October 28, 2012
We’ve nearly grown completely accustomed to a disturbing societal defect. More frequently, we witness sub-human treatment of disabled and elderly citizens and sufferers of medical illnesses by the very men and women sworn to serve and protect them.
From shoving cerebral palsy victims to dragging elderly women out of their vehicles to tasering stroke sufferers, the blind and pregnant women, corrupt police are being caught blatantly disregarding age and health conditions, trampling basic civil freedoms and essentially tossing logical discretion out the window when discerning law-abiding innocents from law-breaking criminals.
While we highlight these outrageous instances, we nevertheless maintain hope that a majority of our oath-sworn peace officers are good people capable of critical thinking and respectful of human life.
The month of October brought us more than its fair share of disabled citizen police state abuses.
Earlier this month, we reported on UK police tasering a blind man who was walking down the sidewalk minding his own business. The spontaneous attack sent the victim, Colin Farmer, a blind 61-year-old year old retired architect, to the hospital leaving him embittered at police for their actions. “He was not an officer of the law; he was an absolute thug with a license to carry a dangerous weapon,” Farmer remarked. The officer involved mistakenly perceived the man’s cane to be a samurai sword prior to the electrocuting.
We also recently reviewed June 2010 footage of a Vancouver, British Columbia police officer shoving a cerebral palsy sufferer onto the ground for merely attempting to squeeze through a group of three officers walking side-by-side. Last week, we learned the victim was granted a 2013 hearing with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.
Earlier this month, a federal complaint against two officers of the Austin Police Department was filed alleging use of a Taser to shock a man suffering a seizure in his own home. The 50-year-old man’s complaint alleged the officers entered his home and “used violence to restrict him from movement, constrained his ability to breathe and repeatedly shocked him with a Taser gun.”
Also, last week the City of Cleburne, Texas reached an agreement with a man who was wrongfully Tasered back in April. When 19-year-old Ricky Jones refused to answer questions following an accident, officer Jason Vanderlaan issued a warning to comply, “Step out of the vehicle. Or I will tase you!” and made good on his promise, tasing the defiant deviant. Only after EMS arrived did officers learn Jones was diabetic and was non-compliant due to his undergoing a hypoglycemic seizure.
Judging by the numerous reports we’ve seen, some police also seem to have no problem harassing, picking fights with or even killing less-mobile members of society.
Last month, we were baffled by a bizarre case in New Jersey where an on-duty police officer broke into the apartment of a wheelchair-bound couple, assaulted them along with their 4-year-old son, then, once in custody, kicked the window of the patrol car out enabling his escape until eventually captured. “Then he grabbed my grandchild (and) he said, ‘I want the boy, I want the boy,’” the female victim’s father, who didn’t witness the incident, recalled from his family’s account. When police arrived they found Sgt. Mark Lee sitting on a couch inside the apartment naked. The female victim’s father said, “He took his clothes off, gun, uniform, and pants, and tried to jump out the window.” A few days ago, Lee’s bail was reduced after a test found he had calcium deposits on his brain facilitating a neurological disorder.
In September, we witnessed footage of a Minnesota police officer punching a difficult, mouthy wheelchair-bound drunk man five times in the head before slamming him onto the floor and allegedly splitting his head open. The officer then threatened a nurse in attendance with arrest for merely offering assistance.
Last month, we also reported on Houston PD’s assassination of a wheelchair-ridden, schizophrenic double-amputee who threatened an officer with a pen. The officer who shot the man argued he believed the pen to be a dangerous weapon.
September also saw a 77-year old woman get dragged out of her car for failing to give an officer her license and insurance fast enough. As the officer’s lapel and dash-cam footage show, the woman simply attempted to provide an explanation for her alleged speeding. The officer shouted over the woman demanding her license and insurance, fomenting a verbal standoff eventually leading to the officer forcefully dragging the woman out of her car. The officer faced no disciplinary action.
In August, video surfaced of a July 1 altercation where Saginaw, Michigan police shot a homeless man 46 times. Moments prior, he was arguing with officers, wielding a knife. The man, 49-year-old Milton Hall, had been described as suffering from “serious mental health issues.”
Are these just a few freak instances that happened to be latched onto by media and exploited, or is the opposite true? Are these types of stories far too frequent to report?
By calling attention to the ongoing corruption, of which there is virtually countless more examples of, we hope to curb the problem, and encourage citizen journalists and whistleblowers everywhere to remain vigilant. We urge our civil servants to be mindful of their actions.
Whatever the excuses for these deplorable acts, we can assume the encroaching police state will successfully continue expanding unless we exercise utmost diligence to hinder it.