At least two cops have been punished in current days for his or her selections in opposition to intervening when their fellow officers have been viciously brutalizing restrained suspects, suggesting that there could possibly be a rising semblance of accountability on the town and state ranges for members of regulation enforcement who don’t de-escalate and use police brutality as a primary resort.
It additionally appeared to counsel that extra cops are being punished — or, not less than they are going to be — for standing by and watching fellow officers use extreme power on suspects who don’t pose a menace, successfully making them responsible of aiding and abetting.
Most not too long ago, two law enforcement officials in Colorado have been arrested for his or her roles in beating a person who’s proven on bodycam video refuting allegations there was a warrant for his arrest earlier than one cop responds with power that seemed to be pointless. The officers work out of a police division that has been saddled with allegations of unabated brutality for the previous few years, together with the controversial and still-unresolved dying of pedestrian Elijah McClain.
Aurora Police Officer John Haubert was arrested on Tuesday after the bodycam video was made public. It confirmed Haubert choking an unidentified man who was suspected of violating the phrases of his probation earlier than placing a gun to his head, threatening to kill him after which lastly pistol-whipping him till his face was bloody.
Notably, Haubert’s companion, Officer Francine Martinez, was charged with failing to cease Haubert below a state regulation that was enacted following protests in opposition to police violence final summer season.
The Aurora Police Division has been suffering from allegations of brutality, with not less than 4 different high-profile cases that embody McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who in 2019 died three days after police put him in a carotid maintain, which restricts blood movement to the mind. He was additionally injected with ketamine as soon as paramedics arrived on the scene. He suffered a cardiac arrest on the way in which to the hospital.
McClain was confronted by three Aurora Law enforcement officials whereas strolling dwelling from a comfort retailer. The police declare they have been responding to a name a few suspicious particular person carrying a ski masks and used extreme power after McClain “resisted contact.” The bodycam footage confirmed McClain calmly asking officers to respect his house, whereas he defined that he was an “introvert” who was making an attempt to show his music down with the intention to hear the officer’s instructions.
The regulation handed in Colorado is analogous in nature to the Democratic-led nationwide police reform laws that has stalled within the Senate regardless of Democrats controlling each chambers of Congress and the White Home. It not solely requires all officers to make use of physique cameras nevertheless it additionally bans chokeholds, forces cops to intervene after they witness police misconduct and units the stage for cops to be sued for police brutality.
Colorado’s regulation was prompted by the homicide of George Floyd, a police killing that concerned three different Minneapolis cops who did not cease Derek Chauvin from making use of lethal stress along with his knee to the neck of the unarmed and handcuffed Black man final yr. These three since-fired officers are scheduled to face trial in March of subsequent yr on costs of aiding and abetting homicide and manslaughter.
There isn’t a such regulation on the books in Georgia, however two cops in Atlanta have been not too long ago suspended for his or her roles in an episode of police brutality that was comparable in nature to the case in Colorado.
In that occasion, a short video on social media reveals a police officer standing over an apparently handcuffed girl earlier than he kicks her proper within the face at shut vary. The video confirmed the girl trying to say one thing to the officer earlier than he kicked her. All of the whereas his companion simply stood there and didn’t do something to cease her fellow cop after he kicked the suspect, who didn’t publish any bodily menace.
Regardless of the absence of most audio within the snippet, the girl can nonetheless be heard screaming in agony from being kicked in her face.
The cop who kicked the suspect was promptly suspended with out pay. However once more, maybe extra notably, his companion who didn’t attempt to intervene has been positioned on administrative go away, displaying there’s a consequence — even in historically conservative Georgia, a state that’s run by Republicans — for a police officer failing to cease a fellow cop from utilizing extreme power on a suspect.
Whereas the Senate Republicans proceed to weaponize the filibuster in opposition to such nationwide laws, legal guidelines just like the one in Colorado and persevering with to self-discipline cops like in Atlanta may go a great distance on the town and state ranges if the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act continues to languish in partisan legislative purgatory.
That is America.
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