Texas Police Assault And Kill Unarmed Man With Intellectual Disability

An unarmed man who was assaulted and killed by Temple, Texas Police on Thursday evening reportedly suffered from an intellectual disability, sickle-cell anemia and chronic pain.

Officers responded to a disturbance call near Wayman Manor Apartments in the 1800 block of East Avenue K around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Officers made contact with a man they incorrectly believed to be responsible for the disturbance, but they claimed he was uncooperative and appeared intoxicated., reported Seattle Times.

Neighbors say the man, Stephen Gayle, 40, was cheering for children practicing football while walking home from the store and was not causing a disturbance.

Wanda Nichols, pastor of The Garden of Gethsemane International Church Ministries who lives in the East Temple neighborhood, said she saw the man walking down the street and yelling before the police arrived, reported Temple Daily Telegram.

“The young man, he was actually coming down the sidewalk, and he would yell — he would say something that was unintelligible, then he would stop, and he would start walking again,” Nichols said. “I thought that he was trying to get the attention of one of the little football players that were over there at the (Meridith-Dunbar) school, practicing. Next thing I know, an officer’s car pulled up.”

Temple Police Department spokeswoman Shawana Neely said the officers got into a confrontation with the man.

“The male subject was very uncooperative with the officers. … He appeared to be under some type of influence of some type of substance,” Neely told the Telegram late Thursday. “The officers attempted to make contact and detain him and he began to struggle with the officers. During that struggle, he actively resisted. During the struggle, he started showing signs of medical distress and the officers summoned EMS.”

Gayle’s sister, Tiffany Nuckols, said that her brother suffered from an intellectual disability and sickle-cell anemia, and had nerve pain in his legs that caused them to lock up and kick sometimes.

“My brother, he wouldn’t hurt nobody,” Nuckols said. “That’s why all the kids loved him. … My brother was a good person.”

Neighborhood children said that Gayle would cook fried chicken for them sometimes.

The Texas Rangers were called in to investigate the incident that led to the man’s death, Neely said.

The police department said there are no indications the officers did anything wrong. Of course that means they have either chosen to ignore the witness statements, or they see no problem with police brutality.

Neely wrote in an email. “At this stage of the investigation, there are no obvious indications that our officer(s) acted outside the scope of their duties.”

“It is the position of the Temple Police Department that any time a member of our community dies while in our custody, a third party, in this case the Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers, come in to conduct a complete and independent investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident,” Neely said. “Our department has, and will continue to cooperate fully with the Texas Rangers in the investigation of this incident.”

Source: http://countercurrentnews.info