AUSTIN — An arrest in Austin caught on cell phone video is raising questions about what qualifies as resisting arrest.
Louis Aguilar was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. According to FOX 7, Aguilar says he fought back before being hauled away because an Austin Police Officer pushed his mother down.
In the video, Louis keeps trying to get away from an officer’s grasp so he can put his hands behind his back “on [his] own.”
The officer refuses to back down and continues trying to cuff the man. A struggle ensues, and other officers step in.
Aguilar keeps trying to put his hands behind his back without the force of an officer and ends up getting punched in the face several times.
Louis’s little brother tries getting involved and the woman behind the camera begins screaming and cursing.
Some say Louis wasn’t resisting arrest and that the officers were using excessive force. Others say he should have complied with the officer’s commands the first time.
“That video right there about the conversation we are having, he keeps saying I am not resisting arrest. He is actively resisting arrest,” law enforcement official Kevin Lawrence said. “The officer is telling him to put his hands behind his back and he’s consistently refusing to.”
The legal definition of resisting arrest is “the crime of using physical force (no matter how slight in the eyes of most law enforcement officers) to prevent arrest, handcuffing and/or taking the accused to jail. It is also called “resisting an officer” (but that can include interfering with a peace officer’s attempt to keep the peace) and is sometimes referred to merely as “resisting.””
“If it’s an illegal arrest, you fight that later. You file an internal affairs, a complaint with the Texas Rangers, the FBI, a civil suit, whatever,” Lawrence said.
As for the people in the video, Louis Aguilar, his little brother, and the woman behind the camera were all arrested.
Click the player below to view raw footage of the arrest.
Warning: Explicit language may not be appropriate for all audiences.