05-26-2017  8:03 am      •     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

Merkley to Hold Town Hall in Clackamas County

Sen. Jeff Merkley to hold town hall in Clackamas County, May 30 ...

NAACP Monthly Meeting Notice, May 27, Portland

NAACP Portland invites the community to its monthly general membership meeting ...

Photos: Fundraiser for Sunshine Division's Assistance Programs

Under the Stars fundraiser took place on May 18 at the Melody Grand Ballroom ...

Portland Joins National Movement to End Prostate Cancer

Second annual ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk returns this June ...

Governor Kate Brown Signs Foster Children’s Sibling Bill of Rights

Current and former foster youth advocated for policy to maintain critical sibling relationships ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Ensuring the Promise of the Every Student Succeeds Act

The preservation of Thurgood Marshall's legacy is dependent upon our dedication to our children ...

CFPB Sues Ocwen Financial over Unfair Mortgage Practices

What many homeowners soon discover is that faithfully paying a monthly mortgage is in some cases, just not enough ...

B-CU Grads Protest Betsy “DeVoid” in Epic Fashion

Julianne Malveaux says that Betsy “DeVoid,” is no Mary McLeod Bethune ...

NAACP on Supreme Court's Decline to Review NC Voter ID Law

NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks made the following remarks ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Breaion King, who was violently thrown to the ground by a white Austin, Texas, police officer during a traffic stop in 2015, speaks at a news conference Friday, July 22, 2016, in Austin, Texas. King said Friday she feels the U.S. must come together after newly released patrol car video of her 2015 arrest again raised nationwide tension over police treatment of black people. (Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A black Texas teacher thrown to the ground by a white officer during a traffic stop, and then told by another white officer on the way to jail that blacks have "violent tendencies," said Friday she is grateful the police chief has publicly apologized.

But Breaion King said Austin police still have culture changes to make and called on the U.S. to come together after patrol car video of her arrest again heightened national attention and tension over police treatment of black people.

Newly released footage of her June 15, 2015, arrest is the latest in a string of videos showing tense encounters between police and blacks across the country. The most charged run-ins in recent weeks have been fatal, setting off protests, police officers being fatally shot and President Barack Obama holding a televised town hall on race.

Officer Bryan Richter nearly threw King into an adjacent truck in the parking lot of a Wendy's after pulling her over for going 15 mph over the speed limit around lunchtime. Following a struggle, King was handcuffed and driven to jail by Officer Patrick Spradlin, who told her that "I don't blame" whites for being afraid because of violence in the black community.

Both officers have been placed on desk duty and prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into Richter's actions during the stop.

"If something is wrong, everyone needs to be held accountable," King said. "So for me, I feel we're starting to take the necessary steps for us to be able to come together as a community and the nation."

King, an elementary school teacher, did not file a complaint after her arrest and said Friday she didn't know she had that option at the time.

"I was embarrassed and I was ashamed and I did not know what I needed to do," King said. "So through everything, honestly, what I did was I waited. I prayed. ... And everything comes together when it's time."

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo condemned both officers' actions and has called comments on the video "disturbing." He said he had been unaware of the stop or the video until the Austin American-Statesman obtained a copy and began asking about it, and was critical of his chain of command for not alerting him at the time of the arrest.

Acevedo said the investigation of the officers will include their conduct in the year since the incident. He said the traffic stop had been originally classified as a level three use of force, which Acevedo said means there was no serious injury or complaint.

In one of two videos, Spradlin is heard asking King, "Why are so many people afraid of black people?"
King replies that she is also trying to figure that out.

"I can give you a really good idea why it might be that way," he said. "Violent tendencies."

Spradlin goes on to say, "Some of them, because of their appearance and whatnot, some of them are very intimidating."

It is only a few moments into the traffic stop when Richter is heard in the video ordering King to "stop resisting" as he orders her out of the car. The angle of the video doesn't fully show King while she is inside the car.

Richter orders King to put her hands behind her back while the two struggle on the ground.

Richter has been a police officer since 2010 and Spradlin since 2001, according to Austin police. Listed phone numbers for the officers could not be found.

Acevedo said he reviewed the video Wednesday with black community leaders for nearly 3 ½ hours. He said they included Fatima Mann, an activist with the Austin Justice Coalition, who said she didn't understand how no one in the department had previously raised concerns about the video.

"If that was a white woman, would he have yanked her out ... and slammed her on the ground? Most of us could say absolutely not," Mann said. "But for some reason, for some strange reason, when people look like me, we're more of a threat, and that means we get treated and thrown around as if we don't matter."

The Austin police union said in a statement that it understands the public's reaction to Richter's response and that Spradlin's comments were "wrong and not reflective of the values and beliefs of the men and women who serve this community."
___
Associated Press writer Will Weissert contributed to this report.

Oregon Lottery
Calendar
The Armory Constellations

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Mary's Wedding