No charges will be filed against the Allentown police officers involved in a viral incident outside of St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Hospital last weekend, Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin said Friday. The video showed an officer appearing to kneel on the neck of 37-year-old Edward Borrero, who police were trying to subdue during an arrest around 7:15 p.m. on Saturday. “The entirety of the incident shows Mr. Borrero, as he admitted, was under the influence of both heroin and cocaine,” Martin said. “He was agitated. He was disoriented. He was staggering. Had he been compliant, there would not have been any necessity to take him to the ground or put the knee on the person’s head. It was never on his neck, and that lasted approximately eight seconds.

In a video posted on social media, the officer’s knee is seen on the man’s head area for approximately eight seconds. Borrero was then escorted into the hospital wearing a breathable mask intended to stop a person from spitting at officers or others. The viral video led to Black Lives Matter protests in Allentown and garnered national attention.

National interest.

Recent excessive force death actions occurring during police encounters have grabbed the National spotlight and forced a much needed conversation toward necessary policing changes in 2020.  Congress is currently creating legislation to address inequities in the criminal justice system that target minority populations. Even when valid civil lawsuits are brought against government officials, including law enforcement officers, for civil rights violations, the US Supreme Court and federal courts have ruled  that officers can claim immunity if they did not violate “clearly established” laws or constitutional rights that a “reasonable” officer would be aware of at the time.

Allowed use of force.

Police officers allowed “use of force” including hands, batons, tasers, or other weapons when necessary, and in accordance with officer training and department policy, is among the many misinterpreted powers placed upon government employees, and a topic prevalent in our daily news.  Officers must be held accountable if they overstep actions of a “reasonable person” during the tense and volatile encounters while performing their policing duties.

Excessive force.

Excessive force is the term used to describe continued force, even after a criminal has been subdued and the situation is being controlled to eliminate danger to others and oneself.  It has often been justified in high intensity situations where the potential for serious bodily harm, mass bodily harm, and death were present, leaving some unethical police officers to carry this over to encounters where no or low force is necessary.

 Hire a lawyer.

 If you, or someone you love has been victimized by any form of police brutality, speak to a legal professional who understands civil rights actions and the negative action of police brutality.

Sources:

 

https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2020/07/13/police-video-protest-planned-in-allentown-after-video-surfaces-of-officer-using-restraint-tactics-during-arrest/

https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2019/preliminary-report

https://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_Am4.html

https://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment14.html

https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2020/07/12/video-of-allentown-police-officer-putting-his-knee-on-mans-neck-during-arrest-prompts-protests/