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Friday, August 28, 2020

San Antonio Mayor Demands Answers After Police Force Black Jogger Into Back of a Patrol Car

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 10:10 AM

Cell phone footage shows SAPD officers detaining Mathias Ometu. - FACEBOOK / VICTOR MAAS
  • Facebook / Victor Maas
  • Cell phone footage shows SAPD officers detaining Mathias Ometu.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg is asking for a "full accounting" of an incident in which San Antonio police detained a Black man jogging and wrestled him into the back of a patrol vehicle.

The man, 33-year-old insurance adjuster Mathias Ometu, was held in Bexar County Jail for two days on charges of assaulting an officer as he was forced into the SUV, the Express-News reports. What's more, he was assigned a court-appointed defense attorney who died nine years ago, according to the daily.



"We have to approach this situation seriously because every single resident deserves fair and equitable treatment from their city," Nirenberg tweeted at 9:30 p.m. Thursday. The mayor said the arrest is under investigation and that he's asked for a "full accounting."


Police told KSAT they stopped Ometu Tuesday afternoon while he was on a run near Interstate 10 in Northwest San Antonio because he matched the description of a family violence suspect. SAPD later acknowledged Ometu, who has no criminal record, wasn't the suspect they sought.  

Ometu refused to give his name or date of birth to police, as is his right under Texas law, KSAT reports.

Cell phone video from multiple eyewitnesses shows SAPD officers handcuffing Ometu after they spend several minutes talking to him. An SAPD official told KSAT officers detained Ometu after his “demeanor became aggressive."

As officers tried to put Ometu into the back of a patrol vehicle, he “forcefully used his legs to kick in the officer’s direction and his foot made contact with the officer,” according to an SAPD statement provided to the station. “... A second officer was injured by (Ometu) physically kicking him in the face. The officer complained of face pain from the incident.”

Victor Maas, an eyewitness at the scene, posted video of the incident via Facebook Live and said he referred Ometu's father to a civil rights attorney.

"His crime was jogging while black," Maas wrote on Facebook. "They made up any reason to harass this guy."

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