© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News

Zekee Rayford Makes First Public Comments About Violent Encounter With Schertz Police

Screenshot (27).png
Screen grab
Zekee Rayford, a Black 18-year-old, was repeatedly kicked and tased by Schertz police officers after he didn’t immediately pull over during a traffic stop for allegedly running a red light.

The family of Zekee Rayford is continuing to call for justice. Rayford, a Black 18-year-old, was repeatedly kicked and tased by Schertz police officers outside his father's house after he didn’t immediately pull over during a traffic stop for allegedly running a red light.

Instead of immediately pulling over, Rayford stopped nearby at his house, then ran to the front door, where he yelled for his father.

“I was always pretty scared. I was fearing for my life, trying to get to the door, hoping that my dad would come,” Rayford said in his first public comment since the incident.

Officers repeatedly kicked and tased him before his father answered the door — at which point, one of the officers told the father, “You better relax, or you’re going to get it next.”

Civil rights attorney Daryl K. Washington said the officers’ actions traumatized Rayford.

“He has nightmares, he cries often about his case,” Washington said. “It's been so tough on him. He doesn't even want to live at that house anymore. That's how much he's in fear. So what happened to him on that early morning has totally changed his life, and it's totally changed the way that he views police officers.”

KENS 5 reported that all three officers have been pulled from patrol duty. Rayford faces a felony charge and two misdemeanors.

The Schertz Police Department confirmed the opening of an internal investigation, but the Rayford family and their lawyers said they haven’t been contacted by any investigators.

“We are bothered by the fact that we've not been contacted. It’s actually shocking,” said attorney Artessia House. “Who are the witnesses of their internal investigation? Each other? Are we asking the police to police themselves? And these are the same police officers that failed to police themselves on the night that they interacted with my client. I don't think we have any faith in that process or system.”

The mayor of Schertz, Ralph Gutierrez, issued a written statement that does not mention Rayford’s name. He said, “When laws are broken, we turn to law enforcement to restore order and protect our community.”

The mayor and all seven members of the Schertz city council declined requests for an interview.

TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.