A tailgate at Texas A&M University this weekend turned violent when a man who grabbed water from a neighboring tailgate reportedly got punched and dragged. But its what happened when police showed up that is igniting controversy among the student body.
Xavier Maldonado is a student at the College Station, Texas, university. On Twitter Saturday, Maldonado uploaded a video that saw the aftermath of a confrontation between two different tailgaters.
“They got my man Chris over here cornered by three horses. Three horses, four officers, five officers!” says the man, of whom it is unclear whether or not it is Maldonado, recording the video. “And look at this, the man that started the problem over here with one horse, bruh! He have a civil conversation, this man over here getting ganged up on! Five horses! One, two, three, four, five people! It’s ridiculous, bruh! It’s ridiculous!”
Accompanying the video, Maldonado tweeted, “I’m not standing for this.
@TAMU. As a black student on campus I feel we should not have to DEAL with this when our counterparts get special pampered treatment even when THEY CAUSED THE ISSUE!”
In a follow-up tweet, Maldonado gave context to what led to the police presence. Ahead of the Alabama Crimson Tide defeating the Texas A&M Aggies 47-28, tailgaters gathered with their respective tents set up. The lengthy write up explained Chris, a Black man, asked for some bottled water from a nearby family, who said “he can just have them.”
“So as is calmly walking back over with the water bottles, a white man comes CHARGING after him, runs up under our tent and violently GRABS HIS HOODIE AND THROWS HIM TO THE GROUND FROM BEHIND!” the memo read. “No words are exchanged just straight up ATTACKS CHRIS!”
As a scuffle ensues, Chris’ friends try to break up the fight and local police from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene. After the white man is said to have claimed the brawl was the result of a “miscommunication,” the memo states he walked away, leaving the mounted officers to surround Chris. The rest is where the video picks up.
After the note writer says they tried in vain to speak to some officers about them surrounding Chris in such a matter, a sheriff’s officer allegedly said Chris was “getting ‘hard to control.'”
“In that same sentence she tells me to my face ‘we were about to snatch him up by his hoodie because we don’t play that here,'” the note read.
“Why couldn’t someone step off their horse and talk to this black man like a CIVIL HUMAN BEING?!” the memo read.
It concluded by saying that the confrontation was written off as a miscommunication and both individuals involved were let go with no charges filed against the man who allegedly slammed Chris down.
Many online promptly sounded off on the tweet.
“how is this tolerable?” one student said, tagging the university in their tweet.
“The Aggie experience has always been vastly different for black Aggies.
@TAMU It’s time to do something about it.”
“I am furious rn!!! 😤”
Later that evening, the university police department released a statement explaining what had occurred.
“A misunderstanding unfolded Saturday between two tailgate groups that prompted deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Patrol unit to get involved,” read the initial tweet in the thread. It continued, “The deputies — who were responding to a report of an assault — talked to both parties involved and were told the following: The dispute unfolded after a neighboring tailgater was given permission to take a drink out of a cooler, but a man affiliated with that tailgate was unaware of the approval, so he followed the man, grabbed his hoodie and threw him to the ground. That’s what prompted the man who was given the OK to get the drink — to punch the other man.
“Deputies on horseback questioned both men, saying that the man who threw the punch continued to try and go toward the man who came after him,” the thread went on. “Deputies said they positioned their horses in a manner to prevent that from happening. Neither of the individuals pressed charges.”
A final tweet added that although Harris County is not in the jurisdiction of College Station, Texas, they are among the local law enforcement utilized by the Athletics Department to manage security in and surrounding Kyle Field.