The internet is full of videos exposing police officers’ use of excessive physical force when trying to apprehend or detain “potential criminals”. Every year in fact there seems to be an increase in YouTube video uploads, video views, and news stories depicting this type of injustice.
Much of this increase is due to the rising number of security cameras, which allow us to witness events that otherwise may have never been publicized at all, and to the widespread use of cellphones, which almost all have video capability.
All these videocams mean police now face added transparency and accountability (where before we only had “internal” accountability… which typically has meant a slap on the wrist).
As it so happens, I work with a security camera company called 2MCCTV, so I thought it fitting to increase awareness of police brutality by showcasing videos that happened to be captured from security cameras (not from our own cameras from around the country). There would be too many to choose from if we included other countries –especially were I to include China, South Africa, Brazil, etc., as they house some of the most brutal police forces on the planet. The secondary reason for limiting this to American footage is because I think many people mistakenly still believe that the US is the one place where police brutality is not an issue, or at least not prevalent.
This top 10 list is controversial, and not for the faint of heart. These unnerving videos include police officers and their unwarranted BEAT-DOWNS of the following: a special-ed kid, a grandmother trying to pay her bills at a Hooters, a homeless man with schizophrenia, and a woman already handcuffed and at the police station who had just gotten in a car wreck (no alcohol involved)… to name a few. Do these cops truly believe they are above the law? You decide:
10) Greenville County Police taser and punch 18-year-old in the face 13 times (Sep 26, 2009)
Greenville, SC – An 18-year old beaten over and over by an undercover police officer. As you watch and count the punches, you feel like “Wow, is he ever going to stop…?” Yes, the kid was at a known drug house and was possibly buying drugs or maybe had some sort of connection with drugs, but damn! As a user he’s actually more a victim than a perp.
9) LAPD Officers Slam Defenseless Cuffed Woman to Ground (August 29, 2012)
A security camera from Del Taco captured this footage of a nurse, Michelle Jordan, being pulled over on a routine traffic stop (she was texting on her cell-phone while driving) and handled quite excessively by two officers. Fast-forward to view the bruises on her face and body brought on by the police officers use of excessive force. Note the officers, who included a 20-veteran with the rank of commander, fist-bumping after each man had tackled her.
8) Police Officer Attacks Grandmother at Hooters (Nov 18, 2010)
Fast forward to about 1:00 in the clip to see where the off-duty police officer starts getting rough with this grandmother and Hooters patron in Oak Lawn, Illinois. It all started over an issue with the bill, which got completely out of hand.
7) Denver Police Brutality Caught on Tape, Camera Pans Away… (August 17, 2010)
The video surveillance you see here was actually recorded by the police officer’s own equipment. Knowing that, it’s very interesting how the camera pans away, just as the officer begins pummeling the innocent bystander talking on his cell phone.
6) Officer Beats Special Ed Student Over an Un-tucked Shirt (Oct 27, 2010)
A special needs kid, 15-year old Marshawn Pitts, was at the wrong place at the wrong time in Dolton, Illinois. What began as verbal abuse over something as silly as his shirt not being tucked in, led to strong physical abuse and a broken nose at the hands of an “unidentified police officer”.
5) Houston Police Beat Handcuffed 15-Year-Old Boy (Feb 7, 2011)
The end of a pursuit is caught on a security camera, where 15-year old Chad Holley falls on the ground and surrenders. I don’t think the cops want it to be that easy on him… Watch while he lays there with his hands on top of his head only to get kicked about a hundred times and have his head stomped in.
4) Rhode Island Police Officer Kicks Woman in Handcuffs (Sep 2, 2012)
Here we have a 2009 case where a Rhode Island police officer (Edward Krawetz) kicked a woman in the face, while she sat handcuffed on the ground. The video surveillance only recently went public. Officer Krawetz was convicted of “felony battery with a dangerous weapon” and sentenced to a 10-year suspension — an unusually stiff response to police brutality, which is probably only because the incident was recorded. Significantly, this was actually not his first assault charge (the other’s weren’t recorded).
3) Police Turn Off Security Camera and Beat Woman to Bloody Pulp (Sep 23, 2009)
This woman was taken into the police station under “suspicion of DWI.” She had just gotten in a wreck and the police assumed that alcohol was involved. Fast forward and you’ll see the Shreveport, Louisiana officer turn off the surveillance camera and when it comes back on, you’ll notice the woman lying in a pool of her own blood.
Kelly Thomas is a schizophrenic drifter who was tased and brutally beaten to death by officers Manuel Ramos and Corporal Jay Cicinelli. It was recorded using surveillance video taken from the Fullerton, California, Transportation Center.
Talk about scary. This Chicago Tribune article says it best: “Eugene Gruber was drunk, hostile and uncooperative when he walked into the Lake County Jail, but a day later, he was paralyzed, had a broken neck and barely registered a pulse after an encounter with guards, records show”
Clint Henderson is a freelance writer and project manager for 2M CCTVsecurity solutions. He contributed this article to ThisCantBeHappening!