Unfortunately for the Trooper, the scene was being videotaped. At 0:02 in the video, you can clearly see Northington reach down to pick up her purse and newspaper. Almost immediately after this the Trooper on her right grabs her arm and you hear Northington protest that he’s hurting her. You can see that the black Trooper is not concerned by her picking up the purse, but the white officer has a death grip on her right wrist.
She attempted to resist by grabbing the chair, not standing, and pulling back from me. We broke her hold of the chair and got her up and as I escorted her up the gallery steps Trooper Hall released her. I was escorting her by the arm up the steps by myself and she continued to try and pull away from me. At the top of the stairs, she spun and slapped my face with her open hand and told me to let her go. The intentional slap to the face by Northington was offensive and I was currently wearing a State Trooper uniform…At this point i spun her around and proceeded to handcuff her for the assault. While trying to handcuff her she continued to resist by pulling her arms and attempted to twist away from me…Ms. Northington was transported to Travis County SO without further incident…
As was already pointed out, Northington was gathering her belongings rather than holding on to her chair. In fact, it looks as if she’s voluntarily leaving, right up to the point that the trooper ups his aggression level.
At the 11-second mark, she does hit the trooper in the face, but with her purse (and that from an angle where she didn’t have much of a wind-up). But the officer refers to it as an “open hand slap,” something that sounds undeniably more threatening (and “offensive”) than “At the top of the stairs, the 74-year-old woman hit me with her purse…”
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