An Austin, Texas, police officer is being accused of using unnecessary force after activists captured him on camera pepper-spraying a handcuffed man inside a police wagon, Fox 7 reports.
The Thursday-night incident was caught on camera by Peaceful Streets Project, a group that monitors police in Austin through video recording. The group is now demanding answers regarding the officer’s behavior.
In the video the man, who is black, is seen already in custody, wearing handcuffs inside a police wagon. An officer opens the door to the van and can be heard saying, “What did I tell you about kicking the door?” before pepper-spraying the man inside, Fox 7 reports.
According to Fox 7, the Austin Police Association released a statement saying that it is “aware of the video,” but cautioning that “it’s easy for some to criticize those few seconds on tape, but what the video doesn’t show is what happened in the hours that led to that moment.” The association did say that a full investigation will “reveal more information about what led to the officer’s actions.”
Fox 7 notes that Police Department guidelines do indicate that pepper spray can be used to control a violent or resisting person, a person who presents harm to others or him or herself, or a person running away from an arresting officer. The person should also, however, be given a verbal warning and have time to obey before the pepper spray is actually used, the guidelines indicate.
Read more at Fox 7.