Who is Conner Martin? Viral video shows White Texas cop pin down Black teen Nekia Trigg
The seven-minute video, posted on July 28 on Facebook, went viral, prompting the sheriff's office in Kaufman County to open an investigation into Martin, who is now on administrative leave
Conner Martin, a white male sheriff's deputy in Texas, was placed on leave after a video surfaced on Facebook which showed him laying on top of a crying Black teenage girl named Nekia Trigg as she vomited and said, "I can't breathe."
The seven-minute video was posted on Wednesday, July 28, on Facebook, after which the Kaufman County, Texas sheriff's department identified the police officer as Conner Martin and the 18-year-old African-American teen as Trigg. Several local residents called the police after Trigg was seen jumping in front of cars in traffic in Forney, Texas, possibly in a suicidal manner. In the video, Martin was seen laying on top of Trigg, and the women surrounding the two were heard screaming. Some other teens who became alleged victims of police brutality include Devin Carter, Ma'Khia Bryant, Mikayla Miller and Adam Toledo.
What happened in the video?
Antanique Ray, 41, who is Trigg's mother was heard telling Martin, "You don't have to ever hit her, okay? She will stay down." Martin responded saying, "You need to back up. You need to back up." After Ray lightly touches Martin's hand, holding her daughter's wrist, Martin yelled at her saying, "Do not touch me! Back up! Back up!"
"Just calm down," Ray told him as the officer lay back down on top of Trigg. One woman in the vicinity is heard saying Trigg's name and telling her, "Just calm down." Another person exclaims, "It's 102 degrees out here." While being pinned to the ground by Martin, Trigg says, "I can't breathe," the same words iconically spoken by George Floyd, a black man who was killed by ex-Minnesota cop Derek Chauvin last year. At one point during the video, Trigg vomits. The camera then zooms in to capture the watery vomit coating Trigg's right cheek as she gasps for breath. She is then instructed by Martin and another cop to roll over. The teen cries as she is handcuffed.
At this point, Ray then screams at Martin, telling him "I need your f*cking badge number and your name." Noticing Martin's body camera is not on his shirt, she asks him why his bodycam was not in the right place when he was pinning her daughter. As the officers walk Trigg towards a patrol car, Martin yells, "Let go of her!" twice before tackling Ray to the ground. Ray is arrested and one of the officers threatens bystanders with a Taser. While laying in the middle of the street, Ray says, "All I did was ask you to loosen the handcuffs on her," adding that she did not touch them. The girl recording the video says, "You got seven police out here, for three little Black girls." According to the Dallas Morning News, Trigg was taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation while Ray was charged with assault of a public servant and interference with public duties.
Conner Martin suspended
After the video went viral, the sheriff's office in Kaufman County was bombarded with calls, requesting the deputy in question be fired, WFAA reported. This caused the office to open an investigation into Martin and placed him on administrative leave. The sheriff's office also released unedited body camera footage of the incident, along with 911 calls. According to the police footage, Martin's body camera fell off as he struggled to contain Trigg. It showed the early stages of the incident when the deputy confronts Trigg.
"What's wrong? How come you're crying," Martin says at the start of the video. When he puts his hand on Trigg's shoulder, and grabs the teenager's arm, she says, "I don't want you to hurt me." Martin then says, "If you keep pulling away I got a put you in handcuffs though." Before his bodycam fell off, he is heard trying to calm her as Trigg says that he was already hurting her.