Video shows man facing off with deputy before being apprehended by K-9, TASERed
As the deputy reached for his handcuffs and told Marlin Gipson to turn around and place his hands on his head, the man began to walk away
By Fernando Alfonso III
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — A video allegedly showing a black man being questioned by a white Harris County deputy has angered thousands of people on Facebook and forced police to speak out about it.
The 4-minute long edited video, which has been viewed more than 3 million times since Tuesday morning shows 21-year-old Marlin Gipson being questioned by an officer from Harris County Constable Precinct 1 about what he's doing in the Willow Spring subdivision, an unincorporated area of North Harris County.
Gipson claims he was putting business cards in neighbors doors for his lawn care business and at numerous points holds a card up to the camera. The precinct has responded to roughly 20 property crimes in the neighborhood over the past two months, Rosen said.
The video shows the deputy asking for Gipson's ID, which he said he did not have. When the deputy asked for his birthday, he provided the wrong date, Rosen said. As the deputy then reached for his handcuffs and told Gipson to turn around and place his hands on his head, the 21-year-old began to walk away while asking the deputy for his business card.
"I was scared of what might happen next so I backed up slowly and started heading home," Gipson wrote on youcaring.com, where he's raising money for his business.
Other people with Gipson in the video can be heard saying, "you can't just cause he's black."
The video then cuts to what appears to be Gipson in a home yelling at the deputy to leave.
"You up to no good. Why you here," Gipson said, while also demanding the name of the deputy.
"We need to talk to you," the deputy responded from outside.
The video eventually cuts out as the deputy approaches the door while telling Gipson they need to talk.
Eventually the deputy and a K-9 unit enter the house and ask Gipson at least 10 times to turn himself over, Rosen said. Gipson didn't comply and the K-9 ended up attacking him, Rosen said. Gipson was also tasered.
The end of the Facebook video has photos showing Gipson's injuries. Those photos were shared on Facebook by Lee Merritt, an attorney in Philadelphia who has flown to Houston to meet with Gipson.
Gipson was arrested and charged with evading arrest and failure to identify himself, Rosen said. Gipson is also a fugitive of justice as it relates to an Oct. 2015 charge of assault threat to cause injury, Rosen added. Gipson also has two pending cases in Washington County for resisting arrest and giving false information to police in April, Rosen said.
"I do a tremendous amount of training with my officers and with the community. Whenever I see anything like this, or an allegation of somebody from my office targeting someone because of their race, I'm going to look very deeply into that case," Rosen told Chron.com. "I feel as though the officer acted with great restraint and tried to get Mr. Gipson to comply with him and he would not comply. There is another side to these stories. As far as I can tell, our officers did nothing wrong and followed procedure. I am sensitive to the relationship with law enforcement and community."
A youcaring.com campaign has been established to raise money and expand Gipson's lawn care business. He's raised more than $6,500 so far.
Chron.com has reached out to the attorney who met with Gipson and will update the story with his comments.
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