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Deputy placed on administrative leave after straddling Black teen for minutes during arrest

Authorities are investigating Deputy Marlin’s actions during his encounter with 18-year-old Nekia Trigg.

Caution tape SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

Kaufman County authorities have launched an investigation after a viral video showed an officer laying on top of a Black teen for minutes during her arrest, CBS reported. On Tuesday (July 27), cops were called to conduct a welfare check on 18-year-old Nekia Trigg, who was crying and walking barefoot in the street.

Two 911 calls received by individuals in the area were later released. “There’s a lady, young lady, African American lady that is walking in the middle of the street,” one 911 caller said of Trigg. Another concerned individual told emergency responders that the teen threw herself on the road in what appeared to be a possible suicide.

An officer identified as Deputy Marlin pulled up to the home and began to ask Trigg about her well being. Per body cam footage, he asked, “What’s wrong? How come you’re crying?” he said, to which she questioned, “Why are you here?”

Marlin told her that he’d received calls about her jumping in front of cars and wanted to ensure she was okay, but she denied the allegations. As they walked, he grabbed her arm, causing the teen to fear for her safety. “I don’t want you to hurt me,“ she told the deputy, who warned that he would have to handcuff her if she continued to pull away from him.

The cop attempted to calm her nerves and let her know that he had no intentions to harm her, but she insisted that Marlin was already hurting her. Moments later, as he attempted to placed her in handcuffs, his body cam fell off.

Trigg’s family arrived at the scene to find Marlin straddling and restraining the 18-year-old and immediately started recording the encounter. Meanwhile, the teen’s mother, Antanique Ray, pleaded for the deputy to let her child go. When Marlin and other responding deputies escorted Trigg to the patrol car, Ray asked them to loosen the handcuffs and placed her hands on her daughter, but was told she couldn’t touch her.

Per authorities, Ray responded by punching Marlin in the face and was arrested on assault on a public servant and interference with public duties in addition to two outstanding warrants. She was later released on bond. Trigg, on the other hand, was evaluated at a mental health facility, and Marlin was placed on administrative leave pending the results of the ongoing investigation.

Activists have since been calling for Marlin’s termination, but Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office said that the deputy restrained the teen using a Jiu-Jitsu control technique that he learned in training. There are requests for the charges against Ray to be dropped considering she was only trying to protect her daughter.

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