest of an unarmed black elementary school teacher and a recorded conversation on her way to the jail in which another officer tells her that black people have “violent tendencies.” Breaion King, 26, was thrown to the ground twice during the traffic stop, after she was pulled over for speeding by Officer Bryan Richter. She was initially charged with resisting arrest, but the Travis County District Attorney’s office dismissed the charges after prosecutors reviewed dashcam footage. King was driven to jail by a different officer—Patrick Spradlin—who told her that white people are afraid of black people because they are “intimidating” and have “violent tendencies.” Video of the June 2015 incident was made public this week. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said, “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 mind-set that we saw on display in those videos.” He added, “But there is another piece, which has caused concerns as to our review process and the systems we have in place.” Acevedo noted that he wished he’d learned about the situation sooner and hopes to implement policy and outreach to help encourage citizens to file complaints against officers.
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