Body camera footage released by a Texas police department shows an officer shocking a Black man with a stun gun for having a “dirty license plate,” in the officer’s own words.
The video of the January incident shows an officer from the New Braunfels Police Department using a stun gun to shock a Black man while pushing him down as he lay on the street.
The video begins with the officer, identified by Newsweek as officer Kaleb Meyer, running toward a car driven by Clarence Crawford.
“Put your hands on the wheel!” Meyer yells twice. He also orders Crawford to put his phone down and to put both his hands on the wheel.
Crawford shouts, “Please don't shoot me officer, please don't shoot me!”
Meyer orders him to take his seatbelt off, which confuses Crawford. “You told me to put my hand on the wheels,” he says.
“Take the seat belt off or I’m gonna cut it off you!” the officer says.
“You're not gonna shoot me?” Crawford asks again. He then starts taking his seatbelt off slowly. Meyer and another officer pull him out of the car and push him to the ground.
They repeatedly order him to “get on the ground” and to put his face on the ground “all the way.”
“What the fuck do you want me to do?” Crawford yells in response.
Meyer then shocks Crawford with a stun gun repeatedly while he is still on the ground with one of his hands behind his back. Crawford doesn't move or otherwise indicate that he's resisting.
Crawford twitches on the ground a few times as he’s shocked. Meyer then puts his hands in a pair of cuffs.
When Crawford asks why he was being shocked, one officer asks him why he took “so long” to stop.
“If you wanna tase me because I took so long that is your fucking problem,” Crawford says. “What the fuck you pulling me over for?”
“For your dirty license plate, I can’t read it,” says Meyer. He then goes on to say it’s “still a violation” even though he could read it.
When Crawford says that Meyer stopped him only because he is Black, Meyer responds, “Oh, stop. You refused to follow my orders numerous times.”
According to Newsweek, Crawford was charged with attempting to evade police and for interfering with an officer’s duty, both charges that were eventually dropped.
Even though the incident took place in January, the footage wasn’t released until this month following mediation between Crawford’s lawyers and the city.
After the link was shared on Reddit on Monday, many expressed their frustration with impunity for officers despite the ongoing issue of police brutality against Black communities.
“He wouldn’t comply with our commands to stop being black,” one user commented.
“If your traffic stop for a dirty license plate leads to the use of a stun gun, you are a shitty cop,” another added.
Meyer has resigned from the police unit, according to Newsweek.
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