“I’ll tell you, as the union president, it looks bad,” Austin Police Association president Ken Casaday, who we wrote about in June 2016 after he was caught on video punching an unarmed man for petting a police horse, said about the video.
Now, Casaday says there’s more to the story and that the man 23-year-old Justin Grant was “armed with a knife” when police were caught beating him on video around 1:30 a.m. on July 4.
But video and the police report from the incident reveal the knife was in the shirtless man’s waistband, which is not illegal in Texas.
And he was already face down, and restrained, when one cop begins wailing on the back of his head.
Grant is also tasered.
Police received a call about a man arguing with bar staff on Austin’s famed 6th Street when officers responded using force many say is excessive.
Witnesses told police they observed a knife in Grant’s waistband.
A woman nearby interjects as police are sitting on top of the man with their knees in his back and hands holding his head down while telling the man “put your hands behind your back.”
Patrick King, who was visiting Austin from Seguin, Texas, said his reason for recording wasn’t because “call cops are bad.”
“It was . . . you never know what could happen just in case it’s needed,” he told KXAN about the video after it began going viral on Facebook where it has over 270,000 views.
“I left the scene with rage, anger, (and) disappointment,” King posted about the video Wednesday. .
“I don’t think I’ve ever cried because I was so damn angry at a situation like I did this one.”
Meanwhile, like clockwork, Ken Casaday says beating a defenseless man is justified, even though he was restrained at the time King recorded the video.
“Use of force is not pretty,” he said.
“Knowing the facts, I’m just glad that’s all the force they had to use. When you have the knife involved, the failure to put the hands behind the back and trying to grab for the knife, this very easily could have ended up in a deadly force situation,” Casaday explained even though the video doesn’t show the man “grabbing” for a knife.
“And I’m thankful that they just had to use their taser and punch him a couple of times,” he added.
Grant was booked into the Travis County Jail on charges of terroristic threat, drug possession and resisting arrest.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley thanked King for “bringing the video to his attention” and promised a thorough investigation.
“Thank you for bringing this video to our attention and allowing us time to look into the incident,” he wrote on Twitter.
“As is standard protocol, the officers chain of command is reviewing all details surrounding this incident.”
So far, the name of the officer seen beating Grant has not yet been release.
PINAC will post updates as information becomes available.