The demand for regulated accountability against police brutality continues after a video went viral, featuring Whitney Mitchell, who is a quadriplegic amputee, appearing to be dumped from her wheelchair by a police officer.
Mitchell, who is the widow of the late Garrett Foster, who was killed last year at a protest, assisted in a press conference to support those who have lost loved ones in protests or as victims of police brutality.
After the press conference, Mitchell and a small group organized a small, peaceful protest that demanded the end of police brutality and increased police officer accountability as they moved toward Foster's memorial site.
The incident began when a protester dropped one of their protest signs and failed to pick it back up immediately. A police officer, since identified as Brian Charles Yarger, confiscated it and refused to return it, instead stowing it away in his vehicle.
A few protesters followed the officer to his vehicle, asking him to give it back. This group included Whitney Mitchell.
The video picked up during the following altercation, which you can view here:
Footage of @Austin_Police officer Brian Charles Yarger, Badge #6499, throwing quadruple amputee Whitney Mitchell ou… https://t.co/919CDMfW1K— Fiorella Isabel (@Fiorella Isabel)1617091730.0
You can also view the altercation from an alternate viewpoint here:
WARNING: NSFW language
AUSTIN: Police attacked a small peaceful march today. APD officers surrounded the group and then grabbed the wheel… https://t.co/9SSltwQBS5— Chad Loder (@Chad Loder)1617077707.0
Yarger refused and demanded the protesters clear the street and to get back on the sidewalk. One woman, who was assisting Mitchell with her wheelchair, refused and was forced physically around the patrol car and back onto the sidewalk.
Yarger then proceeded to push Mitchell's chair over toward the curb.
Right before reaching the sidewalk, Yarger appeared to tip Mitchell's wheelchair forward and Mitchell slid out of her chair and down to the ground. Yarger did not assist her in returning to her wheelchair and several protesters began to shout at the police officer about his behavior.
One male protester shouted:
"You're throwing her out of her chair! You're throwing her out of her chair!"
"This is police brutality! This is police brutality, right here!"
The officer continued to demand everyone return to the sidewalk and move away from the patrol car. Another officer also insisted bystanders put their phones away and stop filming.
Twitter was divided on what they saw in the video.
Some were disgusted with Yarger's behavior.
@Fiorella_im @Austin_Police This is insane. He's dumping her like cargo. 🤬— #CaliBernication (@#CaliBernication)1617095051.0
@Fiorella_im @Austin_Police I’m sorry, but it’s time to make law enforcement more accountable. They are not militar… https://t.co/rFAGNkPkUa— J.T. Raussen (@J.T. Raussen)1617093166.0
@chadloder Wow - @MayorAdler and @austintexasgov - this behavior from your Police Department is reprehensible. What… https://t.co/bHAzete0IP— Plant Based (@Plant Based)1617087059.0
Others weren't sure Mitchell didn't knock herself out of her chair.
@Fiorella_im @Austin_Police She’s wiggling all over, though. She just slid off her chair from gesticulating around.… https://t.co/E82nmUFBOr— Lanah 🇫🇷🇳🇴🇺🇸 (@Lanah 🇫🇷🇳🇴🇺🇸)1617092211.0
@Fiorella_im @Austin_Police Sorry but it looks like she jumped off the chair. I hate this stuff with the police but… https://t.co/OisdbiXE4c— Phil Maturano (@Phil Maturano)1617120844.0
@chadloder Am I the only one who see them calmly and safely pushing her wheelchar whilst she flails about aggressiv… https://t.co/wlNDqQK94O— TonyKebell (@TonyKebell)1617130876.0
Though viewers couldn't totally agree on what they saw in the videos, their argument wasn't about whether police brutality is a problem or if police officers should be held accountable for uses of excessive force or unacceptable conduct.
The answers to those questions should be clear by now.