Jaywalking Suspect Handcuffed and Thrown to Ground by Cops


(I have redacted the woman’s name out of the headline.)


From the article:

Video from Austin, Texas appears to show police officers forcibly holding a 24-year-old woman on the ground while arresting her for jaywalking.

Amanda Jo Stephen was jogging Thursday when police say she ignored stop signals and crossed the street, KVUE reports. Eyewitness Christopher Quintero, a student at the University of Texas, wrote on his blog that he saw an officer shout at the woman, and when she kept jogging, the cop grabbed her arm.

“Startled, and not knowing it was a cop, she jerked her arm away. The cop viewed this as resisting arrest and proceeded to grab both arms tightly, placing her in handcuffs,” Quintero wrote.

Sorry, but she gets no sympathy from me. In our town we have runners who run lightless in the dark, down the middle of the street, with total disregard to traffic signals. At least one of them almost became an unwanted hood ornament on my pickup once.

If you’re gonna jog in the city, stick to the sidewalks, cross at the crosswalks, mind the signals, be aware of your surroundings, and when a cop tells you to stop, you’d better by George stop.


I wonder if she heard the cop. It does say she had headphones in. I have no doubt that she did not hear the cop, or she did not know he was speaking to her. (Have you ever had the experience of dropping something or seeing someone drop something, and then no know the person is trying to get your attention or you can’t get the other persons attention). And a woman running and someone grabs you of course you are going to pull away. (Unless the officer was standing in front of her). All of that is very understandable. I have no sympathy for the jaywalking however. When I work downtown I hate it when pedestrians just jump out from between cars against the light. Or we have a light rail right outside the building I work in, and you can always tell when someone was dumb enough to cross the street against the walk signal without looking for the trains, because the trains lay on the horn.


The cops may have saved her life, although I doubt she will be thanking them anytime soon. Pedestrians, especially those who do not drive, tend to underestimate how fast a car can stop, and they are no match for a ton of steel, even if the pedestrian has the legal right of way.


I won’t disagree with you that pedestrians need to be careful, I always cross at the corner &c.
My problem is w/drivers who seem to feel that pedestrians have no rights that they are bound to respect. I’ve been hit twice – both times I was in the crosswalk and had the green light.

As for the cops I’m tired of police acting like an occupying army. “Protect and serve” has gone out the window. Police need to realize most of the population are wearing headphones or earbuds (and some, like myself are hard of hearing). I would hate to be manhandled because I didn’t instantly obey “legitimate orders” which seems to be the usual justification for incidents like this.


I agree with you to a certain extent. I know that if I were a regular pedestrian in a big city, I would pro’ly carry a cane with some nails studded in it, and any driver who came close to hitting me in a situation where I had the right of way might find some expensive marks in his car’s paint :stuck_out_tongue:

I still maintain that it is the individual’s responsibility to be aware of his/her surroundings, and that includes what kind of people are around. For the jogger in this story not to know that it was a cop who was touching her arm shows a near-lethal lack of situational awareness.


Welcome to the US police state!

I think police get upset at the fact that a citizen has the constitutional right to totally ignore them and dont have to say one word to the police if they dont feel like it.

I think our elementary schools should be teaching our kids their rights when it comes to interaction with police instead of just telling to obey and do anything a cop tells them to do.


I just saw this from the NY Daily News:

Austin’s police chief apologizes for bizarre defense of officers who arrested jaywalker

Austin’s police chief has been forced to apologize for his bizarre defense of officers who arrested a female jaywalking jogger near the University of Texas. Art Acevedo said sorry after appearing to dismiss the arrest of Amanda Jo Stephen by claiming: “Cops are actually committing sexual assaults on duty so I thank God that this is what passes for a controversy in Austin, Tex.”
He soon retracted his statements claiming that “in hindsight, I believe the comparison was a poor analogy, and for this I apologize”.

The Daily News article says the jogger refused to give the cops her name. I don’t know about Texas but in a lot of jurisdictions LEOs can demand ID.


While I think there are better things for police to do rather than go after jay walkers, however since he was a uniformed officer and did have the legal right to cite her for it she should have complied.


If you ignore a police officer and then resist his attempts to stop you, be prepared to be handled a bit roughly.

Based on what I have seen and read, I support the officer 100%.




In Texas you’re only legally required to give ID if you’re arrested, not detained.


Unless she was arrested for jay walking I don’t think she had to give the cops anything.


You’re in your own little world when you’re jogging with music in the background. It can be quite dangerous if you have no idea what is going on around you. I stopped listening to music and started to conceal carry because people can’t seem to keep their dogs on a leash around here.


The media in my state is apparently mystified at the increase of people being hit. All they need to do is drive around some more, and they’d understand. Look, between pedestrians and cars, peds have right of way, but cars always win. It’s not that difficult to understand. Assume people can’t see you, and you’ll be much safer. Not to mention cars just seem to have more blind-spots these days. (Drives me crazy when I’m car-searching. I think it’s because of my small-build.)

As to the article, the response of the officer was overkill.


So, Im assuming you disagree with that portion of our Constitution that says we do not have to speak to an officer if we choose not to?


Would you mind citing chapter and verse on the part of the Constitution that says we do not have to speak to a law enforcement officer, if we choose not to?


Not in there, not unless you wrote it in your copy.

I see the woman’s point. She was clueless to everything around her, yet using the city streets as a jogging track. She may have been totally surprised. I also understand the police. Do they not get the same consideration? If someone runs away or tries to resist arrest, they are supposed to read the mind of the woman? A bad situation could have been handled better, but both parties are equally to blame.

This is why I avoid Austin, not because of the police, but because of the sophomoric college kids that have no idea how to behave in society. It is a liberal stain on the state of Texas.


The hitch to that is that you can be arrested for refusal to appear in court on any ticketable offense. This requires you give identification information for the court summons. If you refuse to sign the ticket, or give your name for a ticket, then you can be arrested for even the class C offense.

If someone is not doing anything illegal, then you are correct. There is one other exception of note. If a person is a witness, or a person of interest, in a criminal matter, then that person can be brought in for questioning and identification if they do not wish to cooperate at all. Whether the cause justified the detention would be a civil matter. If the police abused their authority, then they could be held liable. If they acted in good faith, then they would not be liable.


Sorry, not correct.

Whether the cause justified the detention would be a civil matter. If the police abused their authority, then they could be held liable. If they acted in good faith, then they would not be liable.

It can also be a criminal matter against the police if the detention was defacto in violation of the 4th


I have seen many a judge say otherwise. Witnesses can in fact be subpoenaed. If they do not show, they can be arrested for contempt.

It can also be a criminal matter against the police if the detention was defacto in violation of the 4th

That is an interesting conjecture. I have never seen anyone charged, nor do I know how that would be provable. It would have to be done by force, intimidation or deception. I guess if an officer actually kidnapped someone, it might be provable, but I don’t see how this would happen in the regular course of his job. Civil liability is much easier to prove.

As to being a violation of the 4th, the Constitution is not criminal law.


Subpeona is one thing, I took you to say they can be taken in on the spot as there is no “investigative detention” absent PC under the 4th.


18 USC 242 is criminal in nature and I would imagine most states, at least ohio does, have a similar law.

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