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Cops forcefully arrest men 'for cursing in public' while questioning friend's arrest

The Baytown, Texas cops were caught on camera using excessive force and arresting two men for cursing in public.

Cops forcefully arrest men 'for cursing in public' while questioning friend's arrest
Cover Image Source: Facebook/Isaiah Benavides

Trigger Warning: The story has details of police brutality that readers may find disturbing.

Even as nationwide protests are calling for police accountability and the end of systemic racism, two Texas police officers have stirred up fresh controversy for law enforcement. Cops from Baytown, Texas were caught on camera using excessive force and arresting two men for cursing in public while questing the sudden arrest of their black friend. The video which was shared across social media platforms had been viewed at least 110K times as of Tuesday morning and set in motion protests demanding that due action be taken against the officers involved.



According to KHOU 11, officers pulled over 23-year-old Jostin Moore outside the Baytown Market Convenience Store for a traffic violation on June 2. Moore's friends Skylar Gilmore, Isaiah Benavides, and Isaiah Phillips were in another car nearby when they saw the cops pull their friend over. Given the history of police prejudice against black men, Benavides immediately started recording the traffic stop and the three men stepped out of the car to watch the cops question Moore for a few minutes before putting him in handcuffs. Police claim the arrest was made for unspecified traffic violations and an outstanding warrant out of Deer Park.



About four and a half minutes into the clip—as the men stood off to the side questioning their friend's arrest—one of the two Baytown police officers is seen walking over to Gilmore and telling him he's under arrest for "cussing in public." Barely 15 seconds later, the officer throws the man to the floor and knees him in the face. At the same time, the other officer grabs Phillips from behind and he too is put in handcuffs. While the police arrested Gilmore, 24, and Phillips, 23, for disorderly conduct-language for using profanity, the first officer is also heard using profanities in the video.


"They slammed me on my friend Skylar’s hood, used my face to dent his hood," said Phillips. "That’s not proper." According to ABC13, while the Harris County District Attorney's Office initially filed charges against Gilmore for interfering with public duties, they were dropped 2 days later. The day after the arrest, Baytown P.D. issued the following statement: "On June 2nd our officers conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle in the parking lot of the Baytown Market Convenience Store located in the 2900 block of Market Street. During that stop the driver of the vehicle, 23-year-old Jostin Moore of Baytown, was arrested for traffic violations and an outstanding warrant out of Deer Park."



"During the course of the stop, a small crowd made up of several of Mr. Moore's associates began to gather outside the store. Two members of that group, 24-year-old Skylar Gilmore and 23-year-old Isaiah Phillips both of Baytown, were subsequently arrested as well for Disorderly Conduct-Language for their public use of profanities during the incident," it continued. "Mr. Gilmore was also charged with Interfering with Public Duties through the Harris County District Attorney's Office for his actions during his arrest. Baytown Police Chief Dougherty has referred the incident to our Internal Affairs Division to conduct a complete and thorough review of the incident."



With the video of the incident going viral on social media, Baytown Police Chief Keith Dougherty called for an Internal Affairs investigation against the officers in the video. "I try to hold people accountable, and I feel the frustration," he said. "Obviously I felt that there were some better judgments that could have been made, and so that’s why I called for the investigation." He also revealed that both cops in the video are on desk duty until Internal Affairs does their investigation, which could result in termination.

The City of Baytown Facebook page also addressed the incident in a post that reads: We are aware of the video that is circulating on social media regarding the arrests made yesterday, on Market Street, and we understand your concerns. City and Police administration takes allegations of wrongdoing seriously and we would like to assure the public that the matter is under investigation with the Internal Affairs Division. We ask for your patience as the investigation is completed.


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