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snowberry's avatar

Do you agree with the acquittal of the police officers who beat a homeless man to death?

Asked by snowberry (26970points) January 13th, 2014

This link leads to many others including surveillance videos and cell phone videos of the attack.

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29 Answers

bolwerk's avatar

I don’t see on what basis they were acquitted. Is there some reasonable doubt that they beat a mentally ill man to a pulp, which in turn caused his death? One more signal that police can do whatever the hell they want without the same consequences as the rest of us.

Hopefully their careers are at least over.

ETpro's avatar

It’s time for a petition drive to make sure police are as beholden to the law as the rest of us. Nixon said, “When the President does it, it’s not illegal.” Nixon was wrong.

SwanSwanHummingbird's avatar

This hits close to home for me. It happened in a city nearby me and the initial incident was all over the news. The video is sickening and the whole incident had a huge impact in the area.

Those men are murderers and the people on that jury are horrible, ignorant apes. But that’s an insult to apes.

Bluefreedom's avatar

This a sad miscarriage of justice and an in-your-face example of excessive force. It is very unfortunate that there are police officers today who still engage in behavior like this and people who sit on juries who cannot come together and make sensible and correct decisions to effect a proper decision of guilt.

I’m in my 20th year of being a military policeman and although the military and civilian side of law enforcement have distinct differences, there are also many similiarities. When incidents like this happen, it leaves me shaking my head and wondering where these officers common sense went to and how they neglected to use necessary restraint and resort to less than lethal techniques to defuse a volatile situation.

DWW25921's avatar

I recently discussed this on a similar thread… Police brutality seems to be stepping up… They should be charged with murder.

Blackberry's avatar

Why would I agree? Shit’s all jacked up :(

snowberry's avatar

Part of the problem is that police normally do not have any idea how to deal with mentally ill people. In a few states mental health professionals accompany police to pick them up. They are trained to restrain them without hurting them, but it costs to train and maintain a mental health mobile unit, and very few states have them.

These guys obviously had NO clue.

Berserker's avatar

No I don’t. This is shit. :( And like you said, the police are supposed to be trained to incapacitate a man without killing or severely hurting him. This sucks.

ragingloli's avatar

They should change the police uniform’s colour to brown.

trailsillustrated's avatar

NO! I am watching this on another forum. Never thought I would hate America but this has done it.

JLeslie's avatar

I didn’t click on the link provided, because I don’t think I can handle the details. How can anyone beat someone to death like that? It’s just horrific. I can only think the cops enjoyed it. Seriously, what motivates someone to want to cause so much harm and have a lack of empathy? Sociopaths. The cops are actually mentally ill in this case in my opinion. The man didn’t have a weapon right?

I hope police officers are taught how to restrain people without hurting them. Aren’t they? When I worked in a psych hospital we all went through a class on how to get away and how to restrain. It’s a good class for everyone to take.

GoldieAV16's avatar

First, I agree with our system of justice that produces outcomes like this one, and the George Zimmerman acquittal. It is a system of justice predicated on the notion that it is better for 1,000 guilty people to go free than for one innocent person to be wrongly convicted. I happen to think we’ve got that right.

Caveat: the justice system works just fine if you are affluent, and perfect if you are affluent and white. If you’re a minority, or poor? Not so much. If you’re a minority and poor? Not at all.

Second: To me the larger issue is that police forces in the US are becoming quasi-military units. I think the greater implications of that are going to be horrific, and we’ve only just seen the tip of the iceberg. As we continue to arm our police with more options to use deadly force, we’re going to see more examples of that deadly force being used inappropriately: mentally impaired 90 lb. teenager with a screwdriver shot and killed when he was already restrained is another recent one that comes to mind. I think one of the great aspects of a democracy is having a CIVILIAN police force, but I see that becoming a thing a of the past.

Lastly, I also see a citizenry living in fear, with media constantly stoking that fear, and the result is to willingly give up our rights, ie, accepting stop and frisk programs, complacency over NSA eavesdropping.

So, technically, I “agree” with the acquittal. But I find the circumstances that led up to it and surrounding it to be extremely troubling, and likely to produce more results like this one.

JLeslie's avatar

I can’t help but mention the shooting yesterday just an hour away from where I live where a retired police officer shot and killed a man for texting his daughter during the previews of a movie at the cinema. Here is an article if you haven’t heard the story. I really think cops need better evaluations in some way or another. I think most officers are good people who care about the law and want to help and protect people, but there are too many who want to be cops for the wrong reasons. Too many of them are violent. Violent towards their spouse, suspects, and others. Again I don’t mean the majority, but enough that we need to address it. I usually am extremely empathetic towards an officers position during a confrontation. They have to protect themselves, it is understandable why sometimes an officer shoots when he should not have, if he fears the other person has a gun himself. Mistakes are made. But, to beat someone up, repeatedly hitting hittingnor kicking them, I can’t fathom it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I do believe more police officers need to be trained to deal with the mentally ill before they hit the streets. I didn’t see in this article why they initially met up with this man, so I’m a little confused as to what exactly happened.

Dutchess_III's avatar

On the face of it, no. There was some evidence that he was a violent man….had choked his mother “for several minutes during an argument,” and had attacked his grandfather with a fireplace poker, but somehow I don’t think they knew of that at the time. They could have taken him down without killing him.

snowberry's avatar

My daughter works in a facility for the mentally ill. They take violent people down every day all day long. The entire training took a few hours spread out over the course of a week (so they could practice and internalize the lessons). Not. That. Difficult!

bolwerk's avatar

Can you imagine the erection those cops must have had while he was screaming, ”Daddy, help!”? There is no way anyone needs to be beaten like this to be restrained.

ragingloli's avatar

Power corrupts.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@bolwerk Man that makes me so mad. I have a horrible temper, not going to lie, but I could never do that to another human being unless it was a life-threatening situation.

snowberry's avatar

I mentioned this on the other thread: How is it “appropriate police activity” to tazer someone on the face? These cops were OUT. OF. CONTROL.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Too many people become law enforcement for the wrong reasons. They’re bullies at heart and think they’ve found a legal venue to practice it.

CWOTUS's avatar

Absolutely, of course! After all, if the cops can’t beat a man to death, well then, who can?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@CWOTUS Any brutal punk. People tend to treat the mentally ill and homeless as the dregs of society. That guy sitting in the corner talking to himself is easy prey, no one cares. It’s such a sad comment on our society.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I have always felt that police must meet the highest standards and it should be extremely hard to become one. I feel that the pay should be much higher so that some of our best and brightest actually want the job. While I feel many enter the job for the right reasons the riff raff can run amok with little consequence. I personally don’t trust police like I used to and I think many feel the same way. WTF is wrong with that JURY!

Blackberry's avatar

I’m having trouble finding the answer to what the reasoning is for the acquittal.

sinscriven's avatar

@Blackberry : The jury found that the cops handled the situation within police guidelines.

The amazing brass balls part is that one of the guys is now petitioning to get his job back.

Blackberry's avatar

@sinscriven Geezus H. Christ.

snowberry's avatar

Apparently such behavior is business as usual.

So when exactly did this become business as usual anyway?

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