UNT police release footage in arrest of man

University of North Texas police released body camera footage in the arrest of a black man on campus late Friday after a video surfaced on social media showing four officers surrounding and arresting him as he cries out.

UNT President Neal Smatresk said in a statement on Twitter that the Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity is investigating the officers’ actions after Denton and UNT community members called for him to address the arrest. UNT Police Chief Ed Reynolds said the investigation is standard protocol for any allegation of race-based stops to the Office of Equal Opportunity.

Reynolds said in a statement that UNT police are releasing the footage to be open and transparent with the community.

“The intent of the officer at this point was to stop Mr. [Jekhari] Williams, advise him of the requirement/safety concern and issue a written warning, which was issued,” Reynolds said. “In addition, when the officer tried to verify Mr. Williams’ identity, he discovered there were multiple outstanding warrants for Mr. Williams’ arrest, including one for a probation violation.”

Body camera footage from UNT police shows an officer stopping Jekhari "Jey" Williams for riding his bicycle at night without a light. Bicyclists can't ride at night if the bike doesn't have a headlamp visible from at least 500 feet away and a red reflector visible from at least 300 feet away, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Around 27 minutes into the bodycam video, another officer tells Thomas there were apparently two white men who were also on bikes, which the initial officer denies. Thomas then goes to inform Williams he’s under arrest for two outstanding warrants from the city of Denton and the Texas Crime Information Center.

Officers then arrest Williams, who is screaming, “I’m tired of this,” and telling officers to stop.

Denton County Jail records show a warrant for Williams on a motion to adjudicate guilt for furnishing alcohol to a minor. “Motion to adjudicate guilt” means the state revoked a person’s probation because they violated probation.

Following Williams’ arrest and the protests surrounding George Floyd's and Breonna Taylor’s deaths in police custody, UNT students have started a #BlackAtUNT trend on Twitter, where they’ve shared stories about their experiences at the university.
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By: ThisIsButter (43814.70)

Tags: Arrest of black man