A video of a Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office deputy holding an 18-year-old black woman on the ground has garnered international attention.
On July 27, the sheriff’s office responded to reports that a woman was attempting suicide by jumping into oncoming traffic.
Deputy Conner Martin located the woman and held her in a position called a top mount, which is taught by the sheriff’s office to control subjects, according to a release from the sheriff’s office.
While getting the woman on to the ground, Martin’s body camera was dislodged and fell to the ground, but continued to record. The 10-minute video was released by the sheriff’s office and is online at https://www.facebook.com/kaufmansheriff/videos/536299497686637
There also is a recording of the 911 call made to the dispatcher. The caller said the woman claimed she wanted to kill herself.
As Martin waited for other deputies to arrive, several family members came to his location, unaware of the female’s attempts to harm herself. The video shows the family yelling at Martin. Another deputy arrived and assisted with handcuffing the female and helping her stand as other deputies arrived. As deputies escorted the female to a patrol unit, her mother, Antanique Ray, walked beside them, insisting the handcuffs be loosened.
Ray pulled at the female’s arm; in response, Deputy Martin told her not to touch the female, according to the press release. Ray struck Martin, then she was arrested, the sheriff’s release said.
The female was transported to a mental health facility for evaluation.
Ray was transported to the Kaufman County Jail and charged with assault on a public servant and interference with public duties, and she also had two outstanding warrants.
Next Generation Action Network, a Dallas-based civil rights organization, held a protest outside of the sheriff’s office on July 29. Comment’s on the sheriff’s office Facebook page ranged from condemnation for the way the incident was handled, while others said the officer did the best he could in a tough situation.
The charges against Ray will be filed with the Kaufman County District Attorney’s Office
Martin has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
“The Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office remains committed to transparency and cooperation with our community,” the statement read. “Any complaint against this department is taken with the seriousness it deserves and will be followed with a complete and thorough investigation.”