Friday, February 04, 2011

Caught on Tape: Cops Kicking Teen

The guilt or innocence of the young man being arrested is immaterial to the horror that we should feel when we witness these Houston police officers acting in this manner. It is clear that the young man laid down on the ground with his hands on the back of his head, the precise manner that police demand when they want to arrest or harass someone. He is clearly NOT posing a threat to these officers. But these vicious cops go into a feeding frenzy kicking him repeatedly and punching him, even though he never once raises a hand to the police.

These men in uniform are acting precisely like a criminal gang, a pack of wild thugs bent on anti-social violence. And that is how they should be treated. Each of these officers should be immediately fired. Second, charges of assault and battery should be brought against them. Given the brutality I'm not sure attempted murder charges aren't warranted. None of them should receive pay or benefits while their criminal behavior is being investigated—they should not get a paid vacation for being thugs. Each should be tried for their crimes and they should be convicted, sentenced, and imprisoned.

Given the responsibility that police officers have to the law I believe the penalty for police officers, engaging in violence like this against the public, should be far more severe than normal. Police officers have powers denied to most people and given that they are the law enforcers we ought to have zero tolerance when cops break the law. And they ought to be punished far more severely than member of the public. Unfortunately, given the corrupt nature of police in America, and their tendency to engage in violence, they are still too likely to get away with their crimes.

Here is what we know. The individual being attacked by the police is 15-years-old. Houston public officials tried to keep the video from the public, admitting that it was disturbing and using that as the reason for hiding it. If it were not for a security camera at a storage building the incident would have gone unwitnessed, and I would bet you doughnuts, appropriate in this case, that the police officers would have told a unified story that completely contradicts the facts.

This incident took place in March but the video was only recently obtained and released to the public, against the wishes of the police department. Officers have been charged with misdemeanor assault but surely what they did rises to felony level. They were suspended without pay (bravo) and seven of them were fired, but only four face official charges, which doesn't seem right from my viewing of the video.

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