Houston police heard ordering woman’s hands up: ‘Pretend like we’re going to shoot you’
Houston, Texas Police Chief Art Acevedo is defending the tactics officers used after they stopped a vehicle that had been reported stolen.
But one phrase yelled by the arresting officer from a loudspeaker during the stop was "not consistent with the expectations" of officer conduct, Acevedo tweeted in a statement.
Denee Harris, a Houston resident according to her Facebook profile, filmed the stop outside a Walgreen's pharmacy on Tidwell Road. While issuing commands to each of the four individuals inside the blue SUV, the officer told one passenger, a black woman, that her hands were not high enough in the air.
"Over your head! Pretend like we're going to shoot you," the officer says at about the 2:40 mark of Harris' 6-minute video.
"Why would he say that?" Harris can be heard asking as she continues to film the stop.
"During the stop, the officers followed tactics and procedures designed to take suspects into custody in a manner that maximizes safety for both officers and suspects," Acevedo's statement read, in part. "While the tactics used were consistent with policy, the phrase in question is not consistent with the expectations of the Houston Police Department."
Harris later told Storyful News, "I was so scared. I didn't know how it was going to end."
She would not comment further Tuesday.
"I'm afraid that [the police] may retaliate against me in some way," Harris told McClatchy via Facebook Messenger.
A Houston Police Department spokesman told McClatchy that two of the four occupants of the car were arrested, and the other two were released after initially being detained.
One man, 53-year-old Zachary LeBlanc, had been charged in connection with the incident as of Tuesday morning. He faces one count each of possession of a controlled substance and theft of a motor vehicle and remained in the Harris County Jail with no bond Tuesday.
Randall Kallinen, a Houston civil rights lawyer, told the New York Daily News that the officer's behavior in the video appears to be "highly unprofessional," and that HPD has a history of not punishing excessive force.