Texas College Student Files Lawsuit Over Racial Profiling In Police Incident
The police department denies any wrongdoing
A Texas police department is defending one of its white constables after he was accused of confronting a black male university student, and later tasering him and attacking him with a police canine
“I don’t believe our officers have done one thing wrong at all,” Harris County Constable Administrator Alan Rosen said in a news conference this week. Rosen told reporters that recent burglaries in the neighborhood prompted his officer to approach the student because he “raised [the officer’s] suspicion.”
“What I have seen thus far is falsities – untruths,” Rosen said.
More from ESSENCE
Rosen is accusing Marlin Gipson, a 20-year-old student at Blinn College, of lying about an encounter he had with a police officer on July 18. He released a video that he recorded of said officer confronting him in a Houston neighbor while Gipson was handing out cards for his lawn-mowing business.
When he asks the officer for his identification, things appear to escalate. The officer ignores the request and says, “Tell you what, just turn around and put your hands around your back.”
“For what?” Gipson is heard asking. Bystanders can be heard accusing the officer of targeting Gipson because of his race.
Other people on the video can be heard accusing the officer of harassing Gipson because “he’s black.”
The officer cannot be heard on the video stating why he is attempting to arrest Gipson and it ends as Gipson backs away from the scene.
But things picked right back up when officers showed up at Gipson’s home hours later, an incident the Gipson also recorded.
“Why are you here,” Gipson says. “Y’all dirty. You up to no good.”
The video ends before the alleged violence took place. Gipsons says the officers entered the residence, broke down the bathroom door, tasered him twice, and released a K-9 unit on him.
He has since been charged with evading arrest and failure to identify to an officer.
“No system you run his name through produces a warrant … repeated docket searches have produced nothing,” Gipson’s lawyer, Lee Merritt wrote in a statement. He is accusing the police department of a smear campaign.
“Despite the, now routine, smear campaign, Marlin Gipson has no criminal record. He has never been convicted of any crime whatsoever.”