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Austin Police Chief Left 'Sickened and Saddened' by Video of Violent Arrest

KUT News

The violent arrest of an elementary school teacher after a traffic stop is being investigated by Austin police. There are questions about the arrest itself, and the way police officers’ supervisors handled the incident.

The arrest of 26-year-old Breaion King, an African American woman, happened last summer. But it was not until this week that Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo saw the police car video of the arrest.

"There’s a way to do this job," he said. "And that day, we did not approach it anywhere near where we should have approached it. I think that most police officers would feel the same way, and those of you that don’t, when you see this tape, you need to check your heart."

Video from the June 2015 incident shows King twice being hurled to the pavement of a parking lot by an officer. She was originally pulled over for exceeding the speed limit.

Video from inside the patrol car shows another officer telling the woman that police are fearful of black people because of "violent tendencies." Chief Acevedo said Thursday afternoon that his heart was “sickened and saddened” by the violent arrest. 

“First and foremost, let me say this to Breaion King, her family, her supporters," he said. "I’m sorry that on a day you were stopped for going 15 miles an hour, you were approached in a manner and treated in a manner that was not consistent."  

King was pulled over for exceeding the speed limit and then arrested for resisting. The Travis County District Attorney’s Office has requested an internal criminal investigation to determine whether to put the case before a grand jury. 

Acevedo has ordered an administrative review of the fact that the officer’s immediate supervisors considered this a matter deserving only training and counseling. Both officers are now on non-law-enforcement duty, pending the outcome of the investigations.

Below is the video from Thursday's press event.

Trey Shaar is an All Things Considered producer, reporter and host. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @treyshaar.
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