Houston Police Officer Involved in ‘Melee’ with Concertgoers
An HPD Officer responded to a noise complaint Friday at local music venue, Walter’s. Why there was a noise complaint against a concert venue I don’t know, but after the Officer arrived things just went wrong. No matter how you look at it, someone did something they weren’t supposed to do and things got out of hand.
The Two Gallants were playing a show at Walter’s when the Officer arrives and asks the sound guy to turn it down. Officer says they turn it back up as he’s walking out. The Officer heads to the stage and tells the band to leave. Forceful words are exchanged, Officer grabs the guitar and says Stephens (Lead Singer) shoves him. Stephens denies doing that. Either way, the Officer decides that Stephens needs to be dealt with and takes him down by the neck. Everyone flips out and is trying to cool the situation down and/or screaming. The officer then chases a guy with a camera around the club and ends up tasering Stephens, a college student and a 14 year old boy in “self defense” and arrests 6 people. You can see at least part of that whole thing for yourself after the cut.
Regulars and ex-employees claim that Officer Rodriguez came around regularly with “a chip on his shoulder.” Nonetheless, local media outlets are selling the story that the officer was attacked by dozens of people and bravely fought off a drunken mob. Tasering people repeatedly is probably an appropriate response to that kind of violence, but its pretty easy to see for yourself that that’s not what really happened.
No matter how you look at it, things could have been dealt with better. I think that the Officer made a poor judgment call and that some levelheadedness might have been a good thing. Oh yeah, and he probably shouldn’t just taser people. After all, this was just a noise complaint.
I should remind readers that the Officer acted alone and this shouldn’t be seen as the action of Houston Police Officers in general. Nevermind that HPD’s Sgt. McDuell. says that the “officer’s approach was commendable.”
Anyway, read more to see the videos of the incident. I’ve heard that the officers were
destroying evidence confiscating cameras, so there’s probably more pictures and video out there we can’t see.
My favorite part: the girl who yells “We need backup!” in response to the officer calling for backup.
Oh yeah, and there’s more video:
One more. Note the cool taser noises the entire video.