It’s sad to say, but police brutality is a reality in this day and age. While most law enforcement officers are decent people who truly want to be peace officers, some use their position as an excuse to be bullies and to get away with assault.
A Missouri State Representative, Bruce Franks, Jr., has been working for the last four years to have bodycam footage released in connection with a protest in which he was arrested. He finally got that footage released, and it is truly horrifying. An article from the website RT gives us some of those awful details (hat tip to here for the lead):
[Franks] alleges police clubbed him with a baton, kicked him and maced him despite his compliance with their verbal commands. “I hope this level of transparency will highlight, the need for reform,” he added.
The lengthy footage from the police perspective of the Christmas Eve clash in 2014 shows St. Louis cops bragging about kicking, clubbing and macing people.
“I went through a whole can of mace,” [St. Louis County police officers Timothy] Anderer tells another cop. “I had a couple of little good kicks.”
“One of the f**king white bi**hes caught me spraying everybody, so she’s on my ass. I’m hiding back here for a little bit,” Anderer is heard saying in the footage.
“This is a terrible place to fight people. Look at all these f**king lights and everything else.”
The RT article mentions another portion of the video:
“Some guy was kneeling down… and I still kicked him like there was no tomorrow,” [an officer named] Steinmeyer can be heard saying. “I f**king kicked him like there was no f**king tomorrow.”
Now, I understand being somewhat jaded by seeing violence when you’re in a line of work in which violence is common, but this kind of callousness is unacceptable. Even if the protest turned violent before police involvement, the job of law enforcement officers is not to brutalize people. It is to keep the peace and enforce the laws.
What it comes down to is that innocent, non-violent people don’t need to be treated violently, and Americans deserve better from those who are paid with our tax dollars.