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VIDEO: Cops In Masks And Santa Hat Whoop Drug Dealer Trying To Escape

The police chief explained what happened that can't be seen on the video.

​Austin, TX – Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley responded Friday, Dec. 15, to criticism about a video of an arrest that has gone viral (video below).

The cell phone video, which has been viewed more than 3.3 million times, was filmed on Tuesday, Dec. 12, and posted to Facebook by a user with the name of Mo Anderson, according to KEYE.

The video showed four Austin police officers punching and using a Taser on a suspect during a drug arrest at the Signature Austin Shell gas station at 900 N. Interstate 35 around 5:35 p.m. on Tuesday.

On Friday, Chief Manley set the record straight on what the video doesn’t show, according to CBS Austin.

Chief Manley said his officers arrested a man suspected of making several drug deals in the area.

“Our officers observed this individual involved in some hand to hand transactions and believed that they were in fact conducting narcotics activity in the area,” Chief Manley said.

The suspect, Jason Donald, walked into the Shell station and that’s where officers made the arrest.

The video began as officers walked Donald out of the gas station in handcuffs.

It showed the officers taking him to the side of the building, and then the video is blocked as the officers moved out of Anderson’s line of sight.

At that point, Anderson got out of her vehicle and followed them to continue filming.

Chief Manley said there is a gap in Anderson’s video that doesn’t show the suspect escaping from the handcuffs. The chief said he could see that part of the incident from the gas station’s surveillance video.

“They have a camera on the side of the business that captured the entire incident once they walked around to the side of the store. What’s visible on that video is once they get to the side of the store, the suspect tried to pull away from the officers and our officers have a hold of him,” he said.

Chief Manley said that in the gas station’s video, the officers and Donald go to the ground, and the suspect continued to resist as the officers tried to place him in handcuffs again.

The gas station surveillance video will not be released until after the investigation is completed, he told the Austin-American Statesman.

The video showed officers using a Taser and striking the suspect with their hands.

“The use of just your own physical force just with strikes with your hands although it looks terrible, it’s never going to look positive, it is one of the lowest levels of force we have,” Chief Manley said. “The officers didn’t resort to an impact weapon like a baton.”

Critics complained about the officers taking the suspect around the side of the building. Chief Manley said they did that because Donald began yelling at a bystander in the parking lot.

“They didn’t want him to further engage with that individual so they moved him around to the side of the building,” Chief Manley said.

In the video, the officers are wearing black face masks known as balaclavas.

Chief Manley said the balaclavas are typically worn in tactical type situations, but these officers were wearing them to conceal their identity, “because they do undercover work with the narcotics unit.”

The chief said that he understood the importance of concealing undercover officers’ identity, but that in the future, officers on patrol would not cover their faces unless it was approved by a supervisor.

“We don’t need to have officers out there on front line patrol, interacting with the community with their faces covered. It’s not the image of this department and it’s not necessary,” Chief Manley said.

Donald was arrested for manufacture or deliver controlled substance — 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams — and resisting arrest.

Officers seized 3.88 grams of crack cocaine and K2, along with a large amount of cash. K2 is a name for synthetic marijuana, also known as spice, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Donald was held in the Travis County Jail under $42,000 bond, according to KXAN.

The incident is under review to determine if the use of force was justified, and all of the officers involved remain on regular duty.

You can see the video of the incident below:

GinnyReed - December Mon, 2017

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