Praire View, the same Texas town where Sandra Bland ended up dead in a jail cell, is in the news again.
This time, it is the city’s police department, which last week tasered Prairie View Councilman Jonathan Miller.
At first, Prairie View police released bodycam footage that did not provide an overall view of the scene, claiming that Miller had “wrestled” with the officers, which is why he was tased.
Now they’ve released dashcam videos that show he was not wrestling nor was he hardly interfering, which is what they’re accusing him of doing.
He was, after all, several feet from the other officer questioning his friends, who appeared to be having a cordial conversation as you can see in the above screenshot.
Videos show the councilman was on his knees with his hands by his side in a non-aggressive manner when he was tasered. Miller was eventually arrested for interfering with police and resisting arrest.
Miller was at his house with his fraternity brothers of Omega Psi Phi when they stepped outside to work on a step routine for homecoming.
That was when police were called.
The female officer on scene, Officer Goode, was also the backup officer in the Sandra Bland traffic stop, which was initiated by a Texas state trooper who told Bland, “I will light you up,” if she did not step out of the car.
Goode can be heard saying to Miller and his friends that “there’s been drug activity, little girls and little guys in the car doing whatever, so when we see this, we come investigate.”
Miller, referring to his fraternity brothers said, “they’re at my house.”
“OK, I don’t know that pulling up,” Goodie answered.
“OK, that’s fine, I’m not trying to be combative or anything,” said Miller.
“OK, I’m not either,” replied Goodie.
Then a second officer, Kelley, tells Miller to step away.
“This is a scene, come on,” said Kelley, reaching for Miller.
“Officer, please do not put your hands on me,” said Miller.
“Go over there before you go to jail for interfering, go over there before you go to jail for interfering,” Kelley responded.
Miller proceeded to take a few steps back as the officers’ requested.
“You always starting problems, so go back over there,” said Officer Kelley.
After several verbal attempts to get Miller to back up further, Kelley reaches toward Miller and demands him to put his hands behind his back.
Miller pulled away saying, “I’m not saying nothing, get your hands off me. I’m not saying nothing.”
A brief struggle ensues which is not caught on the officer’s body camera, because it fell off.
Brandon Wilson, a friend of Miller, shot video of the incident.
Upon the tussle, Miller is seen on his knees with both hands down by his side. The officers yelled for Miller to put his hands behind his back.
But Miller did not, so the officers tasered him.
This seems to be an apparent excessive use of force. There is no need to taser someone when they are on their knees with hands to the side.
The Prairie View Police Department is conducting an investigation to determine any wrong doing by the officer’s involved.
Prairie View Police Chief Larry Johnson said:
“Comply with what the officers are asking you to do. Officers were conducting an investigation. They asked that you step away from the scene and allow them to finish what they were doing, out of safety for all concerned.”
But as we’ve mentioned, Miller was far enough from the scene to not be physically interfering as you can see in the screenshot above, which was seconds before he was tased.
On Thursday, the Prairie View City Council will hold a special session to address the incident, according to the New York Times.
In the first video, fast forward to 3:50 to see tasering incident.
The second video appears to be from after the incident because it shows Miller in handcuffs, standing calmly talking to officers.
The third video does not seem to show much, but we put it here in case you spot something interesting.
The fourth and fifth videos are from the officers’ bodycams, which were released last week and includes audio, and close-ups of Miller, making it difficult to see exactly what he was doing to get tased.
The sixth video is a news report that shows video footage from his friend’s cell phone.
And the seventh video is a news interview with Miller after he is released from jail.