GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — A man’s friends are accusing Williamson County Deputies of excessive force after a “Live PD” clip was released showing him attempting to flee a traffic stop and subsequently being punched, zapped with a stun gun and choked.
“This looks like what could possibly be the start of a Rodney King episode in Williamson County,” said Annette Gamble in front of the Williamson County Commissioners Court on Tuesday. Gamble said she was a friend of the suspect, 36-year-old Ramsey Mitchell.
Deputies say Mitchell was pulled over for missing a front license plate.
Warning, the following clip from “Live PD” shows graphic content:
Mitchell was arrested on June 16 on charges of possession of a controlled substance, attempt to take a weapon from an officer and aggravated assault on a peace officer. As of Tuesday, Mitchell is in the Williamson County Jail with a combined $60,000 bail for the felony charges.
In a statement sent to KXAN, Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said, “the force used to affect (sic) an arrest not only was reasonable, but it was necessary.”
“Clearly in the video, he was attempting to take their weapon. When you flee custody and attempt to take a weapon, they will use all reasonable force to protect themselves and the community,” Gravell said. “If you come to Williamson County and attempt to flee from law enforcement officers, attempt to take their weapons, and have distribution levels of illegal drugs in your possession, you will go to jail.”
Another acquaintance of Mitchell’s spoke during Commissioner’s Court on Tuesday on what she claims are growing concerns about the contract between “Live PD” and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.
“Due to this agreement and knowing that these things are being filmed, they are going above and beyond the use of appropriate force,” said Rebel Sanders, a friend of Mitchell’s. “I do know that several people have been trying to bring things to the attention of the sheriff about this use of excessive force especially since the Live PD contract has been ongoing.”
In March, the Williamson County Commissioners Court voted 3-2 to keep the agreement the county has with Big Fish Entertainment, the production behind “Live PD.” The A&E show began featuring Williamson County Sheriff’s Office deputies in November 2018.
More testimony on Mitchell’s arrest and allegations of excessive force can be seen on the Williamson County Commissioner’s Court website.
KXAN has reached out to the Williamson County Sheriff’s office in relation to Mitchell’s arrest but a spokeswoman said Sheriff Robert Chody does not have a statement.