Refrain from Assault.
Let me state that this is not to bash the police, and I support Police Officers and their safety when confronting dangerous and violent criminals who endanger lives. However, I will not honor these rogue policemen who act from being afraid or, even worst being callous and reckless with their use of force.
Fresh off of the Chauvin verdict, some would say do not resist arrest, merely comply with lawful or unlawful police commands, do not attempt to flee or escape, or force the police to use force against you to gain control. For them, we need to redefine resisting arrest and noncompliance that necessitate the use of force being used against someone.
There is the legitimate reality where force is needed to effect an arrest or prevent death or serious bodily harm. However, during these times, it must be distinguished whether the arrestee is resistant or combative. The difference between being resistant is not wanting to comply, attempting to get away, and combative is actively attacking the police person to inflict damage. Either way, the level of force must reflect the level of threat posed and the totality of the circumstances, including the crime committed.
For example, let’s examine a real-life situation and determine for yourself from the police person’s perspective the degree of fear for their safety or how the combative noncompliance of the suspect contributed to the use of force against them.
Afterward, you can determine for yourself if the suspect posed a sufficient danger and warranted the use of force against them. Keep in mind that laws and police policy and procedures govern the use of force, and noncompliance alone may not be the only criteria for force. Still, there may be some mitigating circumstances to take into account.
This involves a suspect who the responding policeman believed was fleeing the crime scene after an attempted theft offense and being confronted by the store personnel. When the policeman confronted the thief, he was met with disregard for his command and attempted to escape the scene.
He immediately, for his own safety and the protection of the public, physically engaged the thief with physical force to subdue and prevent their escape. The policeman then believes he was met with a monumental struggle that clearly left him out of breath and presumably exhausted, eventually needing backup to control the suspect.
Thank goodness backup arrived to lend assistance as the suspect appeared to be a handful for both police persons. There would have been a tremendous outcry from the public for another non-compliant criminal if deadly force had been used.
Once even handcuffed on the ground face down, subdued, and reasonably under control from the previous struggle, the thief still was insistent on making it home. Due to the struggle, the suspect did suffer some injuries, but deadly force was avoided displaying the police person’s restraint under challenging circumstances.
The suspect’s history was unknown at the time, and I am still unaware of their criminal history, if any, or their propensity to assault police personnel. We cannot allow that, as the policeman to first encounter the suspect repeatedly advised the suspect that he was having none of it. He further explained to the suspect why force was needed and the folly of not complying with his commands. The suspect still did not seem to grasp the gravity of the situation or comply.
To further clarify the danger the suspect posed, the suspect was a 73-year-old white lady for those who it may make a difference. She is approximately 4′ 10′ tall and eighty pounds suffering from dementia. The Young Turks reported her name to be Karen Garner living in Loveland, Colorado. The video captioned “Cops assault elderly woman with dementia” can be seen on TYT. The incident occurred on June 26, 2020. It has come to light because of a federal lawsuit against the police for excessive force. It was captured on police body cam.
The merchandise attempted to be stolen from Walmart amounted to $13.88, which was recovered by Walmart personnel. When confronted, she produced a card to pay and had the ability and willingness to pay but was refused by store personnel and sent on her way.
The police were still called for this scenario. They caught her down the road, walking where he confronted her, ordering her to stop. She did stop, repeatedly stating that she was going home, and proceeded to do so. Shortly after this point, the policeman physically engaged her wrangling her to the ground in rodeo fashion.
Before we go on to be clear, let’s sum up the crime and the policeman’s recourse or authority to respond in how he did. The store refused payment and let her go. The store retrieved their merchandise which amounted to petty theft. The store, most likely and by all indications, would decline to prosecute for the attempted theft. Folks, this is Walmart we are talking about and an elderly lady with dementia.
Furthermore, these stores might want to reconsider always calling the police on these very petty crimes, which they most likely will not waste their time prosecuting. The claim was she pulled down an associate’s mask. However, all charges were dropped.
Think about if she should have even been arrested or given a citation, not to mention physically manhandled for such a petty crime. She suffered injuries to her shoulder (dislocated), arm (broken), and wrist (sprained), not to mention assorted bruises and cuts with blood drawn as a result of this forceful encounter. What was he arresting her for if Walmart had washed their hands?
More importantly, he never advised her she was under arrest, which he must do, never tried to deescalate or reason with her or impede her path. He just basically attacked her for daring to not heed to his command without regard for any prevailing circumstances except arrogant indignation for what he told her to do. It would appear her greatest crime was not obeying his orders, notwithstanding her diminished mental capacity to understand him or her frail condition both mentally and physically.
The policewoman who responded as backup you would have thought was more compassionate or observant than him, but she assisted him and mimicked his demeanor against the little old lady. Thus, the policewoman essentially was an accomplice in the assault of an elderly lady with a seemingly apparent mental condition.
Imagine the confusion and pain she must have experienced. It should be noted that often individuals with these disorders have a higher threshold for pain and thus do not exhibit pain as you would expect or the ability to communicate it. It is a vast difference between holding her or grabbing and twisting, which can be seen to have occurred indicating intentional infliction of pain.
There were much better options available which no one can deny, and the usual justifications I am sure will be offered and possibly entirely accepted and supported. However, the typical protocol after the tussle, she should have been taken for medical evaluation and treatment after being finally advised that she was under arrest and then taken to jail.
The jail personnel should have refused to accept her if she had any injuries. Instead, it was reported that the police persons stated that she was uninjured and she was booked into jail. She suffered from four to six hours before she was sent for medical evaluation and her injuries treated.
One would wonder if the situation would have been handled better if a supervisor was notified to respond on scene and be aware of the circumstances’ totality. A higher ranking official, a sergeant, did respond and reprimanded a brave civilian for interfering with police business. However, he joked and condoned the treatment of this elderly woman, did not order that she receive medical treatment, or display the judgment one would expect from a supervisor.
Furthermore, separate use of force documentation would have revealed the sergeant’s investigation into the justification for using force. The police department and the city’s dubious claim that they had no knowledge of the incident until the federal lawsuit was filed seems disingenuous.
The footage was police bodycam, and a request had to be made to receive. Thus the delay in filing the lawsuit may be directly attributed to a delay in receiving the incriminating video.
Nevertheless, think of all the resources and personnel; police, medical, booking officers, clerk’s office, prosecutor, and judge. Some other incidental personnel sprinkled in who would have had some dealings with this case. Now we can add federal investigators, attorneys, more judges, and most definitely lump-sum taxpayer’s money again.
From a humanistic standpoint and concern for her health, we can only imagine how she suffered and has been impacted. We can only wonder what fate the two police people and their supervisor have faced or if medals and a parade were for taking down such a danger to society.
All three need to be fired, arrested, and charged with felony offenses. Desk duty and suspensions are not sufficient. Damn the cancel culture nonsense. They do not deserve a second chance to display such horrendous judgment again. The lack of compassion is stunning, and the visual use of force unjustifiable.
This video turned my stomach but is an illustration of what is wrong with policing. She wasn’t black, young, thuggish, armed, a threat on her best day, or any of the other worn-out identifying cliche, which is usually thrown out there for excuses. She is our mother or grandmother. That is who she is!
This is in full display for all to see the arbitrary authoritative gutless resort to excessive force against her. Imagine how anyone else would have fared, deadly force, maybe? This cannot be blamed on training or lack of training directly attributable to the individuals involved detachment from the public they should serve while intoxicated with power and control. In case you were wondering, all parties involved were white.
It is the arrogant authority deranged mentality that absolute control and obedience must be imposed. I hope they have better patience and compassion with their family and loved ones who may not understand or comply with their every word. This is guerrilla and gorilla policing at its worst, which can easily be mistaken for racism if a person of color would have been the victim.
It is not always training, racism, or fear for life and limb that elicit these kinds of responses. Instead, it is a propensity for control and authority with no tolerance for anything other than immediate and total compliance under any circumstances. It is not even terrible judgment but a complete disregard for self-restraint or policy and procedures.
This would appear to be an extreme isolated incident that could not repeat itself. By contrast, another equally fine set of police handled a suspected burglary in Port Allen near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in exemplary fashion.
They responded to a burglary in progress and caught the suspect red-handed calmly sitting in a chair on the porch when they arrived. The suspect seeming dangerous and highly suspicious, attempted an explanation but to no avail. However, it was no fooling the keen senses of these police persons due to their training and experience.
The one policeman preemptively had his taser trained on the suspect, who was slow to respond while offering a lame excuse. Luckily, force was averted, and he could be handcuffed and placed in the zone car.
No harm, no foul, and all is well. But, unfortunately, the menacing suspect then began to yell for help of all things after stating that he did not need to be roughhoused. The policeman who had convinced the suspect earlier to surrender without incident or he would light him up with the taser then encouraged the suspect not to remain silent.
After the suspect continues to yell for help, the policeman then did what he had advised the suspect he would do when his threats and intimidation had failed. He repeatedly tasered the suspect while the suspect was seated in the zone car and handcuffed.
Further investigation revealed that the suspect lived in the house and had misplaced his key and broke his window to gain entrance into his home as he had advised them while calmly seated on his porch. Once confirmed, it was decided that his crime was disturbing the peace by yelling for help and warranted his arrest after having the hell tasered out of him.
The man is Izell Richardson Jr., a 67-year-old man with a bad back and black for those who it may make a difference. He was cooperative and secured in the zone car when the policeman entered the rear of the zone car to taser him at close range. Charges were trumped up, no pun intended, and he was arrested and taken to jail. An officer at the jail then called for medical attention for him to be taken to the hospital for treatment. He was not charged with any crime.
Port Allen can start ponying up his settlement as well. To be tasered for verbal disobedience not directed at the police or inciteful while secured and handcuffed in the zone car is not criteria for using force to this magnitude. Maybe it would have been better to ignore him or listen to him explain.
Mr. Richardson Jr, who is black, is the victim of the systemic police abuses many complain about, except racism probably was not the case since the brave policeman who assaulted him was black also. Nevertheless, he was also representative of the fear for their lives and the terror some civilians have in police encounters.
Both of these incidents have striking similarities if you examine them closely and the symptoms are the same as the Chauvin case. The symptoms are the visual or noticeable manifestations of the illness, disease, or dysfunction. It is the indication of disease, not the disease. Whether we want to recognize them or not, we have seen the signs, but to continue to ignore the symptoms allows the disease to progress and become terminal.
Claims of support and protection for the police are actually the protection of the system. Improving the system to ensure it is healthy and at optimal operation should be the middle ground consensus for all concerned.
Democrat or Republican, black or white, fund or defund, pro-law enforcement, or otherwise must be able to come to a truce for opposing opinions to agree that some of this nonsense and hypocrisy can be dispensed with as distasteful to all concerned. Strong arm assault will not be tolerated.
Perhaps it is time for the police to protect and support the police by not committing these senseless acts of outrage that cause the collective condemnation of their profession. The above two scenarios clearly demonstrate the abuses and lack of oversight from the overseers to police themselves. So, let’s agree to universally police them on this type of nonsense to make it clear that this shit won’t be tolerated, especially with our seniors.
At least we should agree on that unless we were raised by wolves, hell, even if wolves raised us. These are two separate cases of felonious assault on seniors without sufficient justification or cause. The police persons involve getting due process which they did not allow their senior victims.
We cannot protect every aspect of a broken system unconditionally, supporting blatant criminal assaults especially captured by the very police bodycam itself. But, come on now, what could possibly be the delay in arrest and charges prima facie to the video evidence?
These actions forfeit their right to any consideration, and if it is built into the system, then it is time to change the system that gives allowances for this behavior. It is inconceivable that arrest and charges are not immediately upon discovering felony assault on seniors without any police personnel charges preferred swiftly and harshly. It would be nice to extend this protection to everyone. Still, at least we should agree on how we are not about to let our seniors and children be treated in law enforcement encounters, especially like these two non-threatening situations.
This lady and man had their Constitutional Rights violated in much the same fashion that we have seen many times before. Sadly, until rogue policing is strongly punished and denounced, we will most likely continue to see it over and over again. Meanwhile, there are still those who unconditionally support the police in any misconduct or brutality they are jammed up committing, displaying sympathy and support for the police.
Most police do not support this nonsense. News flash they are not the police when committing crimes and these blatantly unconscionable atrocities. They are criminals with criminal behavior carrying a badge.
If they are here to protect and serve, I would hate to meet those here to harm and violate. It is getting to be hard to tell the saints from the sinners.
This is not to condemn all police or policing, but even among the ranks, you have to admit that this is getting to be ridiculous and very damaging. Maybe someone should let these bad apples know they are wearing body cameras and should conduct themselves as such. The egregious must be expunged from your ranks. It amounts to their individual accountability versus your collective condemnation. Amputate the disease so the police body can survive.
Respect to the women and men who do the job with honor and hopefully the tarnish from those who do not will remain with them as individuals for them to be held to task. The time has come to separate the wheat from the chaff, the good from the rotten. Policing is classified as a profession, and profession indicates professionals and respectability.
The hiring process, authoritarian culture, and tolerance for impropriety must be addressed to prevent further erosion of respect and authority. Zero tolerance, and if not, the noose you tighten will be your own, and as for Port Allen and Loveland, where is the love or discretion for the seniors?
This cannot be tolerated, so I would encourage everyone to see the videos and judge for yourself before it becomes a reality near or dear to you, like your parents or children. On that, we should agree, and we can dispute the rest, just not the seniors. A journey starts with the first step, and incremental concessions are an excellent first step. Arrest and charges against the police are a better first step in cases like the above.
We know the consequences of resisting, but what are the benefits of complying or non-combative behavior? A little finesse, patience, and persuasion could save an enormous amount of settlements. But, unfortunately, police settlements are becoming the most unpleasant way to riches.
If the police refuse to accept better options, they encourage payments, skepticism, condemnation, mistrust, and oversight. Many cities are self-insured, which comes out of the city budget or rainy day general funds, while insurance companies insure others.
When will the risk to insurance companies become so great that they refuse to accept the liability or indemnify themselves against misconduct and these large settlements? When will the public or police tire? At some point, the tarnish will be too much for the good Officers to bear, or at least not a laughing matter of pride.
Let me ask you a question to put this into context. I like to reverse engineer situations as if debating where the opposing viewpoints are assigned and not chosen for argument. Just stack it up, flip it, and smooth it out, so pin this twist of fate.
The white police personnel encounters both scenarios where they either damage the black man breaking bones or taser the black man in the back of the zone car while he is handcuffed. Now flip it where the black police personnel encounter the white lady and do the exact same. This should crystalize for opposing viewpoints the crux of the condemnation.
It sometimes is not racial except by the context of the parties involved and the appearance of racism so close that you cannot tell the difference. It is sometimes a culture and psychology present among police developed out of a fear, separation, superiority, and survival indoctrination exaggerated and rampaging out of control, which compels these actions and condones them. The culture comprising the system can only be affected to the extent of changes in the mindset of personnel.
The system changes the personnel, the personnel changes the system, or one or the other needs to be replaced, if not both. Abolishing the police is ridiculous. Transformation is wise. It is amazing how a bunch of egg heads always knows what is best for everybody except themselves.
Here are suggestions for a three-step tango to target the problems and changes needed. One, give a questionnaire to all police departments and court personnel surveying their raw anonymous opinions of their operations, procedures, applications, and suggestions for improvement.
Two, if the hiring practices cannot more evenly reflect the population served, they should be well-versed in the people they protect and humanize a sensitivity to them. As part of the police academy training, it should be mandatory to visit rec centers, festivals, and various neighborhoods to familiarize themselves with the people and the people to the police.
Three, incentivize correction and not monetize punishment for police profit via court appearances, the city and courts via general fund revenue, and the prisons via slave labor.
Everyone does not need to go to jail, but statutory or discretionary punishment must be identical for everyone. For example, the right to bail is not a right if you cannot afford it, so a tier of offenses that clearly outlines personal recognizance releases from jail and bailable offenses in addition to high or non-bail crimes.
It would relieve over-crowding and the system’s accountability for the room, housing, and health of those in their custody. Consider increase community service for a contribution to society instead of a drain. But, unfortunately, desperate times call for desperate measures or at least a shift in ideology.
Fear of exposure, fear of honesty, and projections of failure for deviation from the old system we already know either don’t work or is inefficient will seek to prevent changes. The money to pay for these and other changes can come from the money saved from settlements and repetitive expenditures for resources to maintain the old antiquated system.
So back to the duality of reality. There can be no resistance where there is no opposition, just as there can be no opposition where there is no resistance. There must be compromise and concessions from all sides and assurances to heed and abide by the fair determination of the criteria set forth. Anyone in violation would clearly be deemed out of pocket and subject to that tier of consequences and conditions without respect to color, wealth, or occupation.
The adherence to a one-dimensional past developed for the singular benefit of becoming less of a majority demographic. Supported by a two-dimensional arrogance to maintain and justify the historical, cultural nepotism of those benefits is withering. Put under the three-dimensional microscope of current demographics now demanding a four-dimensional futuristic solution to propel us forward.
What has been can no longer be, and if the changes needed are not met, then what could be will never be. Yesterday is gone. The world is changing, and the old policies of oppression and authoritative domination of the people or suppression of their expression generate one hundred percent dissent and dissatisfaction whatever your position or opposition.
So we all have to give a lot to get a lot, and that is something we all can no longer resist for things to go right.
Thurston K. Atlas
Creating A Buzz