The Temple Police Department said it is reviewing a use-of-force incident after an officer hit a man — who a family member said has post-traumatic stress disorder and depression — while arresting him as he resisted after a Monday morning traffic accident.
Officers arrested Temple resident Walter Beasley, who is black, because it was believed he was driving while impaired, according to Temple Police.
Beasley, 30, lost control of his vehicle after hitting a patch of ice at Central Avenue and South General Bruce Drive near Interstate 35, according to his sister, Jaquita Beasley.
Bystanders — including Beasley’s roommate and family members — recorded the incident on their phones, Jaquita Beasley said. The videos — which, from afar show an officer striking Beasley while he is strapped to a gurney — were posted to social media.
“The officer attempted to detain the subject, but he began to resist. During the altercation, an officer was bit and another was spit on,” spokesman Cody Weems said. “As the subject continued to resist, officers used force in order to gain compliance. It is believed an officer struck the subject on the common peroneal (calf) on the side of his leg in order to get him onto the gurney as he continued to resist.”
Police Chief Shawn Reynolds said through a spokesman there will be a complete and thorough review of the incident.
“This and any other possible use of force used by officers is still under review,” Weems said. “The subject was transported to (Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Temple) where he continued to resist.”
Jaquita Beasley told the Telegram that her brother was driving to McDonald’s for an iced coffee Monday morning — a day after 4 inches of snow fell — when he hit an icy patch on the road and damaged a tire. Beasley texted his sister about the accident so she could help get him a new tire so he can finish his errands, she said.
“It was a simple accident,” Jaquita Beasley said.
Between the time of her leaving her home, getting a tire and getting to the accident, Jaquita Beasley said the accident turned into an arrest. Her brother is currently in the Bell County Jail in lieu of a $1,000 bond.
Beasley was charged with resisting arrest, search or transport, a Class A misdemeanor. Jail records show Beasley also has three third-degree felonies, including harassment of a public servant and assault of a public servant.
Beasley often gets nervous around police officers, Jaquita Beasley said. Her brother was in a traffic accident in 2019 when a man speeding in a stolen car struck Beasley’s vehicle, she said.
Because of that and mental health issues stemming from the death of his parents, Jaquita Beasley said her brother may have mumbled while trying to explain the situation to Temple police officers.
Video footage shows Jaquita Beasley and other family members telling officers Beasley has mental health issues and that they tried to help calm him down.
Three maskless Temple officers ignored their pleas, according to the video.
“Every use of force by Temple Police officers is proactively and thoroughly reviewed to determine whether officers violated any of the department’s policies or procedures,” Weems said. “These reviews are conduced to ensure residents are kept safe and officers are doing their jobs properly.”