The following post and video was submitted to CopBlock.org via the ‘submission tab’ by Jasmine Anderson. She details an incident between her mother and Salt Lake City Police officer Reinwand.
I received an email on July 4th, 2016 that contained video footage of my mother being punched in the face and back of the head multiple times by an officer of the Salt Lake City Police Department. She is verbally degraded and abused, all in front of my younger sister.
I cannot put into words the horror I felt seeing that video.
This was an incident that took place on October 24, 2014. Up until this point, due to personal relations between my mother and I- when I first heard her story of what the police officers did, I found it quite hard to believe. After seeing this video for the first time yesterday, nearly 2 years after this incident, I am truly shocked and appalled.
Everyone is responsible for their own actions; I believe that with all of my heart. I believe that the officers in this video were not right in their actions. They were wrong to resort to violence when it was unnecessary. They were wrong to hit a mother, my mother, in front of a child. They SHOULD be held responsible. I hope they will.
After I viewed this video for the first time yesterday evening I immediately began trying to think of a solution to this problem, like most people do. I realized that when you look at the bigger picture in all of these police brutality cases, having the officers that do wrong held responsible for their actions is only a temporary fix. It does not stop these horrible things from happening to others. It helps, but ultimately what it does is add fuel to the fire. It adds to the feelings and views that are so passionate against police officers when they are merely the face of a much bigger systematic issue.
If you have studied psychology in any way then you are familiar with the study Stanley Milgram led in which he shed light on humans and their obedience to authority. The results of the study are that 65% of humans followed authority’s rule and inflicted pain to another human, just because they were told to do so.
I feel if we were able to get a valid study on police corruption and brutality, we would find that same number translated into what we see all over today. Not every officer uses violence. Not all of them feel the need to use their power against the people they have sworn to protect. So rather then hating all police officers, we need to focus our energies on finding the corrupt and power hungry and remove them from their place of power.
Because whether they are good or bad- they are humans just like us. They are acting upon instructions from a higher authority- they believe they are doing what they are told.
Saying that the Police are not the root of the problem doesn’t really sit right when you see videos such as the one with my mom, or even worse videos that are popping up more and more. When you are hit so close to home with an act of Police Brutality everything in you wants to hate them- fight back, burn them to the ground.
But what will that do?
What is the end result of fighting back against others in our community, getting revenge, starting chaos in return??? I’ll tell you what- it’s a civil war. Humans eliminating other humans. Hate only breeds hate. That is NOT what we need. The police are NOT the enemy.
The SYSTEM is.
The system that causes human beings to turn against each other for their own worldly gain.
I know this isn’t positive. But it is real. Some of you might read this and roll your eyes. I know not all of you will agree with me. But you never think something will happen to you until it does.
It is happening in our neighborhoods and it will continue until we do something to change and break this cycle of hate and hurt- It’s in these times that rather then divide, we need to come together. By doing that we utilize our greatest strength and our only hope at a better world.
– Jasmine Anderson
UPDATE: An SLCPD spokesperson (possible chief) did a news conference about this video that was posted to the department’s Facebook page, see here.
Officer Reinwand- SLCPD
Salt Lake City Police Dept. 801- 799-3100