A Texas police officer is under investigation after cell phone video surfaced showing him knocking a mother unconscious by slamming her to the pavement in full public view.
On Tuesday, Round Rock police officer Ben Johnson responded to a call at a shopping center involving 27-year-old Viviana Keith.
Dash cam footage shows Officer Johnson detaining Keith on the hood of his cruiser.
But another angle shot by a nearby Wing Stop customer shows the gruesome moment the officer slammed Keith to the pavement, her face brutally hitting the concrete causing her to lose consciousness.
Johnson eventually rolls Keith over and checks for a pulse, as her six-year-old daughter approaches, screaming, “Mommy! Mommy!”
Witnesses on the scene said the mother appeared to be dead.
“When I look back at the tape, I can see her head bounce off the concrete because when he threw her down, she wasn’t able to brace herself,” the person who shot the video told KVUE, adding he “wanted to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.”
“She was absolutely unconscious.”
“There were a couple of other gentleman in the store with me and we were saying, ‘is she breathing?’ Because at first we weren’t seeing her stomach rise and fall.”
Prior to the incident, Keith was reportedly belligerent inside a nail salon.
“She was a little loud, and disruptive,” a Deluxe Nails patron told KVUE. “She said she was very tired, really tired and they said, ‘Maybe you should go home and get some sleep,’ and then she turned around and stumbled out.”
After that, police say they also received calls about an “erratic driver, driving carelessly.”
Witnesses say Keith’s daughter revealed her mother had been drinking all day.
Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks upon viewing the footage said he stands by Officer Johnson’s decision to brutalize the “very combative, very argumentative and also very intoxicated” mother, saying the four-year police force veteran followed protocol.
“The officer was very professional, was talking to her calm, he wasn’t excited, he wasn’t angry,” Banks said. “It’s unfortunate, the fact that this lady did what appears to hit her head and was knocked unconscious, but I’ll tell you, the officer did what he was supposed to do in a situation like that.”
A mugshot from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office shows Keith sustained a black eye and a large cut.
She is currently in jail facing charges of driving while intoxicated with a child younger than 15 and interfering with public duties.
Officer Johnson is still on the job as Round Rock Police investigate the use of force incident.