A video showing Austin police arresting a jaywalker was posted
Chief said he was trying to put the arrest "in context"
Chief said in other towns, "cops are actually committing sexual assaults on duty"
He apologized for "a poor analogy"
The Austin, Texas, police chief said he was trying to put a jaywalking arrest “in context” when he said police in other towns “are actually committing sexual assaults on duty.”
Now he’s apologized for his choice of words.
The controversy started Thursday when someone posted a video that showed jogger Amanda Jo Stephen, 24, in handcuffs and sitting on the sidewalk near the University of Texas campus. Moments later she’s shown yelling and cursing at Austin police officers as they load her into a police car.
When asked about the video Friday, Police Chief Art Acevedo said, “Cops are actually committing sexual assaults on duty so I thank God that this is what passes for a controversy in Austin, Texas. … And I’m glad that I’m here having to address mediocrity.”
A day later, he was forced to backtrack.
“During the press conference I attempted to place the arrest into context by bringing attention to the fact that law enforcement deals with many acts of serious misconduct,” he said in a statement Saturday. “This includes recent instances in the news of sexual assault by police officers in other cities. In hindsight I believe the comparison was a poor analogy, and for this I apologize.”
The arrest occurred as Austin police are trying to cut down on jaywalking. CNN affiliate KXAN reported that seven people were arrested Thursday near 24th and San Antonio streets, where Stephen was arrested.
Acevedo said the woman was arrested for not giving police her name when asked, KXAN reported.
Acevedo noted on Saturday that Austin police had been through an emotional week. On Friday, a man was convicted of killing Austin police officer Jaime Padron in 2012.