You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Austin motorcyclist sues officers for taking photos of his tattoos


An Austin motorcyclist is suing three police officers who he says forced him to lift his shirt and bare his skin during a traffic stop this month so they could photograph his tattoos.

Kristopher Cody King, 34, says his civil rights were violated Dec. 13 when police pulled him over on Koenig Lane for failing to signal a turn on his motorcycle. King, who was not cited in the incident, says the officers told him to consent to the photos or they would take him to jail and take them there.

The suit, filed Thursday in federal court by attorney Millie Thompson, lists officer Dane O’Neill and two other officers as defendants. O’Neill, according to the lawsuit, peppered King with questions about patches on his vest and his biker affiliations. The other officers were not identified in the lawsuit because their identities were unknown.

The lawsuit does not specify how much money King wants, but says he suffers from mental anguish and has lost sleep over the incident. “King has been fearful to ride through Austin, afraid that he will be pulled over for no reason by the police, according to the suit. “King has relived the emotional turmoil the incident created, each time he tells a friend or family member about what happened to him on December 13th. He has lost sleep. He is afraid to stay at his home, knowing that the same officers who had no regard for his rights know where he lives.”

Video that King took on his cell phone shows an officer photographing his arm and ordering him to unzip his vest and expose his back. King, a member of the Escondido biker club, tells the men, “This is a little humiliating, don’t you think?” A construction crew watched nearby, the suit states. King was told he could not call an attorney, according to the document.

A police spokeswoman said late Thursday afternoon that she could not comment on the lawsuit because she had not seen it.

David Devereaux, of the Motorcycle Profiling Project, says police mistreatment of bikers is common across the country.

“Many in law enforcement decide to take actions based on appearance and a bikers-are-bad stereotype, as opposed to behavior,” Devereaux said. “Most of these incidents go unnoticed because they are not documented or videoed. Many motorcyclists fail to follow up on when released without a citation. The actions of APD officers in this instance are deplorable. It is a clear 4th Amendment violation to extend a traffic stop for the purpose of taking pictures without Cody’s consent or independent reasonable suspicion of another crime justifying an extended investigation.”

Behavior of Austin police officers has been at the center of two court cases this month.

Last week, a Travis County jury found a man not guilty of attempted murder after officer Matthew Murphy gave conflicting testimony as to whether Andrew Jones pointed a gun at him following a high-speed chase in 2014.

On Dec. 1, a federal jury cleared two officers in an excessive force lawsuit brought to them by a woman who said she was injured during a blood draw.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

FORECAST: After near-record heat, humidity Friday, storms likely overnight Saturday
FORECAST: After near-record heat, humidity Friday, storms likely overnight Saturday

Friday forecast for Austin: The day will feel more like June than April as heat and humidity combine to make the projected high of 92 degrees feel more like 98, as Central Texas sweats under mostly clear skies. Daily temperatures in Austin are expected to come within 2 degrees of the heat record for April 28 – 94 degrees, set in 1955. That weather...
Dog recovering after eating nails wrapped in hot dogs
Dog recovering after eating nails wrapped in hot dogs

The owners of a 4-year-old Yorkshire terrier mix are trying to understand why someone left nails wrapped in hot dogs at their Wisconsin apartment complex. >> Read more trending news Tom Deakin and his girlfriend, Jennifer Ramos, are the owners of Clarice, the dog that is recovering after eating the hot dogs, WISC reported. The dog ate six...
7 things to know now: Trump says job is tough; United passenger settles; Warren slams Obama
7 things to know now: Trump says job is tough; United passenger settles; Warren slams Obama

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today. 1. Not that easy: In an interview in advance of his 100th day in office, President Donald Trump said he imagined the job as president would be easier than it has turned out to be. In the interview with Reuters, Trump said he missed his life before he took office. "I loved my...
Black woman stands vigil at Jefferson Davis statue in New Orleans
Black woman stands vigil at Jefferson Davis statue in New Orleans

Arlene Barnum said her race has nothing to do with her support of the Confederacy and the statues in New Orleans that preserve its memory. >> Read more trending news  “It’s about being on the right side of history,” said Barnum, a black woman from Oklahoma who grew up in Louisiana. Barnum was at Thursday night’s protest...
Florida elementary school janitor accused of sexting teen
Florida elementary school janitor accused of sexting teen

A Florida elementary school janitor has been suspended after allegedly exchanging explicit photos and texts with a 15-year-old boy, deputies said.  >> Read more trending news Matthew Benedict, 29, of Lake County reportedly gave the teen a cellphone and sexted him, WESH reported.  Even though Benedict worked in the school district...
More Stories