The video above was taken by a customer at the Riverdale, MD McDonald’s and posted on YouTube – channel Ricky Martinez – September 4th. In the video, which last just over seven minutes, you see two Riverdale police officers using everything they can to detain a man who was alleged to be on PCP – and most likely was (IMO). Yet, the internet world is buzzing with praise for these two officers in their restraint from using deadly force.
Of course the biggest cry of support is coming from one of their own, the chief of police, David Morris who says; according to WTOP:
The chief said the video shows the difficulty the officers had in getting the man’s hands behind his back. After one officer tried to tackle the man, he was hit with another officer’s Taser and soon after, pepper spray was used.
While the three officers tried to put handcuffs on the man, customers in the busy McDonald’s were seen crowding the windows to watch.
After finally falling on the ground, the man was placed in handcuffs and an ambulance was called for him. The chief said his officers resorted to their training while attempting to take the man into custody.
“They used less lethal force to try to take this guy into custody, to get him to the hospital and arguably saved his life,” Morris said.
Morris says if the officers would have used a hands-on approach, it would have resulted in a wrestling match with the officer’s weapons in close proximity to the man.
Is this story straight outta 1984? It seems like I watched one video and read about another. Morris even goes as far as to claim the officers saved this man’s life. When in reality he easily could have been harmed – or killed – from the excessive taser use. Furthermore, Morris says that ‘a hands-on approach would have resulted in a wrestling match with the officer’s weapons in close proximity.” Ah, did he see the NFL style form tackle that the second officer performed that took all three men into a small hallway? Two of those men being his officers, one of which had a taser in his hand?
While I agree that this man needed to be removed from McDonald’s what dumbfounds me is why people are praising the actions of these officers? If anything this is the best video showing that police are not only incapable of dealing with people who need help but also how police merely escalate the violence in nearly all situations. Yes, this man was a disturbance but he hadn’t actually harmed anyone so there was no need to bring this situation to a point of physical interaction.
Even the story above states that an ambulance wasn’t called until AFTER the man had been tased, hit with a baton and aggressively handcuffed by several officers. I’d be willing to bet that the police knew they were going to call of a man on drugs who was acting strange. Why didn’t the first officer call EMT’s and backup at the same time? Wouldn’t it have been better for the first officer to merely stand-by and ensure the man’s erratic behavior didn’t spill over onto any other patrons? Without the police present the man hadn’t attempted to harm anyone, even accidentally, so waiting for EMT’s and/or backup would have been a viable option IMO.
Yet, that wasn’t the case. Instead the first officer started barking commands at a person who was having fist fights with nonexistent people. The second officer, probably having less information than the first, immediately upped the level of aggression by playing linebacker and endangering everyone. Then both officers used their tasers at the same time, one adds pepper spray to the mix and finally three officers make the arrest. Oh but let’s be thankful for the restraint they used! This would have been an easily justifiable shooting had the officers not refrained! Give me a break!
Nothing about this video showed restrain, compassion or even a good service (removing the man from the business – who is the only possible victim here) being performed by police. Everything in this video points to excessive force, poor training and the comply or else mentality of police today – even for those who need help. If this is acceptable treatment by police of people who need help, which seems to be by the number of comments heard in the video stating the man ‘deserved’ what he was getting, then I want to opt out of paying for these police. I’d much rather see a compassionate police officer who protects those around them while providing assistance to a person clearly in need of it.
Do you think this was excessive force? Are you happy to be paying for police to treat people who are in need of help in such a way?