More than 800,000 people serve as local and state law enforcement officials in the United States. These police officers are charged with upholding and enforcing the law, maintaining order, and providing general services. To carry out these duties, police officers possess certain powers, granted by the state. If the situation calls for it, police officers can frisk, detain, and arrest civilians, as well as seize property. In addition, depending upon the situation, police officers are empowered to use force to defend themselves or civilians (the amount of force extends along a spectrum from police presence through deadly force). Given the powers that police officers have, it is incumbent upon them to maintain a level of professionalism in the course of their duties and to wield their powers responsibly and ethically. Unfortunately, there are countless examples of cops engaging in a range of irresponsible, unethical, immoral, and/or illegal activities from bribery and unjustified arrests to illegal search and seizure and the use of excessive force. Here are five examples of
According to a federal lawsuit filed by attorney Robert Phillips, what you see in the video below occurred in the town of Aiken, S.C., starting at about 12:20 p.m. on Oct. 2, 2014. The two occupants of the car are black. All the police officers are white.
Here’s what happened: Lakeya Hicks and Elijah Pontoon were in Hicks’s car just a couple of blocks from downtown Aiken when they were pulled over by Officer Chris Medlin of the Aiken Department of Public Safety. Hicks was driving. She had recently purchased the car, so it still had temporary tags.
In the video, Medlin asks Hicks to get out, then tells her that he stopped her because of the “paper tag” on her car. This already is a problem. There’s no law against temporary tags in South Carolina, so long as they haven’t expired.
Medlin then asks Pontoon for identification. Since he was in the passenger seat, Pontoon wouldn’t have been required to provide ID even if the stop had been legitimate. Still, he provides his driver’s license to Medlin. A couple of minutes later, Medlin tells Hicks that her license and tags check out. (You can see the time stamp in the lower left corner of the video.) This should be the end of the stop — which, again, should never have happened in the first place.
Instead, Medlin orders Pontoon out of the vehicle and handcuffs him. He also orders Hicks out of the car. Pontoon then asks Medlin what’s happening. Medlin ignores him. Pontoon asks again. Medlin responds that he’ll “explain it all in a minute.” Several minutes later, a female officers appears. Medlin then tells Pontoon, “Because of your history, I’ve got a dog coming in here. Gonna walk a dog around the car.” About 30 seconds later, he adds, “You gonna pay for this one, boy.”
Moments later, an officer named Clark Smith arrives with a police dog. He walks around the car with his dog. A fourth police officer then shows up. The four officers then spend the next 15 minutes conducting a thorough search of the car. Early into the search, Medlin exclaims, “Uh-huh!” as if he has found something incriminating. But nothing comes of it.
After the search of the car comes up empty, Medlin tells the female officer to “search her real good,” referring to Hicks. The personal search of Hicks is conducted off camera, but according to the complaint filed by Phillips, it allegedly involved exposing Hicks’s breasts on the side of the road in a populated area. The complaint also alleges that this was all done in direct view of the three male officers. That search, too, produced no contraband.
The officers then turn their attention to Pontoon. Medlin asks Pontoon to get out of the car. He cuffs him and begins to pat him down. Toward the end of the first video, at about the 12:46:30 mark, he tells Pontoon: “You’ve got something here right between your legs. There’s something hard right there between your legs.” Medlin says that he’s going to “put some gloves on.”
The anal probe happens out of direct view of the camera, but the audio leaves little doubt about what’s happening. Pontoon at one point says that one of the officers is grabbing his hemorrhoids. Medlin appears to reply, “I’ve had hemorrhoids, and they ain’t that hard.” At about 12:47:15 in the video, the audio actually suggests that two officers may have inserted fingers into Pontoon’s rectum, as one asks, “What are you talking about, right here?” The other replies, “Right straight up in there.”
Pontoon then again tells the officers that they’re pushing on a hemorrhoid. One officer responds, “If that’s a hemorrhoid, that’s a hemorrhoid, all right? But that don’t feel like no hemorrhoid to me.”
The officers apparently continue to search Pontoon’s rectum for another three minutes. They found no contraband. At 12:50:25, Medlin tells Pontoon to turn around and explains that he suspects him because he recognized him from when he worked narcotics. “Now I know you from before, from when I worked dope. I seen you. That’s why I put a dog on the car.”
None of this should have happened. The cops had no reason to stop them. They had no valid suspicion of any wrongdoing on the part of Pontoon or Hicks. From the start, the cops were in the wrong, and they made matters infinitely worse by raping Pontoon. If they’re punished at all, I’m sure it will be a slap on the wrist. Anyone want to bet against that?
(I couldn’t get the video to embed here, but it’s available at the link. Obvious content warning)
March 17 was a regular workday for Brooklyn, N.Y., mail carrier Glen Grays, 27, until he was almost hit by an unmarked police car carrying plainclothes police officers, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said in a Tuesday press conference, according to Bed-Stuy Patch. Grays apparently didn’t realize that the men were cops and allegedly mouthed off at them—”as any New Yorker would do,” Adams said.
A passerby quickly pulled out a cellphone to record the incident.
After the cops jumped out of their vehicle, they demanded Grays’ identification, which he told them was in the U.S. Postal Service truck.
“My ID’s right there on the side of the truck,” Grays said.
“Let’s go get your ID,” an officer said.
Grays told the officer that he had mail to deliver, and that’s when they began to handcuff him.
It is then that you can see, in the video, the officers manhandling Grays and saying that he was resisting arrest.
Asshole cops are becoming more and more brazen. No reason to bother this guy in the first place nor any reason to even arrest him. Yet he’s “resisting arrest”. Grays needs to sue the city *and* the officers. Police departments need to start paying up when they violate the rights of civilians.
According to KTAR radio in Phoenix, the newly-released police report indicates that Shaver told officers “please don’t shoot me,” shortly before he was indeed shot five times and killed.
Philip Brailsford, a former officer for in the Mesa Police Department, has been charged with second-degree murder, and he has pled not guilty. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said a plea deal is being considered, in place of going to trial.
On the night of Jan. 18, police were called to a hotel on reports of a suspect pointing a rifle out of the window. When police went to the room, they ordered Shaver and a woman to crawl out from the room. As Shaver was leaving, officers say he made a slight movement toward his waistline, at which point Brailsford shot him five times.
Once again, law enforcement officials manufacture a threat-using the “feared for my life” card-to justify their use of lethal force. Sigh. At no point in this story did the police officers act in a way synonymous with ‘serve and protect’. Hell, at this point, I’m wondering if that was ever the job of police officers, or that was just propaganda to convince civilians that cops were on their side.
KTAR reports: “No weapons were recovered from Shaver’s body, but officers found two pellet rifles in the hotel room, which they later determined were related to his pest control job, police said.”
Shaver was 26 years old, and had wife and two daughters back home in Texas.
According to a Facebook post in January by Shaver’s widow, Laney Sweet, Shaver frequently traveled to Mesa as part of his job selling and servicing pest control equipment, which included the two pellet guns. She also said that he had been having dinner at the hotel with two people, “a man and a woman.”
“At some point, someone near the pool called the local police stating that they saw a man with a gun near the window of a 5th floor hotel room,” Sweet wrote. “Whether Daniel was the one holding it or he allowed the other man to view his equipment and look into the scope, we don’t know. The man left the room at some point, for what we think was a trip to the gas station.”
Sweet also wrote in that post that she had not been notified of her husband’s death, but had called every hospital and police station after she hadn’t heard back from him for two days — until she finally reached the coroner’s office.
Kill a man, don’t tell his family. It’s so nice to see that along with their “service” and “protection”, cops are ever so compassionate.
Next up-the latest entry on the long “behaviors that cops should not engage in” list (content note-police brutality, excessive force against teenager):
A San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) police officer, or school cop, has been caught on tape body slamming a 12-year-old girl face-first into a brick sidewalk.
The 200+ pound officer claims that the young and skinny Vanessa Valdez “tried” to kick him, but this of course doesn’t explain why a combat-trained police officer had to resort to such brutal tactics to subdue a preteen girl. Officer Joshua Kehm can be seen in the now-viral Youtube video twisting the struggling Valdez’s arm and slinging her back and forth before picking her up off the ground and smacking her head against the bricks.
Her head smacked against the floor so loudly that onlookers can clearly be heard screaming in surprise, followed by a short silence.
At this point, the girl goes limp and is unresponsive as her friend repeatedly asks “Vanessa, are you okay?” The officer makes no attempt to check on her well being as he cuffs her limp hands into cuffs.
A shocked “She landed on her face!” is exclaimed as Kehm pulls the dazed child to her feet and leads her away.
I’m sure he’ll go back to the police station and regale his fellow officers with a tale of how his very life was endangered from this menace to society and how, with nothing but his wits and the strength of his good right arm, he took down a 12-year-old girl.
Footage of the incident, which was recorded on Blytheville, Ark., police body cams and obtained by the news station, shows an officer approach Newbern and ask for his identification. Newbern can be heard saying that he doesn’t have it, and the officer tells him not to go anywhere and begins to write a citation. Newbern starts to drive off but stops before leaving the parking lot.
One officer can be heard at one point saying, “Get his ass out of the car.”
Police accuse Newbern of refusing to get out of the car when ordered to do so. But Newbern says that he didn’t get a chance to because he still had on his seat belt when officers attempted to yank him out of the vehicle.
“When you ask me to get out the car, you open up the door snatching me out the car without letting me get out my seat belt,” Newbern said. “How can I get out the car in my seat belt?”
Newbern had a Taser used on him twice and was sprayed with a chemical agent after authorities said he resisted detainment. Authorities also accused him of grabbing for their weapons and trying to hit one of them.
As Newbern was sprayed with the chemical agent, he could be heard on the video screaming, “I can’t see.” During the struggle, he can be heard repeatedly stating, “I ain’t resisting, bro!”
It doesn’t matter that the man was only [allegedly] listening to loud music. Doesn’t matter that he wasn’t putting up a struggle. Authoritarian thugs just have to strut their stuff and assert their power. And somehow, the populace at large is completely fine with this “service” and “protection”.
(video at the link)