Two in jaywalking arrest caught on video sue Austin police
Both King, 22, and Glen, 24, were arrested and cited after crossing Sixth Street at Red River Street against a “do not walk” sign. Another person in the group, Matthew Wallace, was charged with resisting arrest in the incident.
The video depicts six officers arresting King and Wallace while Glen yells at the officers to stop. As three officers take Wallace to the ground and place him in handcuffs, they can be seen punching the 23-year-old African-American, placing him in a headlock and striking him with their knees.
King is then seen being taken to the ground in the street, which caused him to have whiplash and mental trauma, the lawsuit says. Later, Glen is arrested after yelling questions to the officers.
The two who have sued were part of a group of five friends who were visiting from San Antonio to attend Fun Fun Fun Fest. They were on their way to be picked up by an Uber vehicle when the encounter with Austin police occurred.
Their attorney, Brian McGiverin, said the officers acted in a racist manner because they initially detained the only two African-Americans in the group. Glen is Latino, and the other two people in their group were white.
“It is unusual to see such a stark example of racism like that, but I don’t think (racism) is unique in these misconduct cases,” McGiverin said.
The officers named as defendants in the suit are Richard Muñoz, Brian Huckaby, Gustave Gallenkamp and Vanessa Jimenez.
McGiverin, who said he usually discourages people from suing a police department while a criminal charge involving possible jail time is pending, advised Wallace not to be part of the lawsuit. Wallace could face up to 180 days in jail if convicted on the resisting arrest charge.
King’s jaywalking charge was dismissed, and Glen’s is still pending. The worst she could face is a $200 fine, McGiverin said.
The city of Austin’s public information office provided the following statement on Tuesday:
“The City is aware of the lawsuit and is prepared to defend the Police Department,” the statement said.