FORT WORTH, Texas - Fort Worth police release new dash cam video from an officers patrol car moments before he pepper sprayed a group of passing motorcyclists.
Up until now, the only video seen of the traffic stop is one that shows Officer W. Figeuroa spraying a group of bikers as he gets out of his patrol car.
The video released Tuesday is from the officer's point of view from his dash cam and sparks a lot of questions about the actions of the bikers. It begins as the officer pulls out onto Interstate 20. The bikers can be seen spread across several lanes and as the officer comes up behind a pickup truck with several people in the bed, one of the bikers swerves in front of the patrol car but doesn't pull over.
Officer Figueroa stopped the red Dodge pickup for "blocking traffic to record motorcycles driving recklessly."
Tim Choy, an attorney who is not involved in this case but has represented officers in the past, believes this video backs up the officer's account that he felt unsafe. Choy said with the officer’s lights flashing, the bikers were by law supposed to pull into another lane away from the officers.
In the video, one motorcycle zips by on his back wheel. A few seconds later another biker speeds past in the lane next to the officer, also appearing to be doing a wheelie. That's the point where the GoPro camera worn by the on the bikers begins, which shows the officer apparently spraying the bikers as he gets out of his patrol car.
Brittany Botello spoke with FOX 4 two weeks ago. She was driving the truck. The dash cam video shows the moment the pepper spray blows back at the truck passengers and they start coughing and rubbing their eyes. But then one of the passengers get up and throws what appears to be a cellphone out into traffic.
Choy said the bikers have to admit they broke the law to complain that the officer's pepper spray put them in danger.
"Each of these witnesses would have to be afforded an attorney and the attorney would advise them whether or not it's worth it to them to incriminate themselves in order to testify against the officer," he said.
Choy said the officer is justified in using the pepper spray if he felt in danger.