Both sides defend themselves in controversial arrest of man mowing lawn

All involved agree the clash between Marlin Gipson, 20, and one Harris County Precinct One deputy ended with a police dog biting Gipson's arm.

HOUSTON - All involved agree the clash between Marlin Gipson, 20, and a Harris County Precinct One deputy ended with a police dog biting Gipson’s arm.

“Of course, I’m angry about the situation because it shouldn’t have happened,” Gipson said.

However, there is plenty of debate over why it happened.

“All (Gipson) had to do was give his name and date of birth,” Pct. 1 Constable Alan Rosen said.

An edited video of the incident posted on Facebook has thousands of views and comments. The guy who posted it, lawyer Lee Merritt, may sue.

“That’s a clear violation of the constitution in terms of excessive force,” Merritt said. “It also shows that this officer was out of control.”

Merritt’s three clients: Gipson, his brother Marcus Gipson and their friend Devonte Williams run a summer lawn care business in Houston’s Willow Springs subdivision. They’ve worked in the area five years. They often see the deputy involved in the clash patrolling the neighborhood.

“I knew it was a problem when he turned around,” Marcus Gipson said.

Last Tuesday, the deputy noticed the men putting business cards in doors. The group claims the deputy interrupted their work, demanded to see Marlin Gipson’s identification then implied the men were involved in break-ins. Marcus Gipson also claimed other deputies pointed Tasers and yelled racial slurs.

“He pushed me off the lawnmower and I asked him basically what was going on and he basically just said n-word shut up,” Gipson said. 

“The community I know needs to hear the other side,” Rosen said.

Constable Rosen showed reporters the deputies involved to prove race was no issue. He also said his deputies saw Gipson going door-to-door, which is a tactic used by burglars.

Their suspicions grew when Gipson did not have his ID and gave authorities the wrong birthday. 

“What I have seen thus far from Mr. Gipson is falsities,” Constable Rosen said. “He has not been truthful about anything.”

Rosen said his deputies had no choice but to break down a door at Gipson’s home and use a Taser and K9 to arrest Gipson after he did not cooperate.

The constable offered to bring in Texas Rangers to take over his department’s internal affairs investigation.

Gipson wants more. He and his friends filed a formal complaint with internal affairs. They want each officer involved fired.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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