Great Moments in Protecting and Serving

Via Carlos Miller:

Police in California used their Taser on a legless man, then dragged him out of his apartment where they sat him on a curb handcuffed and naked from the waist down for several minutes as neighbors complained of brutality.Gregory Williams, 40, a double-amputee, ended up spending six days in jail on charges of domestic violence and resisting arrest before he was released with dropped charges.

It all began when Williams apparently was reluctant to let Child Protective Services in to search his house in response to an anonymous tip.  I don't know the laws in California, but CPS officials often have scary, broad powers that go beyond any reasonable definition of Fourth Amendment rights.

In this case, police get double abuse points for seizing the camera of a bystander video taping the event (something that is entirely legal but which police treat as illegal) and allegedly deleting the video of the police handling of Williams.

  • Rob

    From what I read (pages of debates on forums between cops and citizens), police can seize video tape because it is evidence of a crime. More of the debate loomed over how a citizen can protect this evidence. But no worries, why is there any need to protect evidence from those who have sworn to protect and serve... aside from the obvious conflict of interest... the police can be trusted to do the right thing in the absence of any kind of check on their power.

  • nom de guerre

    year after year, we read stories like this. year after year, the atrocities committed by the cops get worse. more brazen. hurt and kill more people. it's gotten to the point now where it almost seems *reasonable* that a 250-lb. cop would tase a pregnant woman/cripple in a wheelchair/little old grandmaw lady/kid lying on the ground with a broken back and 2 broken legs. all in the name of "officer safety", of course. (those instances are all real. google 'em.)

    the same cops who hesitate to go after armed, willing-to-trade-bullets, streetwise gangbangers seem to be taking out their frustrations on unarmed innocents: skateboarding teens, middle-aged folks "disrupting" public meetings by asking questions the cops don't approve of, tail-wagging cocker spaniels, possible terrorists demonstrating against the nationalization of the healthcare, and crabby old grannies who won't sign the ticket. the web is FULL of video of incidents like these. and in each and every instance - even the ones where the cop shoots some kids beloved pet lab - the cops will never EVER admit wrongdoing. because, in their eyes, it's not POSSIBLE for a cop to be wrong; or make a mistake; or overreact. (but hey, don't believe me - just google it.)

    i often wonder, why are there no more carl dregas? there was a time when americans wouldn't put up with this crap. then i comfort myself with the thought that americans are *always* late to the fight. we're reasonable people - we don't want to fight a war unless there's no other options. i suspect that time's coming fairly soon. "the economy is out of recession" (LOL) but there are no jobs to be had and there won't be any anytime soon, and out-of-work men have a tendency to dwell on tyranny and the appropriate response to it.

    what's the answer to the equation "markedly increased police brutality/unaccountability" + "markedly increased hatred of the police by regular, law-abiding folks" + "increased reportage (via the web) of police atrocities" + "men with little hope and nothing to lose" + "affordable, readily available weaponry and communications equipment"? we might just find out soon.

  • Ian Random

    Remember that bad cops can never be fired due to union tricks and suspects all lie as anyone who has watched COPS can attest.

    http://ci.merced.ca.us/civica/press/display.asp?layout=1&Entry=236

    "Williams has a history of domestic violence even though disabled, and had committed domestic violence on his wife.

    The officers could not get Williams to comply with their orders after more than 30 minutes on the scene. One of the officers used his taser in a drive stun mode one time for less than 5 seconds to shock Williams and gain his compliance. "

  • Scott

    nom, I wonder how much this has to do with increased police brutality or increased information availability?

    It's kinda my understanding that those in charge of enforcing the rules have a historical reputation of abusing that authority and lording it over those not part of the "fraternity."

  • JJ

    Hopefully soon, video will be automatically uploaded to the net as well as saved locally on the camera. That will at least prevent cops from destroying evidence.

    What I really don't get is why the 90% (?) good cops tolerate and even defend this smear on their name, by the actions of a few horrible cops.

  • perlhaqr

    Because that 90% is a fabrication. By definition, "good cops" don't cover up brutality. Those officers are, at best, "indifferent".

  • nom de guerre

    if there's anything more ironic than cops whining about the "don't snitch" mentality of the 'hood, i haven't run across it yet. frank serpico got shot more by his fellow cops than by all the baddies of NYC combined.