Harris County sheriff’s sheriff deputies tasered a woman in a wheelchair, and again while she was on the ground handcuffed.
All because she was video recording them.
The incident at the Valero gas station on Northborough Drive in northwest Houston Nov. 16, was caught on surveillance cameras and Internal Affairs is now investigating.
Investigators will look into whether any policies were violated by sheriff’s deputies when they tasered the woman.
Sheketha Holman, 36, immediately began recording Harris County deputies who were arresting her pregnant daughter. She told KHOU her daughter’s boyfriend called her about a situation at the gas station and drove over with 911 on the phone.
She arrived at the gas station just in time to see Harris County deputies “ramming” her handcuffed daughter into the back of a patrol car.
“They were grabbing her handcuffs and ramming her into the back of the car. I was like, ‘Hey! Hey! Don’t do that! She’s pregnant!,” Holman said.
“I was taking pictures of them, and he was like, ‘Just leave the property, you’re trespassing.They don’t want you here,’” Holman said.
Holman was later charged with trespassing and resisting arrest which she vehemently denies.
“I was like, ‘I’m trying to leave. I can’t take off running, but I’m trying to leave,’” Holman said. “’Oh, you’re resisting?’ I was like, ‘I’m not resisting.’ That’s when I had my hands up like this.”
“When I came to, I was like face down or whatever, and my leg was underneath me,” Holman said. “They still was Tasing me, man. That’s wrong.”
In the video obtained by KTRK, Holman is seen in her wheelchair recording the officers with her cell phone. A verbal back and forth ensues between her and the deputies and one deputy snatches her phone and throws it into her car. Deputies attempt to corral her hands unsuccessfully when one deputy deploys a Taser on her. The shock sends her to the ground where she is handcuffed and shocked again.
She was taken to the hospital after the incident and later booked into Harris County Jail and bonded out the following day.
Holman admitted to cursing and arguing with deputies but said that they took it too far.
“I feel like [the officers] used the law to abuse a disabled person who can’t fight back,” she said. “I think they should be punished.”
“It’s bad what happened to me and whatever, but I feel like once the word is out, then they won’t be so quick to attack people like that,” Holman told KTRK.
HCSO spokesperson, Deputy Thomas Gilliland, confirmed an open investigation into the officers’ actions and said “if any policies and procedure were violated, then disciplinary actions will be implemented. These actions may be suspension and or termination.”
A lawsuit was filed against Harris County Jail in May. It claimed the jail ran a detainment system that jails people too poor to pay bail. The jail was formerly under investigation by the Department of Justice over the treatment of inmates.
From 2009 to 2015, 55 people who could not pay bail have died while waiting for trial, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Holman has consistently used a wheelchair for many years because of severe back injuries, which included a back surgery and a hit-and-run accident.
In the first video you will see the surveillance footage of the incident. In the second video, you will see the news report by ABC 13.