Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton blasted "mob rule" and Plano's police chief after an angry driver caught on video confronting Black Lives Matter militants for blocking traffic was the only person charged in Saturday's incident.
What are the details?
After Paxton caught wind of the viral showdown, he issued a statement Monday decrying "a group of radical-left armed agitators and a police chief unwilling to enforce the law."
The Texas AG said that after "a group of militant BLM protesters illegally shut down traffic underneath a major highway," an "Antifa-like character pulled what appears to be a gun and pointed it at the man" who had exited his car "to demand the mob clear the way."
Image source: YouTube screenshot
Paxton added that "rather than disperse the crowd or arrest the lawbreakers, the lone police officer told" the driver who confronted the group to "go away."
More from the AG's statement:
I instructed one of my top deputies to contact the Plano Police Chief to get more details. What he heard paints an even worse picture than the video alone depicts.
First the Chief told my deputy that while the weapon wasn't a pistol, it was, in fact, a "pepper ball gun." In a separate conversation, the Chief claimed it was a "taser." In a recent Facebook post, the department is now saying it was [an] "electronic control device." Whatever it was, the police declined to pursue the leftist who brandished the weapon, and no charges are being pressed against him.
Second, the Chief was anxious to excuse the rioters. "You have to understand the situation," urged the Chief. "We have to negotiate with these people. Do you expect us to mass arrest these protesters? You know that's not going to happen." Most law enforcement officers are ready and willing to uphold law and order. We need them to do that. But too many are held back by politically motivated leaders, crippled by the woke agitators, now aiders and abettors to liberal lunacy.
Here's a clip of the incident. Content warning: Language:
BLM Protestors block road in Plano, TX, get confronted by angry driver youtu.be
Paxton added in his statement that "only one person from this whole incident is being charged with a crime: The one man who told the protesters to go away. Why? For 'assault with contact' because he slapped a person's hand out of his face. No one else is being charged with anything. None of the law-breaking traffic-blockers, not the guy who pulled a weapon — no one!"
The AG ended his statement by saying he'll "never allow our beautiful Texas cities or neighborhoods to become Portland or Seattle or San Francisco because of the unchecked left. I call upon my friends and allies across the state to crack down on this lawlessness immediately. No excuses!"
What did police have to say?
Plano police told WFAA-TV that the object in the protester's hand is an electronic control device, which the station wrote is "commonly known as a Taser."
Police Chief Ed Drain added to WFAA that the device was "purchased without a permit or license, and the person who pointed the device did not commit a criminal offense by doing so."
In the video, the angry motorist appears to attempt to slap a phone out of the hand of one of the protesters. Police said in its statement that "a female reported that she was assaulted by a male who confronted the protestors. Due to the position of the crowd, the officer did not witness the assault. The officer de-escalated the situation by removing the male ... from the crowd ... After speaking with the victim and the suspect, and reviewing video footage of the incident, detectives filed an Assault-by-Contact charge with the Municipal Court against the male suspect," the station reported.
Plano police told WFAA the names of the victim and suspect are not being released over concerns for their safety, and that assault by contact is a class C misdemeanor.
In addition, police told the station that the protesters were asked to disperse after the confrontation and complied. Officers also told them that obstructing traffic is illegal, WFAA reported. Chief Drain added to the station that traffic was held up for for seven minutes.