Fight Fizzles Before Police Arrive; Cops Start Tasing and Arresting People Anyway
Cops were greeted by a calm scene, but the situation quickly erupted into chaos.
When two of her sons got into a heated argument in August, a Texas mother thought a call to police might help the situation. But by the time the cops arrived, things had settled down. So why were three brothers arrested and one of them tased?
Sammie Anderson's story began when two of her adult sons—23-year-old Matt Bateman and 21-year-old Grant Bible—started arguing. Afraid that words might turn into blows, Anderson tells The Dallas Morning News, she got between them and said, "Someone better call the police."
Grant's girlfriend, Victoria Floyd, made the call. By this point Bateman had picked up a tool, possibly a sledgehammer, which Floyd duly mentioned to the dispatcher. But Matt and Grant soon calmed down, and dash camera footage shows police arriving to a relatively quiet scene.
"There was no physical altercation, no arguing," DeSoto Police Chief Joseph Costa tells the Morning News. But the situation wouldn't stay calm for long. The footage shows police repeatedly ordering everyone to "get on the ground," even after being told that "no one's fighting."
The full dash camera video can be seen below:
About one minute into the video, another of Anderson's sons, 18-year-old Sam Bible, walks into view. According to the Morning News, Sam had just gotten home from work and was not involved in his brothers' argument.
Sam appears to get down on his knees, but his body is partially out of the frame. The police keep telling him to "get down on the ground," and his mother gets up and walks over to encourage him to listen. "He's not resisting," Anderson tells the officers. Then one of them tackles her to the ground. Later in the video, another officer claims she was subdued for touching him.
Two officers can then be seen drawing weapons, which Costa later said were stun guns. Soon everyone is on the ground, and police start handcuffing them.
One of Anderson's sons apparently didn't want to be handcuffed. The Morning News reports:
An officer approaching Grant Bible, 21, who is on the ground face down, says, "You need to calm down or you'll be tased." Two other officers are standing over him as they handcuff him. Someone says, "Don't touch me."
Over the next roughly 40 seconds, at least four officers surround Grant and hold him down as he screams. The footage doesn't clearly show where officers were tasing him.
Grant and Sam were eventually arrested for interfering with officers. Matt, meanwhile, was taken into custody for alleged domestic violence against his girlfriend, who signed a sworn affidavit saying "he has never assaulted me." Floyd also told police that Matt had hit his 15-year-old brother, Ty. All three brothers have pleaded not guilty.
Sam and Grant lost their jobs while they were in custody, and Anderson had to seek hospital treatment for several sprains and bruises. She ended up losing her job as well.
Anderson has filed a complaint claiming excessive use of force, but Costa insists his officers did nothing wrong. "With the information I have and relative to the video you have, our officers acted appropriately to the incident they responded to," he tells WFAA.
The DeSoto Police Department's internal affairs division is investigating the incident.