By Kyle Griffin Texas public defenders have been called out for being racially insensitive to a Black man who was killed by a Dallas police officer in 2016.
On Thursday, the state’s public defender office released a video titled “Public Defenders in Texas: Racism and Hate,” that shows a man who is black, handcuffed, and suffering from hypothermia being taken to a facility in Dallas by a Black male officer.
The video shows the man being held by the white officer for over 10 minutes.
“We don’t condone racism,” the public defender, Michelle Martinez, said in the video.
“But we do understand that when it comes to protecting people in Texas, we have a responsibility to uphold our community and our law enforcement, and to ensure that those in our community who are in danger don’t fall victim to acts of violence.”
A spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDSS) said that while the video was not directly connected to the 2016 shooting of 24-year-old Tyre King, it is an example of what is a systemic problem of racial profiling and police brutality in Texas.
“This is an issue that has been raised many times by public defenders and other civil rights advocates in recent months,” TDSS said in a statement.
“This case, like other incidents involving public defenders, illustrates the dangers of racial bias in the criminal justice system.”
Martinez said in her statement that the video shows that the Black officer was trying to help the man and was in fact using “improvised tactics” when he was stopped by the officer.
“I’m deeply saddened that my office, which is supposed to represent all Texans, is being called out as the epitome of racism and hatred, which it is,” Martinez said.
“I know that the people of Texas are going to fight for our laws and our public defenders.
And I am deeply grateful for the support of our family and friends who have been working tirelessly to keep this issue in our communities in front of the public eye.”
The incident happened on the night of November 20, 2016, when police shot and killed Tyre Kings, a black man who lived in Dallas.
After he was killed, he was buried at the Dallas Cemetery.
The video shows a young Black man, who is white, being brought to the hospital by a white officer and placed in handcuffs.
The officer, who was wearing a body camera, then opens a window to the outside world and yells to the crowd, “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot.”
The crowd then begins to yell, “Black lives matter.”
The video also shows the white police officer saying, “This is the Black lives matter movement, Black lives, Black deaths matter, Black cops matter, black people matter, all lives matter, it was all about Black lives.”TDSI spokesperson Amy McDaniel said in an email that it is a pattern in the Black community to call the police to protect Black lives and communities.
“When a Black person is shot, they are frequently the victims of police brutality, often at the hands of police officers who are under the impression that they are doing them a favor,” McDaniel wrote.
“And yet, when a Black youth is shot in the back of the head, or when a white person is killed in cold blood, we are called to act to protect them from the violence that they may face.”
McDaniel said that the public defenders agency is investigating the video and will work to ensure the public is aware of the incident.