Recorded on video pinning a teenage girl to the ground before arresting her and her mother, a Texas sheriff’s deputy was placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation into the incident.
On July 27, Kaufman County Sheriff’s Deputy Conner Martin responded to calls of a young woman attempting suicide by walking into oncoming traffic. According to Deputy Martin’s body cam video, he approached 18-year-old Nekia Trigg when the deputy noticed her crying and walking barefoot down the sidewalk.
As Trigg kept repeating that she wanted to go home and didn’t want the deputy to hurt her, Martin grabbed her arm and told her that he would place her in handcuffs if she attempted to leave. When Trigg appeared to pull away, Martin tackled her to the ground as his camera fell on the grass.
Trigg’s sister, Jads Levels, 19, and her friend, Jermany Sims, 20, witnessed the arrest and recorded the second half of the arrest on cellphone video, as Martin straddled Trigg’s body while trying to cuff her wrists. Trigg continued crying while screaming, “I can’t breathe!”
When Trigg was placed in handcuffs and escorted to a patrol car, she pleaded that her cuffs were too tight and were hurting her. As Trigg’s mother, Antanique Ray, touched Trigg in order to comfort her, Martin ordered her to let go of her daughter.
According to Martin, Ray struck him when he pushed her away. In the cellphone video, it remains unclear whether Ray hit Martin or not.
Ray was arrested and charged with one count of assault on a public servant and one count of interference with public duties. In a press release, the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Trigg was transported to a mental health facility for evaluation.
According to the family’s lawyer, Kim T. Cole, Trigg underwent evaluation and was “promptly released because they found no reason to keep her.” Cole told CNN, “She was simply trying to get home. She didn’t care about traffic. She wanted to get home.”
Martin has been placed on administrative leave pending an Internal Affairs investigation.