Friday, March 25, 2016

TX: Cop pepper sprays a handcuffed prisoner at he sits in the back of a police van

Austin police have launched an internal investigation after footage emerged appearing to show one of their officers pepper spraying a handcuffed prisoner in the back of a police van.

The incident, filmed by a bystander and uploaded to Facebook by the Peaceful Streets Project, occurred on Friday during the SXSW festivities in Austin, Texas.

It showed an officer opening the back door of a prison van, after having warned a prisoner not to kick the door.

When the handcuffed man protests that he 'didn't do anything', the cop appeared to spray him in the face, sending him reeling backwards and unable to protect himself.

The officer - identified by the Peaceful Streets Project as Cameron Caldwell - was then confronted by the bystander witnessing the incident.

She yelled: 'You a******! I saw that. I got that on film. Abusive a******. Why don't you let him out so he can breathe?'

When the officer explains the man was under arrest, she said: 'Yeah I know - can you keep him under arrest out where he can breathe?'

The officer responded that the prisoner had been 'fighting us for like 20 minutes'.

Antonio Buehler, the founder of the Peaceful Streets Project, told the officer's actions were not only against police policy, but bordered on criminal.

He said: 'They [the police] are treating pepper spray like a grand marshal treats candy at a parade, just throwing it out there like crazy.

We see these cops violating policy and committing crimes all the time, but usually there is some gray area that they like to dance [in].

'This was just crystal clear, there is no way by law or policy that what this guy did was acceptable. There is zero gray area.'

Austin Police have now launched an investigation into the incident and witnesses are being asked to contact them, the website reported.

Original report here

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