The video included within this post was recorded by Mike BlueHair of Film The Police (FTP) Portland and uploaded to his Youtube channel. (If you have a video and/or story you would like to share with the CopBlock Network, you can do so via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.)
It shows an incident that took place last week (April 2nd), involving an assault on an unidentified man who was already strapped down to a stretcher and immobilized by paramedics. The Portland policeman who committed that assault is identified within the video and the description on Youtube as Officer Honnel.
Prior to that, the video begins with Mike patrolling the streets of Portland and filming the police working there, as he typically does fairly often. Although it isn’t shown in the video, Mike first encounters the man who would later be assaulted by Officer Honnel during the aftermath of a street fight in which he’s been knocked out by another (also unidentified) person. That person is seen being arrested for assault by a group of officers.
For the vast majority of the video, nothing untoward happens. Mike actually leaves and films the police having an unrelated interaction with someone he identifies as a homeless woman and then returns to the original subject once the ambulance arrives. That’s when things start to go wrong.
The man who had been knocked out has been revived, but he’s angry and seems to be confused about why they are taking him to the hospital. In spite of that and some verbal threats by the man, the police don’t have much trouble forcing him onto the stretcher and then strapping him down to it, even though he struggles with them.
At that point, he’s restrained at four points by those straps and clearly not able to do much in the way of physically resisting. Soon after that, they also place a “spit mask” over his face and then the paramedics inject him with what is described as a “chemical restraint,” which I assume is the fancy name for a sedative.
Apparently (the view of his upper body is blocked by the paramedics and police surrounding him), the man then bit the finger of one of the paramedics. Presumably in response to that, Officer Honnel then walked over to the man restrained on the stretcher and began repeatedly punching him in the face until he was pushed away by paramedics and other officers.
Below is the description included with the video on Youtube by Mike BlueHair:
Last night, we filmed a guy that was knocked out during a street fight. Later, the crime victim snapped out of his daze and struggled with police. The cops and AMR workers put a spit hood over his face and shot him up with drugs! A few moments later, Officer Honnel pounded him about the face and mouth, causing him to bleed from the mouth through the spit hood! You can clearly see in the video an EMT worker trying to block Honnel’s punches. You can also see another officer tug at Honnal’s body armor attempting pull him away from further beating the restrained helpless victim!
Within the video, Mike also shows before and after pictures of the assault victim to illustrate the fact that his mouth wasn’t bleeding prior to Honnel’s attack. However, afterwards blood can clearly be seen on his face and on the spit mask covering it.
Obviously, some people will make the ridiculous claim that Officer Honnel is a Good Cop who was forced to beat a restrained and defenseless man because he bit a paramedic. The simple fact though is that it’s not the cops’ job to physically retaliate against someone for those sort of transgressions. While it’s certainly not acceptable to bite someone, once your body is restrained, your ability to inflict such an attack on someone is extremely limited and rather easy to avoid once that intent is recognized.
The obviousness of that lack of any sort of ongoing threat and of just how wrong Honnel’s actions were is shown by the fact that the paramedic who was bitten actually tries to block the punches being thrown by him. In addition, other police officers push him away to stop his attack. Perhaps they realize that Mike is there filming the entire episode and it will soon end up on Youtube or simply understand that the proper way to deal with the situation would be to file charges of assault against the restrained man rather than assaulting him them self. (Not that this is the only time cops have been caught on video beating a man restrained on a stretcher.)
Regardless of which of those is the case, Mike has reported that the Portland International Raceway (where the incident took place) has received fourteen complaints since his video was posted and that they and the Portland Police Department Internal Affairs are reviewing the video. He has promised to share any updates he receives and any such updates will be shared here as well. (I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for Internal Affairs to hold Honnel accountable for his actions, though.)
If you’d like to join those who have already voiced their displeasure with the actions of Officer Honnel, you can also contact the Portland International Raceway and Portland Police Bureau and let them know what you think about his efforts to protect and serve the assault victim.
Portland Police Bureau Complaints:
- Address: 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 140 Portland, Oregon 97204
- Facebook Page
- Twitter Feed
- Phone: 503 823-0146
- Fax: 503 823-4571
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Email: email@example.com
Portland International Raceway Contacts:
- Address: 1940 N Victory Blvd, Portland, OR 97217
- Facebook Page
- Twitter Feed
- YouTube Channel
- Phone: (503) 823-RACE (7223)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org