A Houston Police Department officer and several Harris County Sheriff deputies are being investigated after videos were shared on social media.
Houston rapper Trae Tha Truth shared one of the videos on his Instagram page a few days ago. The video taken at a gas station located in the 12300 block of the Eastex Freeway has since been viewed more than 259,000 times.
It shows multiple deputies trying to arrest a woman who the sheriff’s office said was resisting and had a warrant out for her arrest for assaulting a nurse at Memorial Hermann. In the video, one of the deputies could be seen punching the woman several times and even kneeing her.
Eugene Howard, who overseas the NAACP’s Criminal Justice Department for Texas, has watched the video. He called the deputy’s actions in the video excessive.
“This isn’t a quote on quote, ‘I fear for my life.’ This is, ‘I want to beat you down because I can situation,’” Howard said.
Not everyone shares the same opinion after watching the video.
“When you resist arrest, well you have to expect that the deputies or the police are going to use force themselves. This notion that there’s some kind of automatic gauge on how much force you can use doesn’t really exist,” said Thomas Nixon, a former Houston police officer who’s now an attorney.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said they are reviewing bodycam footage of the incident and have placed three deputies in the video on paid administrative leave during the investigation.
The Houston police department has launched a separate investigation into an unrelated incident. The investigation centers around a video posted on social media showing what appears to be a Houston police officer racing another vehicle in his patrol unit.
Nixon said it happened to him when he was on the force and believes it’s a part of community policing.
“Let’s not be so critical, so harsh in our judgment for just having fun with a citizen. Honestly, it’s harmless,” he said.
Howard said he’s a big fan of community policing, but racing should not be a part of that.
“How about we have a neighborhood basketball game or a softball game or a cookout, something like that,” Howard said.
Both incidents are being investigated.