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10.11.2005

Excessive Force In the Big Easy? 

Video of police officers in New Orleans arresting a 63 year old man.

Do you think excessive force was used?

It is obvious to me that, for at least one officer, there was. There is no need, and to the best of my knowledge no police department trains officers, to strike resisting suspects in the face. The proper technique is to strike a suspect in a large muscle mass like the thighs or upper arms. With three officers and one "good Samaritan" restraining the guy (the guy in the snappy khaki vest actually makes it harder to handcuff the suspect), they should have been able to take him down to the ground and handcuff him without punching him repeatedly in the face and head.

I think the officer who grabbed the guy with the laminated ID and threatened him should be suspended too.

By the way, I am not a bleeding heart "pigs are bad" guy, I normally support the police and give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to excessive force charges.

This time, they were wrong and should pay the price.

Video.

More on this story.

Update: The victim was a 64 year old retired elementary school teacher. He claims he was not intoxicated and, in fact, hasn't drunk alcohol in 25 years. The person threatened by the police officer and shoved up against the car was an AP producer responsible for documenting the incident. Three officers were arrested and suspended pending an investigation.

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