September 2, 2020
A Harris County grand jury Wednesday indicted a Baytown Police officer who was fired for striking a bystander who was with a person recording video of a traffic stop.
Nathaniel Brown was indicted for Assault, which is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/ or a $4,000 fine.
“The grand jury has made clear that our community won’t tolerate unnecessary violence by anyone including police officers,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “We need one standard for everyone and the law must be applied equally in order for people to continue to believe in our justice system.”
Brown, a nine-year veteran of the Baytown PD, was fired after the incident on June 2. The confrontation began when Brown and other officers were arresting the driver of a Mercedes-Benz sedan who stopped outside Baytown Market, a convenience store at 2900 Market St. in Baytown.
Officers detained, then handcuffed 23-year-old man for an alleged traffic violation after he parked near the gas pumps at the store. As officers handcuffed that man, eyewitnesses under the awning in front of the store commented about the arrest. One of the witnesses began filming the entire episode on his cell phone.
After showing the driver being handcuffed, the video then shows Officer Brown walking across the parking lot and confronting the witnesses. Brown asks one witness, 24-year-old Skylar Gilmore, to put his hands behind his back then throws him to the ground. The officer then used a knee to strike Gilmore in the shoulder and face. Gilmore and another witness, 23-year-old Isaiah Phillips, were arrested for disorderly conduct-language, for their public use of profanities while watching the arrest. The officers also filed a charge against Gilmore for interfering with public duties.
When the facts surrounding the incident, including the video, came to light, the District Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges against the two witnesses. Brown was fired from Baytown PD days later.