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DALLAS (AP) — Police video released Monday shows U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas being taken to the ground by officers, profanely berating them and threatening to report them to the governor during an altercation at a rodeo last month.
In body camera video, the former White House physician can be seen approaching a group of people surrounding a 15-year-old girl who authorities have said was having seizures. The two-term Republican congressman later has what looks like an argument with one of the people attending to the teenager before she is put on a stretcher.
Shortly afterward, Jackson is wrestled to the ground by at least two officers. The 31-minute video, which has sound in only some portions, shows officers turning Jackson facedown and putting him in handcuffs before helping him to his feet.
“I’m going to call the governor tomorrow and I’m going to talk to him about this (expletive), because this is (expletive) ridiculous,” Jackson can later be heard telling a state trooper, his voice raised.
State police released the video footage days after Jackson defended his actions in a post on social media. Kate Lair, a spokesperson for Jackson, reiterated the congressman's comments in a statement Monday in which she said he was prevented from providing medical care to the teenager due to “overly aggressive and incompetent actions” by officers.
“Congressman Jackson, as a trained ER physician, will not apologize for sparing no effort to help in a medical emergency, especially when the circumstances were chaotic and the local authorities refused to help the situation,” Lair said. Chris and Jodi Jordan said they were at the rodeo in White Deer, a small town outside the Panhandle city of Amarillo, and witnessed some of what happened. They said Jackson was trying to help the girl before medics arrived and that the deputies were needlessly rough in pulling him away.
“We were just appalled,” said Chris Jordan, 48, of Hereford. “The slamming to the ground I didn’t understand whatsoever.”
The Jordans said that after the incident they discussed talking to news reporters about what they had seen with an aide to Jackson. The congressman’s office referred The Associated Press to the couple.
Shortly after the encounter, Carson County Sheriff Tam Terry talked with Jackson by phone. According to the sheriff's written report, Jackson repeatedly told Terry that there needed to be consequences for the deputies who had handcuffed him. After Terry responded that he didn’t need to be threatened, Jackson said that “he would pull hell and high water and come and ‘bury me in the next election,’ ” the sheriff wrote.
Jackson was elected in 2020 after gaining notoriety for his over-the-top pronouncements about then-President Donald Trump's health while serving as a top White House physician. A year later, the Department of Defense inspector general released a scathing report about Jackson's conduct while on the job at the White House.
The report concluded that Jackson made “sexual and denigrating” comments about a female subordinate, violated the policy on drinking alcohol on a presidential trip and took prescription-strength sleeping medication that prompted worries from his colleagues about his ability to provide proper medical care.
Jackson denied the allegations and said at the time that the report was a “political hit job.”
Weber reported from Austin, Texas.