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Newly released video and sheriff’s report reveal details of the night Rep. Ronny Jackson was detained at a rodeo


By Ashley Killough and Sara Smart, CNN

(CNN) — Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas was described as aggressive and threatening by members of law enforcement the night he was detained by authorities after assisting in a chaotic, confusing medical situation at a rodeo, according to a Texas sheriff’s report.

In newly released body camera and dash camera footage by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Jackson is also seen having an obscenity-laced argument with law enforcement after they pushed him to the ground and handcuffed him for refusing to comply with a state trooper’s demands to step away from the patient to clear the way for EMS personnel.

The incident took place at the White Deer rodeo, about 45 miles northeast of Amarillo, Texas. Jackson was “briefly detained” during the incident and was uncuffed minutes later, CNN previously reported.

Jackson demanded an investigation over the July 29 incident and threatened to “bury” the sheriff in the next election, Sheriff Tam Terry of Carson County wrote in a 17-page report. One officer stated in the report that Jackson shouted at one point: “Do you know who the f**k I am? Get these f**king handcuffs off of me.”

A deputy in the report described Jackson as “belligerent” and said, after Jackson was uncuffed, that he had to physically hold Jackson back from “going towards” a state trooper named Cade Young.

Chief Deputy JC Blackburn wrote he had to “physically push” Jackson to the passenger side of Jackson’s vehicle. Blackburn reported Jackson eventually got into the vehicle and “continued to yell and scream from inside the vehicle about who he was” and stated that he was going to call Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

“I’m gonna call the governor tomorrow and I’m gonna f**king talk to him about this sh*t because this is f**king ridiculous man. F**king ridiculous,” Jackson can be heard saying in the body camera video recently released by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The same deputy, Blackburn, said he had seen Jackson drinking alcohol earlier that night backstage – something Jackson’s office denied in the initial days after the incident. The report also included a statement from an EMS medic who said Jackson appeared drunk, and she took issue with decisions by Jackson and other medical professionals who tried to help the young patient, a teenage girl, who had been seizing.

Reached again on Monday, a spokesperson again denied Jackson was drinking that night.

“Congressman Jackson is glad that (the patient) has recovered from the incident and is doing well. Congressman Jackson was not drinking and was prevented from giving medical care in a potentially life-threatening situation due to overly aggressive and incompetent actions by the local authorities present at the time of the incident,” the statement said. “Again, he was asked to help the teenager when no other uniformed medics were present. 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.”

“I was just trying to help, dude,” Jackson can be heard saying in the body camera footage. “It has nothing to do with who I am or what I do. I was an ER doc, man.”

But the report from the sheriff’s office, along with the video from DPS, paint a more detailed picture of Jackson’s anger at authorities that night after Jackson repeatedly ignored warnings to get back from the patient.

A normal medical situation “turned into a mess” because of the loud, crowded environment and because authorities and EMS personnel did not recognize that the people assisting the patient were medical professionals, and, likewise, Jackson did not recognize the EMS personnel, since they were not in uniform, according to Terry’s report.

“It became a contest of who oversees the patient’s care,” Terry wrote. “One thing for sure is everyone present knew that the Trooper was a Trooper, and everyone should have complied with his commands no matter the circumstances. Also, the two Deputies on the scene were in uniform and recognizable, and their efforts to de-escalate the situation were ignored (even after the patient was taken to the ambulance) to the point that they felt the need to take action to control the situation,” he wrote.

Terry wrote in the report that the sheriff’s chief deputy also said Jackson was asked to step back multiple times and then “aggressively advanced” toward the trooper and a sheriff’s deputy. That’s when two deputies “put him on the ground and detained him with handcuffs.” They then walked him to an entrance gate at the rodeo and removed the cuffs, where Jackson can be seen berating authorities.

The sheriff wrote that he received a text from dispatch less than an hour after the situation saying the congressman wanted to speak with the sheriff that night. Terry called Jackson at 12:31 a.m. and Jackson “was very mad,” Terry wrote, and complained about being pulled off a patient despite being a board-certified emergency physician who was trying to help.

“She was awake and she was alert. She was looking at us and she was just fine,” Jackson can be heard saying in the body camera video at the rodeo grounds.

Jackson, according to the sheriff, said he learned the patient might be hypoglycemic and approved a suggestion from a nurse to put a gumball in her mouth to help with blood sugar. That resulted in an argument from others at the scene who said the girl had been seizing and said food in her mouth could become a choke hazard. The medic, Kimberly Thomas, told the sheriff that most gum is sugar free and would not have helped with blood sugar, anyway.

Jackson, in his conversation with the sheriff, maintained the girl was stable and not in distress and that the gumball would not have been a problem, adding he was “f**king pissed” about the situation, according to the sheriff’s report.

The sheriff wrote that Jackson said the deputies who detained him used bad judgment and he asked for an investigation, saying there should be consequences. “Jackson also told me that he expected to know what the consequences were, and that they better be appropriate,” Terry wrote.

He told Jackson he did not need to be threatened, and wrote that Jackson denied he was threatening the sheriff but said that he would “bury (the sheriff) in the next election.” Jackson ended the conversation by saying, “Game on.”

Terry later asked the Texas Rangers to review DPS body and dash cam videos and reported that Ranger Scott Swick said, “Under the circumstances, the actions of the deputies were appropriate and necessary.”

DPS did not release a statement to CNN but provided the videos and a statement from Trooper Young’s account of the incident.

CNN has reached out to the governor’s office for comment on whether Jackson reached out to him.

Jackson previously served as the White House physician for Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. He retired from the US Navy as a rear admiral in 2019 and was elected in 2020 to represent the 13th Congressional District in Texas.

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