The answer: four! According to eye witnesses, a 24-year-old female jogger was dragged screaming to a police car in Austin, Texas after being arrested for failing to provide ID while jogging and jaywalking. And the real kicker is she wasn’t even Hispanic!
Amanda Jo Stephen was out for a jog last Thursday when an officer yelled for her to stop as she crossed the street. With music pumping through her headphones, Amanda didn’t hear the cop and kept on jogging. When the officer caught up with her he grabbed her from behind and asked for identification. When the startled jogger refused to give him her name, the two officers on the scene placed her in handcuffs and called for backup.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” she shouted. “I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t f*cking do anything wrong. I just crossed the street.”
When two additional officers on bicycles arrived, the jogger was promptly arrested and hauled into a police cruiser screaming and crying.
The incident was caught on video recorded a student at the University of Texas.
“I was sitting at the Starbucks at 24th and San Antonio,” the student, Chris Quintero, told the Daily Texan, the student newspaper for the University of Texas-Austin. “Then I hear a cop shout at an innocent girl jogging through West Campus with her headphones on.”
“She repeatedly pleaded with them, saying that she was just exercising and to let her go,” Quintero continued.
The Austin Police Department responded to the incident, saying the local police are working on “pedestrian enforcement”, focusing on pedestrian and bike safety. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo was quick to defend his officers and place the blame solely on the uncooperative jogger who, he added, should be thankful she wasn’t sexually assaulted.
“This officer hears the other officer yelling for someone to ‘stop!’ Immediately starts running after the individual and is yelling at her to stop, ‘Austin Police, stop!’ So now you have two officers yelling at this person,” Chief Acevedo said at a press conference Friday afternoon.
“Whether or not he grabbed her by behind it doesn’t…it’s not relevant! At some point she knows it’s a cop! The cop asked her a lawful question that she is lawfully required to answer and she didn’t! That’s why she went to jail,” Acevedo continued.
“And quite frankly she wasn’t charged with resisting. She’s lucky I wasn’t the arresting officer, because I wouldn’t have been as generous.”
“In other cities there’s cops who are actually committing sexual assaults on duty, so I thank God that this is what passes for a controversy in Austin, Texas,” he added. Wow.
While the police work on “pedestrian safety”, Austin joggers might want to start working on their endurance – they’ll need it when Chief Acevedo runs them out of town.