““I’ve become fearful to live my life. I would rather stay home. I’ve become afraid of the people who are supposed to protect me and take care of me.”
It’s been over a year since the incident, but Breaion King is still haunted by her encounter with police after she was pulled over for speeding. The video of her arrest has just recently been released to the public and went viral because of the unnecessary violence used by the police officer.
Officer Bryan Richter seemed reasonable enough at the beginning of the interaction, asking King to get back in her car and requesting her driver’s license as he told her she was being stopped for speeding.
When Richter asks King to put her feet back in the car so that he can close the door, the 26-year-old elementary school teacher responds with, “Can you please hurry up?” It’s at this point that Richter simultaneously asks King to step out of her vehicle because of her “uncooperative attitude” and reaches forcefully into the car to pull her out.
Naturally, King resists his tugging and Richter only increases his force, eventually pulling her out, throwing her body into the air and slamming her to the ground.
He repeatedly throws her down onto the pavement, and King continuously asks, “Why are you doing this to me?” Richter demands that she put her hands behind her back, but every time she attempts to do so, he pushes her back down.
In a separate video that was released, Officer Patrick Spradlin, who drove King to jail in a squad car, is heard asking King, “Why are so many people afraid of black people?” King tells Spradlin that she doesn’t know, to which Spradlin replies,
“Violent tendencies… 99% of the time, when you hear about stuff like that, it is the black community that’s being violent. That’s why a lot of the white people are afraid, and I don’t blame them.”
The irony, of course, is that it’s the white officers in the video that are responsible for the violence, not the black woman being arrested.
Officers attempted to charge King with resisting arrest, but the charges against her were dropped when the prosecuting attorneys saw the dashcam footage.
Officer Richter was required to undergo counseling and additional training for his conduct, which is the lowest disciplinary action given to officers in this situation. Under state civil law, Officer Spradlin, on the other hand, was only able to receive a written reprimand for his verbal remarks because the incident took place more than 6 months ago.
“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.”
An investigation is underway to determine why Richter received the lightest punishment, and the Special Investigations Unit of the Austin police expects King’s case to be presented to a grand jury.
“I’ve become fearful to live my life. I would rather stay home. I’ve become afraid of the people who are supposed to protect me and take care of me.”
Watch the video below to see the incident unfold: