A police officer in New Braunfels, Texas has resigned after body camera footage released on Monday showed him pulling over a Black man, tasing and handcuffing him over a “dirty license plate.”
During a press conference Monday morning at City Hall, officials in New Braunfels played an expletive-laced video of the incident that happened back in January.
In the video, New Braunfels Police Department Officer Kaleb Meyer can be seen confronting Clarence Crawford, who is sitting calmly inside his car.
“Put your hands on the wheel!” Meyer shouts as he points his gun at Crawford’s head.
“Please don’t shoot me, officer!” Crawford exclaims as he realizes Meyer’s gun is pointed at him. “I’m Black. Please don’t shoot me!”
Confused, Crawford begins wondering what it is he’s being pulled over for and repeatedly asks Officer Meyer to put his gun away.
That’s when the officer opens Crawford’s door and is seen holding his arm, indicating to pull him out of the car but Crawford says he has his seatbelt on and asks permission to put his phone down so he may remove his seatbelt while simultaneously telling the Meyer to ensure him he will not be shot when he does.
As Crawford begs not to be shot, the officer exchanges his pistol for a Taser.
Meyer then forces Crawford to the ground, places the Taser on his leg and shocks the man multiple times.
“What the fuck did you pull me over for?” Crawford asks.
“It was for a dirty license plate,” the officer finally admits.
Crawford was placed under arrest. However, the charges were later dropped.
The incident occurred in January but city officials said that they were unable to release the video earlier because the officer filed a complaint with the department.
Initially, the incident was viewed as a training issue, which was a recommendation from the Police Department and Camareno confirmed authorities wanted to release the video earlier but did not out of protecting Crawford’s privacy as well as implying a settlement with him could not be reached.
“We actually did want to make the video public sooner, however out of respect for Mr. Crawford, he asked us not to do so,” Camareno said. “Mediation concluded unsuccessfully recently, so we chose in the interest of transparency to show the video to our community and talk about the things that we are doing to address the issues.”
Meyer was reported to have only been with the department for a year and eight months but resigned a few months ago, around September. However, Camareno said Meyer received some additional training in the interim months, per the police department’s protocol.
New Braunfels Mayor Rusty Brockman and City Manager, Robert Camareno both condemned the actions seen in the video, calling it unacceptable.
“We want to make it abundantly clear that the actions of the officer in the video are not acceptable to the City of New Braunfels and not representative of the men and women in the police department of the City of New Braunfels,” Mayor Brockman said. “We are working with our local Martin Luther King Jr. association, the New Braunfels Police Officers Association and the city’s newly formed Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Awareness forum to have an open dialogue and to move forward in a positive way.”
“The actions of Officer Meyer are not acceptable to my office, to the City Council, or to the New Braunfels Police Department,” Camareno added. “Our officers are trained to be respectful, to de-escalate situations, give clear and concise commands, listen to those they interact with and only use force when the situation deems it necessary; the training and our expectations were not met during this traffic stop. The experience Mr. Crawford had with Officer Meyer is not acceptable.”