NAACP activist, lawyer call video of Harris County deputies punching a woman "horrifying"
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - A video of a woman being punched as she struggles with Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies has left many outraged.
SIGN UP FOR FOX 26 HOUSTON EMAIL ALERTS
The Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies were attempting to arrest the woman for trespassing and they were caught on camera using what some say is excessive force on the woman.
GrizzysHoodNews posted the recording on Instagram of a woman being punched by a Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy, who also appears to knee the woman in the face.
"I was actually horrified by the video," said former police officer and Defense Attorney Charles Adams. "I just don’t see how it would ever be appropriate."
"Men don’t punch women and it didn’t seem like she was engaging in any sort of aggressively violent assault," he added. "It seems like three men should be able to wrestle a woman to the ground without throwing punches at the woman and that’s what makes it very, very hard to watch."
Adams was not the only one to have this reaction, as Yolanda Smith with the Houston NAACP explained.
"I was mortified when I saw the video," she said.
Houston NAACP Branch President Bishop James Dixon is not in town, Smith added, "but he saw the video and was equally shocked and saddened."
"We’re pleased that our sheriff is on top of it," Smith added. "He did answer our call and confirmed that they are investigating it."
"The question is was it necessary to use that level of force?" Adams asked. "Was it reasonable? And from what we can see on the video it’s not only not reasonable. It’s horrifying."
"This has to stop," Smith added. "Our NAACP motto has been for some time now, ‘We are done dying.' Well, we’re done being beaten on too."
HCSO released a statement saying, "We are aware of a video posted to social media depicting deputies using force against a woman who was accused of trespassing in the 12300 block of Easter Freeway. An investigation into the incident is now underway."
"It would be my assumption unless there’s something we’re not seeing that it would be a violation on his very clear policy on use of force," Adams said. "The deputies are required to use just the force reasonably necessary to effect the arrest and it doesn’t seem like that’s what occurred there."
RELATED: For the first-time ever, all 8 Harris Co. constables gather to co-author new 'Use of Force' policy
"It seemed like three men beating up a woman who was trying to avoid being arrested…she’s clearly acting out," he continued. "It would suggest to me there was a mental illness or some other issues going on to lead her to engage with the officers in that manner."
The NAACP isn't specifically naming yet what that accountability should be. Instead, says it will wait for the outcome of the investigation before making any requests regarding what should happen to the deputies in the video.
"A misdemeanor like that doesn’t call for the beating that she received from those officers," says Smith. "Why does it take four men to restrain a woman? It’s just totally uncalled for and unnecessary. There certainly has to be accountability."
The organization says that’s why the NAACP is pushing for the federal George Floyd Policing Act to be passed. It’s also applauding the efforts of the eight Houston area Constables who have come together for the unified use of force policy.
"That is encouraging. That's a step forward but we need federal legislation enacted," Smith said. "The NAACP is outraged at this video, particularly now after George Floyd and all the other incidents like this that’s caught on camera. Why are we still seeing this?"
"It would have to take some huge additional factor for me to think this was ever something that was reasonable for the officers to do," Adam concluded. "If she had a gun or a knife in her hand and was trying to stab or kill one of the officers that's literally the only thing I could see that would ever justify that use of force."