Jul 9, 2011

Public videotapes police brutality in New Haven?

This story and the accompanying video footage of a recent occurance of Police brutality in New Haven Connecticut, is extremely disturbing.

The first two officers could clearly be seen beating and slamming their "suspects" head into the pavement, punching, stomping and kicking him repeatedly while the man lay moaning and screaming out in pain, helpless, face down in the middle of the street, shouting out something about a shoulder injury and he couldn't put his arm behind his back ( to anyone watching it is obvious that the man had some kind of shoulder injury that prohibited his arm going behind his back, a fact that his mother later corroborated for the media. I had a rotator cuff tear as a kid and I cannot put one arm behind my own back without it causing excruciating pain, as well if a person ever experienced a disclocated shoulder they cant do the same!

In reality, these particular cops were going to beat this guy BADLY no matter what he did,
or didn't do with his arms behind his back , that much is obvious. The shoulder injury just makes this whole ugly episode even worse.

In viewing the video one can see that as soon as the second police car pulled up, the first two officers, who were in the midst of severely assaulting their prone, helpless prisoner" backed off substantially as they also suddenly started yelling very  loudly stop fighting stop fighting (which the man was not doing) for the benifit of the onlooker in the SUV that had pulled up and was clearly oggling the brutal attack.

Its likely that the first two doing the beating were typical  abusive type-cops and unsure of what officers might be in the second squad car, (IE were they decent, by the book, rule abiding type cops or..were they part of the degenerate -cop club, like themselves,  clearly sharing the mindset be it spoken or unspoken, that over- the- top physical force was just fine thank you very much and indeed their damn right as cops as they seemed to employ theyre violence with gusto as one notes while watching this infuriating video.

 Even if the back-up police officers weren't directly abusive towards suspects, like they were, they almost always always will still tow the "old blue wall ethic"   as was done here right for the eyes of the probing cell phone video camera. For those unfamiliar with the blue wall"  Its an age old unsoken rule that cops dont tell on eachother even when a "good cop is extremely uncomfortable with whats gone down in the apprehension of a suspect or often the abuse of a suspect once he's in custody, which happens far more often than most Connecticut residents would ever imagine.

The old 'we don't tell on other cops even when they clearly have abused their power ' is
alive and well and in 20/20 display, all the way from the other cops arriving in the multiple squad cars, the obvious apprehension and unwillingness to stop their fellow officers from what was clearly police brutality to the words from one of those fresh back up cops arriving well into the bloody scene - at the very end of this home video if you listen carefully, you can here one of those police officers saying --and it wasnt a question it was a statement meant to be understood by all present " he had a gun, he had a gun, right, right!

There was no gun present on that man and no danger of a gun being used on them as they held him down tasered him stomped kicked punched and slammed his head into the pavement. And what wil you bet that the guy was some crack dealer they spotted on the corner that ran out of a natural instinct. Beatings like this happen every week in New haven and other cities in Connecticut.

And lest anyone assumes wrongly, I am far from a "bleeding heart liberal": In fact, I am an anti-crime activist,  lobbyist as well as a survivor of violent crime.
Once a registered Democrat (now turned independent) I have learned to listen and best solve the issues at hand and ignore all the partisan BS as it only divides us. As such within Connecticut's legislative politics - especially concerning crime, the courts and crime victims rights, I now generally lean toward Republican views, This, simply because

. Disappointingly even "good cops" are prone to this age old unspoken reality for fear of being outcasts or worse, and they will sometimes either lie for a bad cop or cover by simply claiming that they "didn't see" the illegal cop behavior -like this one-- take place, rather than be considered a "snitch".

And yes, this kind of thing in varying degrees, still goes on every day in both bigger Connecticut cities,and believe it or not, smaller suburbs. Suburbia has their own bad cops and they often travel in packs-I have borne witness to outrageously abusive cops in towns within Fairfield County Connecticut for example; just as there are many, many decent, respectable and courageous Police officers,
deserving of our collective respect and appreciation, there are still plenty of cops that abuse their power on a daily basis and it takes a lot of cooperation and or apathy ie remaining mute about it from other police officers from the same force, to keep all of this going.

And then out comes the occasional home video and folks believe this abuse to be a rare thing. It's not.

As the short cellphone video illustrates, even the tone of these abusive police officers voices changed, and they leapt into an automatic and very obvious cover up for what was clearly an overkill police brutality,assault, not a restraint situation, which they continuously tried to loudly, verbally infer, even during the severest portion of the beating, they'd obligatorily yell for the benefit of those within earshot and eyesight "stop fighting stop fighting!" A statement which was beyond ludicrous, as the increasingly concussed and bloodied helpless man on the ground was not resisting at all - just bleeding,begging and moaning. They could see even in the midst of their hate fueled fervor, both the growing number of onlookers in the apartment building windows above the open street where one man was heard shouting "he ain't fighting!!!" and the newly arriving squad car all equaled possible trouble for them.

The saddest part of this whole story is the part about the little boy that lived in this neighborhood and witnesses this brutality from his home - from the take down to the beating, all the way to the pool of blood left on the street after the ambulance removed the beaten man, the little boy reportedly told his mother that he "no longer wanted to be a policeman when he grew up"

Those cops stole from that young man what every child is entitled to; an innocent and unsullied dream job or" career".
Some children in high risk areas such as the one where this police assault occurred, don't even bother mustering dreams - they either find it too difficult to imagine themselves rising to heights greater than where they are in that very moment or they are too angry or sad to allow themselves to dream for anything; This young boy did up until two New Haven Police officers showed him the ugliest side of what should be one of the most honorable and courageous careers in this country.

Lets pray for this boy and hope that he is counseled about what he saw, that he is somehow helped to understand and
reconcile what he witnessed and know that it is very very wrong and illegal.And although sadly we cannot tell him it is rare, that bad cops like these are the minority insofar as Police officers in general.

Perhaps he will be helped to understand that in this world although bad people exist even policmen with guns uniforms and badges, this means all  have a responsibility to do our best to make sure that what he saw doesn't happen again.

Like the anonymous person who took this video and shed light on what otherwise might have been a dark ongoing secret,  they showed they cared by filming it and showed courage by sharing it with the media. .Perhaps when he grows up, he too will have exceptional courage, and he will become that Policeman he had always wanted to be.  And he will be one of the good ones, the brave the proud helping  ensure that bad policemen, like the ones he saw hurt that man will become a thing of the past, something to be read about, like the holocaust, slavery and war.