There are many disturbing moments in the video of Breaion King’s arrest by two Austin police officers last year. The video, which surfaced this week in the wake of a new investigation into the incident, shows officer Bryan Richter violently dragging the 26-year-old black woman out of her car during a traffic stop.
Richter throws her around like a rag doll, pins her to the ground and can be seen at least once picking her body up and slamming it to the pavement.
In another video, obtained by Austin affiliate KVUE-TV, King is seen handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser, questioning officer Richter’s partner Patrick Spradlin on why she was so roughly handled because she is not a “bad black person.”
Officer Spradlin’s reply:
“I can give you a really good, a really good idea why it might be that way. Violent tendencies... And I want you to think about that.”
His answer, King’s needlessly violent arrest, and the fact that it has received so little subsequent media coverage reveals so much about America’s ongoing police brutality problem.
The video of King’s arrest recalls other shocking records of police violence against women and young girls in the past ― the extremism of it all echoes similar incidents in San Antonio and McKinney (which happened around the same time as King’s arrest, June 2015), and even the arrest of Sandra Bland.
Black women are not exempt from police brutality. They are equally as susceptible to profiling and abuse from police, because in the minds of many officers, their blackness is proof enough of their “violent tendencies.”
That’s the reason why a hashtag movement like #SayHerName and the spread of King’s arrest is so vital. The video is an important reminder that black women are just as impacted by police brutality as their male counterparts, and they need our support.