Officer will not be charged for slamming Breaion King to ground

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police officer Bryan Richter will not be charged for slamming Breaion King to the ground during an arrest on June 15, 2015.

A Travis County grand jury made the decision Thursday to not indict the officer for his use of force, caught on dash camera video widely seen when it was released in July of this year.

Office Richter pulled King over when he saw her driving above the speed limit on East Riverside Drive. The District Attorney’s Office says Richter caught up to the car as it was turning into a fast food restaurant parking lot near Burton Drive. King got out of her car and was walking toward the restaurant as the officer ordered her back into her car.

She went back and sat in her car and gave the officer her driver’s license when requested. Richter then asked King to put her feet in the car and close the door. When she didn’t, the officer told her to stand up and reached into the car for her.

The DA’s office says a struggle began in which the officer forcibly removed King from the car and appears to slam her on the ground, putting her in handcuffs.

The grand jury heard around 13 hours of testimony from eight witnesses. King’s attorney, Erica Grigg, said in a statement Thursday: “Ms. King is very appreciative of the effort the DA’s office and the grand jury spent towards the investigation of Officer Richter’s actions. She is disappointed in the no-bill as it was an opportunity for some closure for her. However, she remains focused on her civil case.” King’s lawsuit against the city was previously dismissed, but the judge gave her lawyer the opportunity to refile. 

Records obtained by KXAN show Richter has charged 34 people with resisting arrest, more than any other APD officer in the past decade. Officer Bryan Richter joined the Austin Police Department in late 2009.

After the arrest, King was put in a patrol car with a different officer, Patrick Spradlin, who was strongly criticized by Police Chief Art Acevedo for saying, “Why do you think so many people are afraid of black people?” Spradlin, heard on dash camera video, answered his own question by saying it’s because of “violent tendencies.” Acevedo said he was sickened and saddened by the episode. 

The chief publicly apologized to King and her family. “I’m sorry that on the day you were stopped for going 15 miles an hour, you were approached and treated in a manner that is not consistent with this police chief and department.”

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