A Texas police officer who tasered a city councilman last year, claiming the man was wrestling with him while refusing to obey his commands – only for a dash cam video to prove he lied – is now being criminally charged.
Prairie View police officer Michael Kelley was indicted by a grand jury Friday on a official oppression charge.
Kelley tasered City Councilman Jonathan Miller last October during a suspicious activity 911 call. Now Kelley has been suspended without pay, according to the Houston Chronicle.
PINAC News first reported on this incident as it unfolded. Miller was outside of his residence with his fraternity brothers of Omega Psi Phi. They were working on a step routine for homecoming.
Upon a 911 call citing suspicious activity, the officers showed up. The officers proceeded to talk to Miller’s friends while ordering Miller to step away.
“This is a scene, come on,” said Kelley, reaching for Miller.
“Officer, please do not put your hands on me,” Miller said, as he jerked away from the officer.
“Go over there before you go to jail for interfering, go over there before you go to jail for interfering,” Kelley responded.
After Miller took a few steps back, Kellley directed him to get down. Miller got down and out of nowhere Kelley tasered Miller.
Miller was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and interference with public duties.
But the charges against Miller were quickly dismissed, probably because the video shows the councilman was on his knees with his hands by his side when he was tasered by Kelley.
Prairie View Police Chief Larry Johnson released the following statement:
“I think this is an unfortunate incident for everybody that is involved, for the officer, for Mr. Miller, for the whole city of Prairie View because it is not indicative of the city of Prairie View, the citizens nor of the police department. We really try to hold to a high standard of conduct and we’ll continue to do that.”
The incident even prompted Police Chief Johnson to confiscate all officer stun guns until they all received additional mandatory training regarding taser use and excessive force.
Authorities are waiting to receive arrest warrants for Kelley so he can be formally arrested.
Kelley’s attorney, Roger Bridgwater claims his client plans to plead not guilty.
Official oppression is a charge that’s filed against police officers or public servants when they engage in unjust behavior or make unlawful arrests. Upon a conviction, Kelley faces up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
It is interesting to note that Prairie View is the same city where Sandra Bland died in police custody. The Texas State Trooper that arrested Bland was indicted this month on a perjury charge. Apparently the trooper lied about how the arrest of Bland transpired.