Nekia Trigg, a Black teenager, and her family have evacuated their home following death threats over a viral video related to a police officer. Conner Martin, a White male sheriff’s deputy in Texas, was seen in the video mounting a crying Trigg as she vomited and said, “I can’t breathe.”
The seven-minute video, taken by a family member, was posted on Wednesday, July 28, on Facebook. The encounter took place the day before on July 27. The Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that Martin was using an approved control technique to detain her after responding to a 911 call that a young woman was suicidal and walking into traffic in an attempt to get hit by a car.
In the recording of a 911 call released by Kaufman County, a caller can be heard telling a dispatcher that a young woman was walking in the middle of the street and when the caller had to swerve to miss her, the woman said she wanted to be run over and wanted someone to end her life. “Three people already had to swerve out of the way, me including,” the caller said in the recording.
Footage from Martin’s bodycam reportedly showed Trigg crying. However, she said she was okay and was just going home. She also denied walking in front of cars. When Martin explained that he couldn’t let her leave on her own, Trigg said, “I don’t want you to hurt me.” Martin, holding Trigg’s arm, responded, “I’m not going to hurt you, but if you keep pulling away, I have got to put you in handcuffs.” Trigg could be heard saying, “You’re hurting me,” before the camera fell to the ground.
Trigg’s sister, Jads Levels, 19, and her friend, Jermany Sims, 20, witnessed part of the incident. “She’s screaming and crying,” Levels told CNN. The video showed the family trying to calm Trigg, telling her to “just breathe” and holding her hands. Trigg was then rolled onto her stomach and put into handcuffs. When Trigg’s mother Antanique Ray approached them and asked if they could loosen Trigg’s cuffs, Martin asked her to get back. A scuffle ensued and even Ray was taken into custody. The sheriff’s office alleged that Ray struck Martin, but this reportedly is unclear in the family video or from his body-worn camera. Ray was arrested for interfering with public duties and assault of a public servant.
The Kaufman County Sheriff’s office said Trigg was taken to a mental health facility for evaluation. The office also later said that Martin had been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, in accordance with the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office policy.
As the video went viral on the internet, Trigg and her family had to suffer the consequences. As per a TMZ report, the family’s attorney Kim T Cole said that Trigg, Ray and a few other family members have left their Forney home fearing retaliation from local citizens and even law enforcement. Cole said they received a slew of death threats, made via social media, including direct messages allegedly telling the family they got what they deserved during the incident. Cole advised the family to stay away from social media, fearing more threats.
The family has reportedly moved to an undisclosed location. TMZ reported that the family allegedly fears the Kaufman County Sheriff’s deputies after “prior experiences close family friends have had with them”. The report also said that Trigg is worried about her mother facing jail time and fears she may have no place to live if Ray was to be incarcerated.