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After Viral Arrest Video, Online Threats Prompt a Black Family to Flee Forney

Kaufman County sheriff's deputies detained Nekia Trigg and her mother, Antanique Ray, after 911 callers in Forney said Trigg was attempting suicide by jumping in and out of traffic. After video of the encounter went viral, Ray and her family received violent threats in such number that they fleed Forney for their own safety.
Kaufman County sheriff's deputies detained Nekia Trigg and her mother, Antanique Ray, after 911 callers in Forney said Trigg was attempting suicide by jumping in and out of traffic. After video of the encounter went viral, Ray and her family received violent threats in such number that they fleed Forney for their own safety. screenshot from Facebook
Before a video of a Kaufman County sheriff’s deputy pinning her daughter to the ground went viral earlier this month, Antanique Ray was pursuing a career in real estate. The 41-year-old mother supports three kids and one grandchild, and she wanted a better salary than she was making working for Amazon.

Now, Ray and her family, facing a wave of threats and online harassment, have had to leave town.

At the time, Ray was taking classes toward her real estate license. Then one day late last month, her daughter Nekia Trigg was walking back to her house from her cousin’s in Forney, around a half-hour east of Dallas.

According to Kim T. Cole, the family’s attorney, 18-year old Trigg was crying as she walked because of an argument with her cousins about removing photos from her social media page.


Multiple Forney residents called 911, saying that Trigg appeared to be attempting suicide by jumping in front of moving traffic. Cole said Trigg was just an upset teenager trying to walk to her house.

“She was kind of weaving it, you know, to get to the other side," Cole said. "She's kind of weaving in and out, because this street had no sidewalk. She was just trying to get to the other side of the street. She was upset and so was just not that concerned about traffic, but she was just trying to get home.”

Within minutes of arriving, Martin had pinned Trigg to the ground, pressing his weight into her pelvis while holding her hands down over her head. Ray was nearby and tried to comfort her daughter, who was panicking and telling Martin she couldn’t breathe.

"She was upset and so was just not that concerned about traffic, but she was just trying to get home." – Kim T. Cole, attorney

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Soon after, Ray was thrown to the concrete and arrested. Officers said she assaulted Martin as he was leading Trigg to a squad car; Ray said she was simply trying to comfort her clearly terrified daughter. Footage released by the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department shows no evidence of Ray assaulting Martin.

The encounter has derailed Ray’s plans to break into real estate. She now faces two serious criminal charges for allegedly assaulting a peace officer and for interfering with official police business. After video of the encounter went viral the day after, threats began pouring in over social media.

Online commenters told Ray, Trigg and other family members that the two women got what they deserve, that they were going to sexually assault them, that they would murder them. It got so bad that Ray decided to move her family out of Forney for their own safety.

The cost of relocating has presented “serious financial difficulty” for Ray, Cole said. Cole wants to file civil rights lawsuits on both Trigg and Ray’s behalf, but since Ray is potentially facing criminal charges, Cole can’t open a civil rights lawsuit for Ray.

In the meantime, the Kaufman County District Attorney’s Office hasn't announced whether it intends to pursue prosecution of the charges against Ray, Cole said. Now, Ray waits “in limbo,” unable to continue chasing her new career in real estate and barred from taking legal action.

Neither the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office nor the District Attorney’s Office responded to requests for comment.
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Michael Murney is a reporting fellow at the Dallas Observer and a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. His reporting has appeared in Chicago’s South Side Weekly and the Chicago Reader.
Contact: Michael Murney