Officer assaults handcuffed suspect: Caught on camera

Published On February 5, 2011 | By Rob | Articles

According to Liveleak

A Berkeley County sheriff’s corrections officer is assigned to desk duty after being accused of slapping and punching a handcuffed suspect who spit in his face last month.

According to authorities, 44-year-old Thomas Howard Simmons was at the intake room of the Hill Finklea Detention Center on Jan. 20 arrested for disorderly conduct when he spit on an officer.

On video released by officials More.., it appears that Officer Robert Thomas slaps Simmons in the face with an open hand and punches him in the back of the head before holding his head down until help arrives.

Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne Dewitt says that when Simmons spit at Thomas’ face,”Thomas defended himself from further assault, subdued and held [Simmons’] head down until other correctional officers arrived.”

Investigators report that Simmons had several brushes with the law before and many of them of a violent nature. Dewitt said that Simmons has not filed any complaints or charges since he was released and no injuries were reported.

Dewitt did say that there was a good chance that Simmons may possibly be charged for spitting on the officer.

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office says they are doing an internal investigation.

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  • Marty

    I don’t know what preceded the event, but if someone spits on me, all bets are off… there are drunk assholes who spit on nurses trying to help, waiters trying to serve, medics giving their dumb asses a ride to the e.r., etc. No spitting.

  • chase

    @marty….actually thats aggravated assault guy, not saying spitting is ok, cause its not, and it should not go un-punished, but the law does have a remedy to encourage folks not to spit on other folks, whether they are police are not, that remedy not being assaulting the one who spit on you..in fact im willing to bet that if someone spit on marty and then he assaulted them like this that both would be facing felony charges, unless of course marty had on his fancy law enforcement costume. spitting is not ok, on anyone, but again marty, 2 wrongs dont make a right

  • Tobias

    It’s total bullshit that spitting on an officer is a felony assault. It’s also bullshit for them to use more force than necessary to prevent/stop a physical assault or, like spitting, a physically felt insulting, degrading, disgusting act performed upon them, yet with no real danger, damage, or risk of true bodily harm. Officers of the law are in a position of not only authority but, at least supposed they’re supposed to be, of trust. I believe that it is a violation of that trust to execute ones’ responses in such a disgraceful, impulsive, manner as slapping around a cuffed, probably in some way mentally ill, alcohol addicted, currently inebriated man. It is behavior completely lacking in self-control, respect, and true security for Americans.

    There once was a day when police had the slogan, “To serve and protect.” I believe that a well trained militia is necessary for the security of our cities, states, country, and, most importantly, our people. A group sworn to uphold the rights of our own, and to support, with force if necessary, the continuation of our freedom would be necessary for any society wishing to develop successful. This upholding and protecting of individual liberty is a duty and responsibility that should extend to all citizens. This includes the drunk, the rude, the mentally ill, even the innocent who happens to be a good target for a disturbed uniformed bully in our current structure, and even individuals, who as of present day, become victims for merely voicing their points of view. All because witnessing officers found their outlook distasteful.

    The sad truth is that there appears to be a measurable tendency for those actively working in law enforcement to be more likely to commit senseless acts of violence and/or bullying thana stranger on the street. Even more offensive is nearly ever police officer I’ve read about that has committed an all out wrong, heinous, personally violating offense, has received a much lighter sentence, if any punishment at all, than their non-law enforcement counterparts do, having committed the same distasteful act. I believe in order to have reliable, responsible, truly helpful officers of the law, who positively assist society as a whole as well as help individual men and women of this country, a few things desperately need of change. First off, when any authority figure in a position of trust violates said trust, whether by committing acts of senseless violence, harassing, or some other form of corruption, the punishment they receive for such an offense should be more severe, not less, than what the average American citizen receives for the exact same crime. Any fair-minded, level-headed individual would agree that a crime/violation committed by an individual whose sworn duty it is to fight against those exact injustices, is a much more offensive thing than a random stranger, with no promise of security or friendliness whatsoever, committing the same injustice. Being raped by a random fuck at night downtown I don’t believe is as disgusting of a crime as a fully uniformed officer forcing himself upon a woman in broad daylight, in her own home. How come the former receives a much larger sentence? The later is the one who swore to help society and individuals; to “serve and protect.” Their violation is the more inappropriate, disgusting, offensive of the two. If officers and other authoritarian forces with power over the hapless individual were held to to the higher regard they pride themselves on, in every way, it would be sure to improve the number of officers out there doing more good than hurt.

    The individual in the video above did not deserve such shameful treatment by a uniformed officer sworn to protect him. The act of spitting may goad one of us regular folk into slapping someone around, but I’d be damned if any responsible, ethical, humanity respecting, intelligent individual who swore to uphold the duty of protecting men just like the one slapped in the video above, would take on such a titled position and respond in any way over what was the minimum of force required to have the “attacker” cease their inappropriate behavior. After all, regardless if the man is in cuffs, drunk, stupid, mentally deranged, or just a plain asshole or not, it’s the officers duty to protect him, serve him, and defend him just as much as any other man, woman, or child. The situation could have easily been dealt with without all the puffing up, and manhandling. The fact that it wasn’t is shameful, and those unable to separate their personal feelings from their job enough to perform the most respectful, securing action, should immediately find a new profession.

    I think of many other things as I type this. One being the several dozen videos out there of police shootings where the officer either fires in the first place without justification, aims for a kill shot despite the , situation not calling for something as drastic, or the repeatedly shooting of more and more bullets into the “perp” after the immediate threat has been eliminated. I’ve seen so many times an officer cuff a human being in desperate need of an ambulance, and physically move them to & fro, without any regard to the further injury or death they may cause the individual. Someone shot five times, no longer menacing with a weapon, or in plenty of cases without a weapon to begin with, deserves a knee shoved into their bullet ridden back and have their hands yanked painfully up behind their back with cuffs firmly applied as they bleed out, potentially to death. These “first responders” are trained in the most basic of life-saving techniques, and should be applying their knowledge to any human in need regardless of their own personal feelings or whatever threat the individual had previously been to them.

    We need officers that can control themselves. We need police that do not pointlessly search, harass, and ID, instilling fear in those even guilty of nothing. We need law-enforcement officers capable of recognizing real security, real freedom, and the knowledge to understand how to help appropriately maintain both, never violating individual freedom, liberty, safety, or trust. If we as a society held corrupt law-enforcement agents responsible for their crimes, and meted out justice with an intensity, that at minimum equaled the punishment a non-law-enforcement agent would receive for the same crime, police brutality and abuse would likely swiftly decline. Then if officers who continued to work, made capturing violent offenders their primary goal, allocating the majority of time, man-power, money, and energy towards that end, as they quit wasting those same precious resources on tasks that violate human freedoms for justifications that can not statistically, logically be backed up(speeding tickets are usually an example of this), we would likely not only notice less brutality occurring in the streets, more well-behaved law-enforcement, but a notably improved level of general happiness as well.

    In short, fire this fuck slapping the cuffed man, and gegt someone in there who wants to do the job like it was supposed to be done, with individuals safety, health, and freedom just as important as societies. As long as we hold these uniformed workers to the level of responsibility we are taught they have over our safety and rights, things can only get better. If someone spits at you on the street, do what you like, but don’t take a career where you swear to uphold peace, justice, and to serve and protect if you don’t plan to hold up your end of the bargain or don’t have the self-control to.

    Now I’m going to bed. Tired…..