Officials in Texas are investigating the use of a taser on a local councilman arrested last week by one of the police officers also involved in the arrest of Sandra Bland, a black woman who died in a jail cell in July.
The Waller County district attorney will investigate the tasering of Prairie View Councilman Jonathan Miller, 26, who was arrested on Thursday night, NBC News reported.
Miller was charged with resisting arrest after a police officer shot him with a taser gun outside his home in Prairie View -- the same city where Bland was arrested during a routine traffic stop for publicly assaulting an officer.
A female officer involved in Bland's arrest was also one of the two officers who arrested Miller.
An internal Prairie View Police Department review will also be conducted alongside the D.A.'s investigation to determine "if there's any training that our officers can benefit from," Prairie View Chief of Police Larry Johnson said at a news conference Monday. "Our goal is to provide the best service that we can and sometimes we fail, sometimes we can do better."
Police on Saturday released body cam footage of Miller being tasered by an officer after he allegedly tried to "interrupt" police while they were questioning three of his friends in the area.
Chief Johnson said the area has "often been found to be involved with drug activity and suspicious activity."
The video showed the officers questioning Miller's fraternity brothers who he said were practicing "marches" for Homecoming outside his house.
In the video, the female officer, who police have not formally identified, can be heard telling the men, "There's been drug activity, little girls and little guys in the car doing whatever, so when we see this, we come investigate."
Miller can then be heard saying that the men were at his house and that they were not doing anything illegal.
When he tells police he was "not trying to be combative," the female officer can be heard replying, "I'm not either."
When one of Miller's friends tells the officer he is a city councilman, the officer replies, "I know who he is."
The officer can be heard telling Miller he was coming in at the "tail end" of her conversation with the three men, and that the men had already explained everything to her.
A male officer can then be seen reaching for Miller and telling him to stand away from the scene. "Officer, please do not put your hands on me," Miller says in the video, folding his hands.
The male officer repeatedly tells him, "Go over there before you go to jail for interfering, go over there before you go to jail for interfering," to which Miller says, "I live here."
The officer can be heard saying, "I'm not going to tell you again, we're not going to keep playing these games brother," to which Miller responds, "I'm not your brother."
"This is her scene, back off you're interfering," the male officer tells Miller.
The officer repeatedly tells Miller to back up before finally reaching for him and telling him to turn around. Miller tries to escape the officer's grasp saying, "I'm not saying nothing. Get your hands off me. I'm not saying nothing."
While the next part of the footage is unclear, the female officer is then heard telling Miller, "Just do what he tells you. Put your hands behind your back and quit resisting him."
Both officers repeatedly order Miller to put his hands behind his back, but after refusing to comply, the female officer says, "Ok he's going to have to taser you now."
A cell phone video shot by one of Miller's friend's shows him being tasered while he yells out and falls to the ground.
Miller was arrested and charged with interfering with a public servant and resisting arrest.
In a statement the Prairie View police said Miller was "interrupting" the officers' investigation and that he continued to resist the officer's attempt to arrest him despite repeated commands. "Officers deployed a taser to subdue Mr. Miller," the statement said.
"We are reviewing our procedures, reviewing all the information...and will have a complete report to determine whether procedures were violated and if so what we need to do to make those corrections," Johnson said at a news conference.
In July, following Sandra Bland's arrest and death in custody, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the case "highlights the need for discussion on the issue of how people interact with the police."
"Many people see this situation escalating, and I think it shows the frustration that many minority communities feel when they feel that, you know, maybe it wouldn't have escalated in a different community," Lynch said.
Chief Johnson said police wanted to ensure a "complete and thorough" investigation of the incident.
The officers involved in the arrest have not been placed on leave as there was no deadly force used, Johnson said, adding that possible action against them would depend on the outcome of the investigation.
Miller told NBC News that he was not at fault and that he knew the female officer, "so I figured if I let her know these are my guests, (it would) kind of lessen the tension."
"It went from me asking questions, to me basically being put face down on the ground," Miller told KHOU.com. "I'm curious to have a conversation with those officers."
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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