Prairie View, Texas, Residents Demand Answers in Tasing of Black Councilman Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller seen in video footage kneeling on the ground moments before officers stunned him with a Taser gun
YouTube screenshot

Thursday's special City Council meeting in Prairie View, Texas, which was meant to address the tasing and arrest of black Councilman Jonathan Miller, was abruptly canceled late Wednesday.

The cancellation didn't stop more than two dozen residents from gathering at City Hall demanding answers, the Los Angeles Times reports. Tensions have remained high in Prairie View since the arrest and mysterious jail death of Sandra Bland earlier this year. Miller, according to the report, was greeted by supporters with handshakes and hugs.


The 26-year-old politician was stunned wth a Taser gun last week after he tried to stop officers from questioning some of his friends who had gathered in front of his apartment. Miller knew the officers from his work as a councilman, but that didn't stop them from ordering Miller to step away. The encounter eventually escalated, with Miller being forced to the ground and tased in the back. The incident was caught on video.

The councilman was arrested on suspicion of interfering with a public servant and resisting arrest, the Times notes, and was in custody overnight in the same jail where Bland died. The treatment he received by officers, even those he knew, has renewed the discusson of racial profiling and police brutailty, the news site notes. 

The district attorney had not charged Miller in the case as of Thursday.

Mayor Frank Jackson, who is also black, had called for a special council meeting to discuss the incident but canceled it after consulting city attorneys. Even though Jackson and the police chief didn't show up, two council members reportedly appeared in the council chambers anyway, and residents spoke out about police bias. 


"What was done to this young man was unethical," the Rev. Harold Harris of Prairie View said, according to the Times. 

"We need to show up and still demand what happened to Sandra Bland and what happened to Jonathan Miller," another resident, David Allen, said, encouraging residents to return for the next City Council meeting Oct. 27. 


Read more at Raw Story

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