A Kaufman County sheriff’s deputy has been put on administrative leave after a controversial interaction he had with a Forney mother and her daughter at the beginning of the week.
A flood of calls has been coming in from activists demanding that the officer be terminated for his behavior, as reported by WFAA.
What are the details?
A police spokesperson released several 911 calls in which neighbors had reported seeing the teenager walking in distress. She was said to be barefoot and possibly suicidal. This was mean to prove that the whole incident began with requests for a welfare check.
The mother and daughter also shared a cellphone video with the way they were treated by the deputy. The officer has only been identified by Kaufman County as “Deputy Martin,” as the news outlet points out.
The footage starts when the officer was straddling and restraining Nekia Trigg, close to her house on Tuesday. Her mother, Antanique Ray, can also be seen asking what’s going on.
The teenager had reportedly been noticed earlier by at least two neighbors walking barefoot in the street and crying. The girl’s family said she was upset but just coming back home from a relative’s house.
“I almost ran her over. She said she wants to be run over and just to end her life,” a woman said on the line.
“She is just throwing herself out onto the road,” another man reported.
The deputy’s body camera footage shows him arriving and locating the girl. He tells her he’s there to check if she’s ok. The girl answers, “I’m ok” and keeps walking.
“We got a call saying you were jumping out in front of cars, and I can't let you go walking off,” Martin then says.
“No, I wasn't,” is the girl’s answer.
Within seconds the officer handcuffs her and the girl is heard asking to call family in fear she will get hurt.
The body camera fell off, but the girl is still heard saying she can’t breathe. The deputy then asks the girl’s mother to stay back while she pleads for her to be released.
The whole incident escalates as Martin, surrounded by other officers, attempts to take the girl to a patrol car.
The mother follows along asking for the handcuffs to be loosened. She puts a hand on her daughter and the deputy tells her not to touch the girl.
The sheriff’s office stated that Trigg’s mother Antanique Ray then struck the deputy and was arrested too, according to CBS DFW. The mother was charged with assault on a public servant and interference with public duties. Authorities also said she has two outstanding warrants.
“This is my daughter. How can you expect me to walk up and look at this man straddled in a position? I’ve never seen a police officer straddled on top of a man or woman and my daughter is 18 years old,” the mother said on Thursday.
“The only thing I was trying to do was to check on my daughter. When I saw the officer on my daughter, it was nothing but God that allowed me to stay as calm as I was. I'm her first protector,” she concluded.
Officials have since explained that the restraining method used by the deputy was a Jiu-Jitsu technique which allows for suspects to be restrained without breathing issues.
“The Kaufman County Sheriff's Office remains committed to transparency and cooperation with our community. Any complaint against this department is taken with the seriousness it deserves and will be followed with a complete and thorough investigation,” it was stated in a press release concerning the Forney incident.