Police Just Shot City Council Member With a Taser While He Was Kneeling Down
The city of Prairie View rallied feverishly to have the street leading to the A&M University named after Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old who died in her jail cell days after her arrest on the same road.
Bland was a graduate of the university and was going to start working at her alma mater soon.
The community’s request was granted and the street is now known as Sandy Bland Parkway.
Little did they know that the attempt to honor her memory would be turned into a mockery by the authorities.
“He was just standing there”
Less than two months after the street’s christening, police officers – at least one of them who was also involved in the Bland case – tazed an African American man outside his apartment building.
The victim turned out to be a high-profile guy. At 26, Jonathan Miller had the honor of being Prairie View’s youngest councilman.
Miller had some friends visiting from out of town for homecoming. On Thursday last week just before 8pm at least three of them, Miller’s fraternity brothers, were practicing some dance steps outside his apartment building.
This is when police arrived and started questioning the group because they felt the activity looked suspicious; Miller stepped outside his home to check what was going on. The members of law enforcement then turned their attention towards him, it is unclear whether the knew that the man they were questioning was a councilman.
The police version is that the officer who was quizzing the group was performing a routine check because the area has a notorious reputation for narcotics.
Alaric Jones was one of the out-of-towners, he says they explained to her that they were practicing their dance routine.
“[she said] no it looks like you guys are doing some drug-related stuff because this is a high-drug area, high crime area also,” he elaborated.
Another friend, Brandon Woodson says he decided to pull out his camera and record the encounter between the officers and Miller as soon as he saw the cops pushing and shoving his friend.
He adds that one of the officers slammed the councilman’s slender 130 pound frame to the ground.
The damning evidence
In the video recorded by Woodson, Miller can be seen on his knees and his feet look as though they are tied. His hands were by the side of his body when a cop is heard saying “put your hands behind your back or we’ll tase you”.
Moments later the officer behind him uses his Tazer gun standing not very far from his victim. Miller then screams in pain and falls face down to the ground. Following this, he was arrested and spent a night in jail , he was bonded out the Waller County Jail the next day.-He then went to the hospital to get checked . He was charged with interfering with a public servant and resisting arrest.
Reactions from the authorities
Miller was charged with interfering with a public servant and resisting arrest.
The police are conducting an internal investigation and reviewing the body cam footage and dash cam video.
The officers involved continue to be on duty. In fact, is not even clear whether they have been reprimanded.
Police Chief Larry Johnson says temporarily relieving an officer of their duties during investigation only happens when it is believed that they used deadly force.
Despite the drama, the chief says he has no reason to believe that the cops were out of line.
He also confirmed that the officer who took Miller into custody was the same woman involved in the Sandra Bland case.
In the meanwhile, one has to wonder whether monuments and roads are enough to honour the memory of those who were victimised by law-enforcement. It is becoming increasingly clear that an attitude change at all levels is what is needed to improve the relationship between police and civilians.
Watch the video below: