AUSTIN (KXAN) — A lawsuit filed by a woman slammed to the ground by an Austin police officer, seen in dash camera video, has been dismissed by a U.S. district judge, Thursday.
Austin police officer Bryan Richter, the officer in the video, and the city of Austin were named as defendants in the lawsuit. While the lawsuit against the city has been dismissed, the suit against the officer is ongoing. The city has hired attorney Charles Frigerio to represent the officer.
Judge Sam Sparks says Breaion King’s eight allegations against the city were made “without any specific factual allegation.” King was given the option to file an amended lawsuit, but was cautioned by Judge Sparks that any similar complaint without specific factual allegations would be dismissed, adding the court costs could be taxed to King.
On Wednesday, the city of Austin filed a motion to dismiss King’s lawsuit. “We were hoping to work out a settlement without having to file suit outside of court. We reached out to the city attorney’s office, we sent a letter to the mayor’s office, we were told by the mayor’s office he would call us, he never called us,” Erica Grigg, her attorney said.
King, an elementary school teacher, filed the civil lawsuit in August. The widely seen dash camera video of the June 2015 incident shows King being thrown to the ground following a traffic stop in southeast Austin.
In response to another officer’s racially-charged comments following the arrest, Chief Art Acevedo said he was “sickened and saddened” by the event. Officer Patrick Spradlin asked King in the back of the patrol car, “Why do you think so many people are afraid of black people?” He answers his own question by saying it’s because of “violent tendencies.”
King was originally arrested and charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest search or transport. The case was dismissed in January.
Jim Harrington, founder of the Texas Civil Rights Project, believes the judge acted prematurely. “If you’re talking about changing the police culture and the way that an officer feels that he could have done what he did as you can see in that video, if you want to really address that, you’ve gotta have the city as part of the litigation.”
Editor’s Note: This story initially said the lawsuit against Officer Richter was dismissed. The lawsuit is still active.