A Texas constable defended the actions of his police officer after a video went viral showing him handcuffing a black college student trying to drum up business for his lawn service last week.
A Harris County constable came across 20-year-old Marlin Gipson as he was leaving business cards at houses in a neighborhood to advertise his lawn moving service, reports CBS News.
The officer stopped Gipson and asked for his ID, saying he had seen Gipson going from house to house. Gipson tried to explain that he was leaving his business cards there, adding that he did not have his ID with him.
The officer took down Gipson’s name and birthday, prompting Gipson to request the officer’s information as well.
“Tell you what,” the officer says in the video. “Just turn around and put your hands around your back.” He takes out some handcuffs and Gipson proceeds to back away.
Alen Rosen, the Harris County constable administrator, stood by his officer, saying that Gipson left the scene because he had an outstanding warrant. “So when originally stopped and questioned by the officer, that was why he really didn’t want to say who he was,” Rosen said.
Lee Merritt, a lawyer for Gipson, said that the officers came back to Gipson’s house to arrest him. Gipson was attacked by a K-9 dog, Merritt alleged.
“His right arm was being mauled by a K9 unit. While he was being mauled by a K9 unit, he was shot a second time with a Taser, then placed in handcuffs all the while being fully compliant,” said Merritt, a Philadelphia based attorney representing Gipson. “That’s excessive force under any circumstances.”
Rosen’s office denied any use of excessive force and said Gipson had an outstanding warrant for arrest and gave the officer a fake name. Gipson and his brother have already filed internal affairs complaints.
The Harris County constable’s office could not be reached for additional comment in time for publication.
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