Things That Matter

Police Officer Under Investigation After Body Slamming 12-Year-Old Girl To The Ground

Credit: Ghost-0 / YouTube
Credit: ghost-0 / YouTube

“She landed on her face!”

Officer Joshua Kehm of San Antonio is under investigation for body slamming 12-year-old Janissa Valdez after she became verbally aggressive toward other students according to my San Antonio.

As seen in the video, the sixth grader is kicking when the officer wraps his arms around her. A few students can be heard yelling “Janissa, chill!” just before Officer Kehm picks her up and slams her body to the ground. You can hear the crowd of students “ooh” in unison. One student screams and asks if she’s okay before yelling, “She landed on her face!”

Janissa’s mother told my San Antonio they’re both still in shock.

“This video is very concerning, and we are working to get all of the details,” Leslie Price, spokeswoman for the West Side campus of  the San Antonio Independent School District, said to my San Antonio. “We certainly want to understand what all occurred, and we are not going to tolerate excessive force in our district.”

Earlier this year, Janissa had been suspended for three days after being involved in a school fight. Her mom says Janissa has been bullied several times. She has spoken with school authorities to look into the bullying, but there is no resolution as of yet.

“I just want something done,” she said of the incident with the officer. “Because he could go back and do it again to my daughter or another student.”

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[Video] It Turns Out Sandra Bland Recorded The Traffic Stop Interaction That Lead To Her Suicide

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[Video] It Turns Out Sandra Bland Recorded The Traffic Stop Interaction That Lead To Her Suicide

Sandra Bland's cellphone video of her arrestCreditCreditVideo by Investigative Network

Since 2015, there have been so many wrongful death killings of Black people by police that you may or may not remember the death of Sandra Bland.

The 28-year-old African American woman from Chicago made headlines after she was found hanging in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas. At the time of her death, Bland was being detained at the jail in Texas and had been for three days. State Trooper Brian Encinia was the law enforcement officer who her during a traffic stop.

At the time, video of the arrested which was recorded by Encinia’s dashcam had been used by authorities to review the encounter. Now, new footage from Bland’s cellphone is prompting her family to renew an investigation into her arrest and death that occurred almost four years ago.

The video recorded by Bland surfaced Monday evening.

lioness7819 / Instagram

According to The New York Times, the Dallas television station WFAA has been conducting an investigative report which includes interviews with Bland’s family and friends as well as the victim’s cellphone-recoded account of the incident.

At the time of her death, Bland’s supporters, along with the public, have been aware that authorities had released video from Encinia’s dashcam. They were not, however, aware that Bland recorded the incident from the front seat of her car. According to the NYT, a lawyer who represents Bland’s family by the name of Cannon Lambert has said that her video undermines Encinia’s claims that he felt threatened by Bland when he first approached her car.

“What the video shows is that Encinia had no reason to be in fear of his safety,” Lambert told NYT in an interview. “The video shows that he wasn’t in fear of his safety. You could see that it was a cellphone, He was looking right at it.”

Encinia can be seen in her video angrily threatening bland with a stun gun as she sits in her car.

longislandgirltalk / Instagram

In the video captured by Bland, Encinia can be seen yelling at her angrily while pointing a stun gun in her face as she refuses to comply with his demands to exit her vehicle. At one point, as Encinia attempts to make an arrest and yells at Bland to step out of her car, he shouts  “I will light you up! Get out! Now!”

Bland’s video refused Encinia’s claims he made during internal interviews with Department of Public Safety officials that he was worried about his safety.

enoughwhitepeople / Twitter

“My safety was in jeopardy at more than one time,” he told department interviewers at the time.

It also disputes his claims during his country grand jury trial in 2015, for which Encinia was indicted on a charge of perjury. The charge was ultimately dismissed later by prosecutors in return for the trooper’s agreement that he would  “never seek, accept or engage in employment in any capacity with law enforcement.”

News of the newly released footage has already enraged users online.

Users of color are also citing the footage as a reason to support justice for Bland.

And political figures are already calling for justice to be had.

Bland’s death ultimately unified African-American figureheads across the country and led to the Sandra Bland Act in 2017. The act requires training in de-escalation techniques for all police officers and requires that people with mental health issues be set up with protections while in custody. Here’s hoping the video footage sparks even more change and good.

Watch the video below.

A Pastor And His Family Were Arrested Outside Of Their Church In Georgia And The Video Has Gone Viral

Things That Matter

A Pastor And His Family Were Arrested Outside Of Their Church In Georgia And The Video Has Gone Viral

Constantino Espinoza / Facebook

On March 26, a family was arrested in front of their place of worship in the outskirts of Atlanta. The video of the arrest has gone viral on Facebook because it appears to show excessive force by the police officers. But the story about what led up to this arrest is a lot more complicated than what the four-minute video shows.

The video, which has more than a million views, shows a white officer confronting a Latino family.

Estos Pastores fueron arrestados hoy ,estoy sin palabras ???? Atlanta Georgia 3-26-18 Jose A Farmerio Jose Castillo Martin Rosario Evangelista Carlos Lopez Serrano Anibal C. Baerga

Posted by Constantino Espinoza on Monday, March 26, 2018

The viral video has even been shared by former judge Jeanine Pirro — a Fox News legal correspondent. She captioned the video by saying: “Not complying with Police. Assaulting Police Officers. Stealing Police property (radio and tasers) Yep, you’re all going to jail.”

From some sympathetic commenters on social media, the uproar seems to be that the officer used excessive force on a teenage boy and an older woman. The officer is seen using tasers and pepper spray on the suspects, but the video does not show why the officers are there, or what led up to the arrest.

Police arrested Pastor Wilmer R. Cruz, his wife Cristina Cruz and their two teenage sons.

CREDIT: Facebook/constantino.espinoza

The arrest occurred at Inglesia Cristiana Evangelica Church in Lilburn, just outside Atlanta.

In an interview with mitu, Chief Bruce Hedley said that Lilburn Police were called to the scene after the mother of a teenage female runaway reported her missing. She said that her daughter was with 17-year-old Wilmer Cruz.

Chief Hedley says that the two young people are in fact dating and that the female was staying with the family. He also added that the mother of Wilmer, Cristina, had a restraining order against her and that she was in violation of that restraining order. The police department did not specify who filed the order. He didn’t, however, specify who had initiated the restraining order. 

Authorities released the body cam of the officer, which shows the family did not want to allow the female teen to speak to the officer.

Bueno mi gente aquí está la otra parte de la historia hay que aprender que nadie está por encima de la ley que Dios nos…

Posted by Constantino Espinoza on Monday, March 26, 2018

The video also shows Wilmer interaction with the officer and the family begins to crowd the officer in order to prevent him from taking the teenage female that was in the car at the time.

“Officers repeatedly instructed people to stand back and continued to attempt to speak to the missing juvenile in the parked car,” Lilburn Police Department said in a statement. “Several people did not comply and in turn challenged and assaulted the officers. During the altercation, officers were kicked, choked, and attempts were made to take officer’s equipment. Eventually officers were able to contain the situation using crowd control training tactics and kept the situation from escalating further.”

Chief Hedley also says that the officer was initially outnumbered and that he showed “extreme levels of constraint.”

In another video provided by police, Cristina tells an officer than the her back was hurt during the arrest.

CREDIT: Lilburn Police Department

The body cam shows the officer speaking to Cristina in Spanish and then goes over to the officer in question to tell him about the complaint from Cristina but the sound is then muted.

The family is currently in custody awaiting trail at Gwinnett County Jail. The teenage female has since been reunited with her family.

READ: Police Officer Under Investigation After Body Slamming 12-Year-Old Girl To The Ground

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