A Texas man hired a civil rights lawyer a video of his grandmother’s fall during his arrest went viral.
The video shows an emotional faceoff on May 16 in Midland, Texas, between a Black family and a group of police officers with their guns pointed at a young Black man. Civil rights attorney Justin Moore said the police pursued Tye Anders after he ran a stop sign and refused to pull over.
“His alleged offense was rolling through a stop sign,” Moore, who is representing Anders, wrote on Facebook. Anders reportedly refused to stop because recent experiences he had with Midland Police.
“Recently, he’d been getting pulled over and harassed by the Midland, TX police a lot,” Moore continued. “His mother told him next time he got pulled over to go somewhere safe first before getting out of the car. He did as his mom advised and went straight to his 90-year-old grandmother’s house.”
In the video, Anders was lying face down on his grandmother’s lawn in Midland while officers ordered him to get up and walk toward them. He refused and told them he was afraid of being shot. The person filming repeatedly moved the camera to show Anders and the police.
“No, no! F–k no! You’re gonna shoot me,” he shouted at them.
The officers promised they would not shoot but Anders and the bystanders did not believe them. Several people told the young man to stay on the ground and keep his hands down. Anders kept moving his arms and took note of the officers with their guns drawn.
“We not going to do anything as long as you listen,” one cop said. The guns remained trained on Anders. “We just need you to listen to us. We need you to stand up and walk back toward our vehicles.”
Anders maintained his position and a witness tried to explain his reasoning.
“He scared! Y’all have guns on him, he’s Black,” one woman yelled. “Do y’all not see how many Black people are getting shot?! Do you not see that? And y’all have guns on him! He’s only 21! Of course, he’s f—–g scared!”
The woman explained why Black people often fear the police and worried about the outcome of the encounter.
“Y’all gonna find any reason [to shoot him] because he Black!” she continued. “Because of the color of our f—–g skin we get punished!”
Anders begged the officers to put the guns away and remained on the ground. He sobbed and yelled “I’m scared” more than five times. The onlookers continued to advocate on Anders’ behalf as the police explained they wanted to pull him over for a traffic offense.
Anders’ grandmother, who was clutching a walking stick, eventually walked out and stood next to her grandson.
The younger woman kept trying to convince the cops to put their guns away and suggest someone call a Black mediator to the scene.
“Just put your guns up! We’re Black, they shoot Black people, he’s not getting the f–k up,” she told them.
Four cops, one holding a handgun, walked over to Anders. His grandmother remained next to her grandson as they cuffed him but she fell in the process. Moore blamed the MPD officers for the fall.
“As Tye laid on the ground compliant, yet scared, his 90-year-old grandmother came out to deescalate this high stress situation by praying for her grandson and officers. That also didn’t work,” read attorney Moore’s Facebook post. “As the officers approached, they ended up assaulting her and knocking a 90-year-old woman to the ground.”
Anders was arrested and charged with felony evasion of arrest. His grandmother passed out after the fall and was treated at a local hospital.
Midland District Attorney Laura Nodolf said the incident is under investigation.
“This case has just been sent to my office,” she said in a statement to News West 9. “We are in the process of reviewing all police submitted evidence including dash cam and body cam videos, once that is complete we will evaluate if this case will be presented to a grand jury and the felony charge will be prosecuted.”