“He’s scared. Y’all have guns on him. He’s black,” one woman called out to the officers. “Do y’all not see how many black people are getting shot?”
Police wanted Anders to walk toward them while they had their guns drawn, but Anders refused.
“I’m scared,” he shrieked.
His 90-year-old grandmother, dressed in a cream-colored nightgown, exited her brick home and stood by her wailing grandson with a walking stick in her left hand.
“We just need him to comply so we can talk to him,” an officer said, according to dash-cam footage released by the City of Midland.
Four officers moved closer to the pair to arrest Anders, with another one nearby with gun in hand. Anders’s grandmother fell during the arrest and chaos ensued.
Anders is facing a felony evading charge.
Video of the arrest has coursed through social media, spurring allegations of racial profiling against the Midland Police Department and sparking critique of police tactics as the nation continues to grapple with how black people are treated by law enforcement in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Anders and his grandmother, who lost consciousness at the scene, are still coping with what happened, according to his attorney, Justin A. Moore.
“They’re still a bit befuddled by what happened,” he told The Washington Post. “They have concerns about police response and future police response to them existing in that city.”
Police were trying to initiate a traffic stop for Anders’s alleged failure to stop at a traffic sign but he continued to drive to his grandmother’s house, according to a statement provided by Midland Public Information Officer Erin Bailey.
Officers repeatedly instructed Anders to exit his car. When he did, instead of cooperating by walking toward them, “he stopped and laid on the ground,” she said.
No officers involved in the incident have been disciplined, according to Bailey.
Midland Mayor Patrick Payton was initially reluctant to release police video because he didn’t see how sharing it with the public would “calm anybody down at this point,” he said at a news conference last week.
Payton also announced a “community conversation” will take place Thursday evening to discuss the incident, the Midland Reporter-Telegram reported.
Moore said the public videos don’t corroborate police claims that Anders ran a stop sign and questions the point in which the video begins.
“As soon as the video with caption starts, it says traffic violation occurred prior to when the video system was activated,” he said. “What’s caught on camera is the officer following Tye for at least three stop signs.”
Anders has maintained he didn’t violate traffic laws and back-seat footage showed him asking why he was being arrested while he was in handcuffs. When officers told him it was because he ran a stop sign, he grew agitated.
Anders shifted between bouts of tears, tantrums and silence during his transport to Midland County Jail.
Laura Nodolf, district attorney for Midland County, told Marfa Public Radio in a statement that she plans to move forward with prosecution against Anders.
“I cannot comment on the strength or weakness of the case, nor any potential outcomes,” she told the station. “However, there were no actions taken by any member of the Midland Police Department that would cause me any concern with moving forward with the case."
Anders will fight his felony charge for evading before considering any civil rights claims of malicious prosecution or 14th Amendment claims regarding racial profiling, Moore said.
Moore said his client was acting out of fear and could pay a hefty toll for being afraid.
“It’s inhumane to expect a person to try and overcome that fear to just be labeled a felon,” he said. “This speaks to a trend of overpolicing black folks in America: You can’t even be afraid without being labeled a criminal for it.”