So, I hate police brutality as much as the next person, but over at TAPPED today I tried to lay out the scenarios in which cops can use force. The fact is they can. If someone resists arrest or become physically violent, officers can use force to get them under control and make the arrest. There are gradations in which some levels of force are inappropriate. You can’t, for example, use a gun on someone who’s just refusing to be handcuffed by pushing the officer’s arms away. But officers can punch people, even in the face. And women are held to the same standard.
We’ve decided, as a society, that officers are authorized to use force to keep the peace. We’ve also decided that they can issue tickets for jaywalking, and then if that situation is escalated for some reason then they can arrest the jaywalker. Arrests are violent things. Women sometimes get arrested. We can’t put them in a cocoon. Police departments are usually pretty bad about responding to allegations that they acted inappropriately, but they sometimes have a point in that many people don’t understand what an arrest really looks like. Many more don’t understand the procedural rules that dictate when and on whom police can use force.
While I’m careful to acknowledge that I don’t know what happened to lead up to the video I link to, the woman who pushed the cop was definitely taking it to the next level in that video. Police brutality is a real and horrible thing, but going around and pushing cops is still a felony offense. Moreoever, officers are allowed to use force. So the video isn’t really the best case to make against them doing so.
I’m posting this here because I’m curious as to what your thoughts are. I haven’t gotten a lot of responses at TAPPED, except for one woman who said officers don’t respond well to nonviolent situations. Sorry, but this situation was violent.
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