One of checks on alleged police brutality that has developed legs in the past year is the use of body cams. An earlier refinement, the dashboard cam, has long been in use in many localities.
The good news about these technological advances is that the camera doesn’t lie. The bad news is that drivers stopped by police sometimes do lie, and, thanks to dashboard cams, the evidence is there for all to see.
This is a lesson that Texas State Representative Garnet Coleman (D) learned the hard way. Back in July, Coleman was pulled over for speeding on the interstate. Last Thursday, during a meeting of the the State Committee on County Affairs, which Coleman chairs, he described his run-in with the law to his fellow committee members:
[The sheriff’s deputy] talked to me like I was a child. He was so rude and nasty. Even when he found out I was a legislator, he became more rude and nasty. And I didn’t understand why this guy was continuing to go on and on and treat me like a child. And basically like I’m saying is treat me like a boy. I want to be very clear about that.
The occasion for the meeting was a public inquiry into the arrest and death of Sandra Bland, which also occurred in Texas. Bland hanged herself in her jail cell after her arrest, though conspiracy theorists have since concocted a story that police murdered her and staged her suicide.
Although an investigation into Bland’s death is currently underway, Coleman’s claim of being treated “like a child” has already been put to the test. Today, the Austin County Sheriff’s Office released the dash camera video of Coleman’s traffic stop. Coleman’s car first emerges in the video frame at around 1:03. The dialog between him and the officer who pulled him over begins at around 2:42. Decide for yourself whether he was treated shabbily.
By the way, as Weasel Zippers points out, the officers gives Coleman just a warning despite a prior speeding episode, which suggests that if anything the congressman received preferential treatment.
(h/t Breaking 911)
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