Police Accused Of Tasing 53-Year-Old Woman During Party
BAYTOWN, Texas (CBS Houston) – A family is accusing Baytown police of racism and using excessive force when they responded to a loud music complaint.
Cellphone video released Sunday shows portions of the incident.
Police warned homeowner Jose Zepeda earlier in the evening on May 4 to turn down his music at a house party, but they later returned around midnight to write him a ticket for disturbing the peace, KPRC reported.
Det. Edgar Elizonda explained that he located Zepeda in his backyard with 15 to 20 party goers. Elizonda said that the man refused to sign the citation and that officers then attempted to arrest him, but three men, Rodolfo Zepeda, Edgar Garcia and Christian Zepeda, stepped in to stop them.
“From that point on, the three men started pushing the officers, assaulting the officers. Therefore one of the officers pulled out pepper spray and sprayed one time,” Elizondo told KPRC.
After the police used pepper spray on the men, two of them ran into the house and the officers followed, but someone locked the door behind the officers.
“You basically had a couple of officers inside trapped, fighting with people,” Elizondo explained to KPRC.
The officers put out a distress call asking for more officers to assist with the arrests. Elizondo said that police used tasers on three people who tried to interfere with the arrests, including 53-year-old Maria Zepeda.
However, Gustavo Zepeda, her son, claims his mother wasn’t doing anything wrong but sitting in a chair when a female officer kicked her out of the chair when she didn’t respond to a police officers’ commands.
Elizonda said that the woman was shocked once when she tried to stop police from arresting her son, but family members claim she was shot four times with tasers.
Family members allege that the video captured shows police officers referring to party goers using racist names during the struggle, but Elizonda disagrees.
“We slowed that video down and you could plainly hear the officers saying, ‘Get back, get back.’ There were no racial remarks made, most of the officers there were Hispanic,” Elizondo told KPRC.
Dozens of upset protesters marched Sunday to the Baytown Police Department stating that the officers are abusive toward Hispanic people.
The Harris County District Attorney is reviewing the video of the incident.