- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Texas state representative’s claim that he was mistreated by a sheriff’s deputy during a recent traffic stop is being disputed following release of the deputy’s dashcam footage.

Democratic state Rep. Garnet Coleman claimed during a House committee hearing on the death of Sandra Bland last week that he was treated “like a boy” during a July encounter with police, The Daily Caller reported.

“He talked to me like I was a child,” said Mr. Coleman, who is black. “He was so rude and nasty. Even when he found out I was a legislator, he became more rude and nasty. And I didn’t understand why this guy was continuing to go on and on and treat me like a child. And basically like I’m saying is treat me like a boy. I want to be very clear about that.”

Responding to the claim, the Austin County sheriff’s department released video of the traffic stop Tuesday. It shows the deputy treating Mr. Coleman cordially during the roughly nine-minute traffic stop. Despite clocking the politician at 94 miles per hour in a 75 mph zone, the deputy lets him off with only a warning.

During one point in the video, the deputy tells Mr. Coleman that he shouldn’t be breaking the speed limit in a state-owned car.

“I understand exactly what you’re saying,” Mr. Coleman explains, “but I’m not a child.”

“I didn’t say you were a child,” the deputy responds. “I’m just trying to make you understand…”

“I appreciate what you’re doing,” Mr. Coleman interjects.

“OK, just slow down some, OK?” the deputy says.

“I just wasn’t paying attention,” Mr. Coleman responds.

“Well, pay attention,” the deputy laughs before letting Mr. Coleman drive away.

The deputy can be heard after getting back into his vehicle saying, “That gentleman had an attitude.”

“I think he was just as helpful as he could be to this gentlemen,” Austin County Sheriff Jack Brandes told a local CBS affiliate, adding that the video “shows exactly what happened.”

“I saw nothing that indicated that he put forth any disrespect whatsoever,” Sheriff Brandes said of the deputy.

Austin County neighbors Waller County, where Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old black woman, was arrested on charges of assaulting an officer during a routine traffic stop. Dashcam video from that stop indicated Bland had been mistreated, The Daily Caller reported. Her alleged suicide in Waller County jail three days later sparked national outrage in the black community.

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