Arrest footage released after Central Texas police accused of excessive force with Black 18-year-old


SCHERTZ, Texas (NBC News/KXAN) — Officials have released body and dash cam video of officers arresting an 18-year-old Black man outside his parents’ home in central Texas on Nov. 2.

City officials in Schertz, Texas, have released video of officers arresting Zekee Rayford after they were accused of using excessive force.

In the released video, you can see patrol vehicles following the 18-year-old’s car after he allegedly ran a red light.

Rayford arrives home and officers are seen chasing him up to his family’s front porch.

Officers then deploy a stun gun as he calls for his father. Additional officers then arrive and tackle the man to the ground.

The Schertz Police Department pulled three officers involved from patrol. They have temporarily been reassigned to other positions.

Since the incident, the family has hired lawyers who claim the arrest was racially charged.

Surveillance video from the family was widely shared on social media soon after the incident, which comes after several months of calls for racial justice and equality in law enforcement following the death of George Floyd.

Excessive force in central Texas

One of the most notable recent examples of reported excessive force incidents in central Texas is the case of Javier Ambler, which has garnered national attention.

The in-custody death of Ambler in March 2019 happened after Williamson County Sheriff’s Office deputies chased Ambler after he reportedly failed to dim his headlights for oncoming traffic.

The incident was recorded during a taping of the A&E reality show “Live P.D.,” but was never aired on television and all footage from the scene was destroyed.

Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said initial findings in the investigations show that Ambler notified officers he had a congenital heart defect before he was tased four times. In body camera footage from Austin Police Department — who also responded to the scene — Ambler can be heard saying, “I have congestive heart failure,” and “I can’t breathe.”

In September, Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody was indicted and arrested on a felony charge of tampering with evidence in relation to Ambler’s death.

In September, a KXAN Investigation looked into four other excessive force investigations happening in Williamson County. One of those cases involves video from a September 2019 incident when Williamson County Sheriff’s Office deputies responding to a report of domestic violence.

In that video, deputy Lorenzo Hernandez can be seen putting his hand around a woman’s chin and pushing her head down against a wall as they tried to get inside to find the man who was reportedly involved.

Deputies said the woman being “uncooperative” was reason for the force. The Texas Rangers are currently investigating the incident.

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