A disturbing viral video shows a police officer in Salt Lake City Utah, pushing an old man with a cane to the ground during protests against police brutality. While the station was live on air during riots in Salt Lake City Saturday night, they captured a police officer armed in protective gear shoving a man with a cane down onto the street. Salt Lake City Police Department Chief Mike Brown told the television station that he has “opened investigation though Internal Affairs and the Civilian Review Board.”
Civil rights are being violated every day and police brutality, bias-based policing, and excessive force are at the root of this national crisis. Social media is just one tool that is fueling the need for some type of action by those in powerful positions to address incidents where authority may be misguided especially regarding the allowed “use of force.”
Allowed use of force.
Complaints on use of force are growing in proportion to push back from both sides of the argument, with rapidly growing tension on the side of the police, who take an oath to serve and protect, and those persons who have been damaged by overarching authority, including excessive use of force and brutality. Salt Lake City’s public disregard for officers is complicated, with increased allegations of brutality and constitutional violations such as racially bias-based prejudice resulting in death.
Police officers are allowed the “use of force” including hands, batons, tasers, or other weapons when necessary, and in accordance with officer training and department policy. This is probably one of the most misinterpreted powers placed upon government employees, and a topic prevalent in our daily news. The broad-based authority given to police to use force while apprehending criminals, utilizing both physical and psychological methods, to deter and reduce crime is based on policy that dictates what is considered “reasonable” force in any given situation and is often difficult to clarify and measure because it is based on split second decision making.
Forms of police brutality.
- Excessive Force – utilizing more physical force than necessary to subdue a criminal causing bodily harm or death.
- False Arrest and Wrongful Imprisonment – unlawful restraint of a person’s freedom of movement by another acting in perceived accordance with the law.
- Wrongful Search and Seizure Activity – protection from “unreasonable searches and seizures” notwithstanding probable cause enabling a search warrant.
- Racial and Gender Discrimination – bias-based policing is the intentional practice by an individual law enforcement officer who incorporates prejudicial judgments based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, religious beliefs, or age that are inappropriately applied in the performance of his/her duties.
Consult with an attorney.
If you know someone or feel you have been subjected to any of these activities of police misconduct, seek legal counsel to see if compensation for injuries, damages for physical injuries, medical bills and pain and suffering could be sought after to remedy the affront.