By Alex Butler - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock Police Department says Officer Freeman had no choice but to arrest Veronica Hernandez and her boyfriend after they say the students were uncooperative with the process of receiving a ticket for jaywalking. However, Veronica's mom says the officer who arrested her daughter was way out of line.
"They're there to protect you," says Monica's mother Cynthia. She says that her daughter feels threatened for her life and doesn't believe that she feels protected. In fact, she feels the opposite.
On Monday afternoon, Veronica and her boyfriend decided to walk back to Monterrey High school during lunchtime, but they didn't use a crosswalk, which is considered jaywalking. When they made it across the street Veronica says Officer Freeman stopped them.
"We were leaving Sonic and we had crossed the street and no cars were coming, we crossed and he stops us and says to us ‘Are you stupid?' The next thing I know, he grabbed my arm and I pulled back," said Veronica.
Her boyfriend, Daniel Hernandez, says that is when things got ugly. "He said ‘what, are y'all stupid?' I don't like being called stupid so he grabbed her wrist and throws her on to the hood of the car, and then onto the ground. I said ‘you at least need to get off her, is that really necessary? She's a girl do it to me but not to her,' then he said ‘if you don't get back I'll shoot you.'"
KCBD NewsChannel 11 spoke to Lubbock Police Department Captain Greg Stevens about the incident. He said, "Officer Freeman called for backup and there were a total of three officers that reported to the scene."
"The officers were laughing because my imprint was in the ground in the dirt and rocks and they were just laughing at it," said Veronica. "After my mom called he ‘said she sounded mad, this is the best part… I'm going to enjoy this.'"
When Cynthia went to pick up her daughter at the juvenile detention center, her son went with her and Officer Freeman told him to leave. "He said ‘if y'all are going to, I don't know, jump him, I guess, that will be three of y'all over me. I can take you two, but the other one, will get me.' He scared me. I thought if I grab my daughter's book bag he's going to hurt me or something," said Cynthia.
KCBD obtained the incident report where Officer Freeman stated that Veronica and Daniel were taken in for resisting arrest search or transport and interference with public duties. We requested a copy of the dashboard recorder however the report shows the camera was not turned on.
"It sure didn't sound to me like the actions he took were for us to feel safe, it's a question right there, you know, our kids are they really safe?" said Cynthia. She said she doesn't think so and this incident has her questioning everything.
Captain Stevens tells us Officer Freeman asked her to get in the back seat because he was only intending on writing them both a ticket. When she refused to sit in the car he proceeded to make her sit in the back seat and that's when a struggle began.
Officer Freeman was working off duty for another business when he stopped the two students but LPD says this is still an ongoing investigation. Both families involved say they will seek legal representation.
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