San Antonio Police Release Body-Cam Footage of Black Jogger's Arrest

click to enlarge Body cam footage shows officers detaining jogger Mathias Ometu last week. - YouTube / San Antonio Police Department
YouTube / San Antonio Police Department
Body cam footage shows officers detaining jogger Mathias Ometu last week.
The San Antonio Police Department has released body-cam footage of officers detaining a Black man jogging in Northwest San Antonio who turned out to not be the suspect they were seeking.

In a statement released concurrently on social media, Police Chief William McManus defended the actions of the officers, saying they "acted appropriately, within their legal authority" when they arrested the man, Mathias Ometu, a week ago.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg asked for a "full accounting" of the incident, which occurred last Tuesday, amid a national backdrop of racial justice protests and demands for more police accountability.

The released footage shows Ometu, a 33-year-old insurance adjuster, who police say matched a description of a domestic violence suspect, arguing with officers as they detain him and ask him to identify himself. Ometu declines to give officers his name — his legal right — and tells them that if he's being detained, they should do so on the side of the street instead of putting him in a patrol vehicle.

Sounds of struggle are heard on the footage as police try to wrestle Ometu into their SUV. However, the camera falls into the grass, offering no clear shot for most of the struggle.

"Are you choking me?" Ometu shouts several times.

After the officer picks up his body cam and footage resumes, another officer says Ometu kicked him in the face during the struggle. "He kicked me right in the eye," he adds.

Ometu, who spent two days in jail before posting bond, faces two felony charges of assaulting a police officer.

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales told local media he's reviewing Ometu’s case and will decide Tuesday whether to pursue charges.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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