What happened at the rodeo?
A video released by the Texas Department of Public Safety 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. The incident took place at the White Deer rodeo, about 45 miles northeast of Amarillo, Texas, on July 29, 2023.
Jackson, a former White House physician and a two-term Republican congressman, was attending the rodeo as a guest when he saw a 15-year-old girl having seizures. He approached the group of people surrounding the girl and tried to help her as a trained ER physician. However, he got into an argument with one of the people attending to the girl, who was also a medical professional. The video shows Jackson refusing to step away from the patient and clear the way for EMS personnel who arrived at the scene.
The officers then wrestled Jackson to the ground and handcuffed him for not complying with their orders. Jackson can be heard shouting obscenities at the officers and demanding them to release him. He also claimed that he was going to call Gov. Greg Abbott and talk to him about the situation.
How did Jackson react after being released?
Jackson was briefly detained by the officers and was uncuffed minutes later. He continued to yell and scream from inside his vehicle about who he was and what he had done for the girl. He also accused the officers of being overly aggressive and incompetent.
According to a 17-page report by Sheriff Tam Terry of Carson County, Jackson repeatedly told Terry that there needed to be consequences for the deputies who had handcuffed him. He also demanded an investigation over the incident and threatened to “bury” the sheriff in the next election.
Jackson later defended his actions in a post on social media, saying that he was prevented from providing medical care to the girl due to the officers’ actions. He also said that he was not drinking alcohol that night, contrary to what some witnesses and a deputy reported.
What did the witnesses and the EMS medic say?
Some witnesses at the rodeo supported Jackson’s version of events, saying that he was trying to help the girl before medics arrived and that the deputies were needlessly rough in pulling him away. They said that Jackson was calm and professional until he was handcuffed.
However, others had a different perspective. An EMS medic who treated the girl said that Jackson appeared drunk and that she took issue with his decisions and those of other medical professionals who tried to help the girl. She said that Jackson did not follow proper protocols and that he interfered with her work.
The sheriff’s report also included statements from other officers who described Jackson as aggressive, belligerent, and threatening. They said that Jackson showed no respect for their authority and that he tried to use his political influence to intimidate them.
What are the possible consequences for Jackson?
The incident has raised questions about Jackson’s conduct and judgment as a congressman and a physician. Jackson is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegations of sexual harassment, substance abuse, and creating a hostile work environment while serving as White House doctor under former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
Jackson has denied any wrongdoing and has said that he will cooperate with the investigation. He has also said that he will not resign from his congressional seat or his position on the House Armed Services Committee.
However, some critics have called for his resignation or censure, saying that he has violated his oath of office and his medical ethics. They have also questioned his fitness to serve in Congress and his ability to represent his constituents.