Excessive Force? You Decide (VIDEO)
The video above was recorded in Savannah, GA. where there appears to be a fight in the middle of the street. One vehicle is stopped in the middle of the intersection and you see one male subject hitting the vehicle with his fists while a female is seen fighting with someone who is sitting in the passenger side with their door open.
As police arrive on the scene, you see one officer immediately deploy his night stick and begin striking the male that had been hitting the vehicle. The female that was fighting with the passenger sees this and turns her attention to the officer and yells stop as she briefly touches his arm. She never struck the officer and her actions did not appear to be violent.
The officer strikes her several times with the night stick even as she is walking away from him. She then stands facing him with her hands behind her back and blasts her with a good dose of pepper spray. She walks away rubbing her eyes. The officer returns to the male that he had been striking and cuffs him. He then goes after the female that he had struck and pepper sprayed.
He puts his hand into the back of her pants and grabs on. He pulls her back to where the male is laying on the ground cuffed and kicks her legs out from under her and throws her down face first into the pavement.
I am going to give my assessment of what I think of this situation, but I am very interested in what you all have to say about this officer’s actions.
While there was definitely a fight taking place before the officers arrived on scene, it appears that the parties involved had stopped fighting once the cops were there. The male that was struck first was not acting aggressively towards the officer. He never raised his hands or swung at the officer. As a matter of fact, the male had his hands at his sides, he had nothing in his hands, and they were open.
The female may have touched the officer, but she did not strike him and her posture did not indicate that she was about to fight with him. He immediately strikes her rather than push her away. Then she receives a dose of pepper spray for just standing there. I feel any logical person observing this would see that she was not posing any type of threat to the officer.
After the pepper spray, you never hear the officer tell the female to stay where she is. She walks away and is obviously trying to leave the violent scene. His pursuing her and dragging her back with his hand in the back of her pants and then slamming her into the ground was quite a bit over the top. He never instructed her to get on the ground.
I do not argue that when a fight is going on that officers need to regain order quickly, but this officer was not facing anyone that was assaulting him. In my eyes, he was the aggressor by striking two citizens that were not posing any type of threat to his safety at all. I believe that he simply lost control in an emotionally charged scene and used excessive force on these two by escalating things with brute force where it was not needed.
Officers say that they have to make split second decisions all of the time, but this guy made the decision to resort to violence before he even approached the male and striking him. That can be seen when he whips out his baton before even getting to the guy. I think this officer was wrong in his actions and made the wrong decision.
What do you have to say about his actions in this video? Do you think he was justified in striking these two individuals repeatedly, or was he excessive in the amount of force he used on them? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments section.