Battery of a police officer?

Watch the first few minutes of video for reference.
Can a suspect actually be charged with assault on a police officer if the damage to the cop is obviously a direct result of his own actions, and the crazy guy never actually acted against the cop? You can see the cop run the suspect toward the window, then slow as they near the glass and sling the suspect into the window.
The DA did decide to charge only misdemeanors, and I wonder if it was because he also saw the video.
I do think the cop was a little rambunctious, but if I were his boss I’d only give him a stern talking-to and no real punishment.
I’m asking this question in general, and only using this case as an example.

Fire him. He abused a man far beyond his authority. If he will do this, how far will he go. He can not be trusted.

Thanks for answering the question. :rolleyes:

I don’t understand: was the police officer charged, or was the person that he threw into a window charged?

If the police officer, was wasn’t he charged with a felony?

If the other, I don’t see him committing any sort of crime in the video.

The suspect (he’s bi-polar and schizophrenic) was arrested for several felonies. The DA’s office announced that he would be charged with some misdemeanors, and phrased the announcement as though the decision was an act of kindness.

So, the suspect, who suffers from mental illness, was charged with crimes, but the police officer, who is presumably “sane”, commits an assault which could easily have resulted in the death of the suspect (e.g., by cutting his throat on the glass), and the police officer is charged with nothing?

The DA doesn’t seem to think so. The guy only got charged with misdemeanorsin the end:

How is that not assault by the police officer? He made an intentional effort to commit battery against a suspect who was not resisting. He wasn’t using force to subdue a suspect, he was using force to punish a suspect who was already under his control. And by slamming his head into a window both he and the suspect could’ve been cut up badly.

What is it with BART cops? Videos like this come up every month.

I think ‘assault on a police officer’ is used by the police to justify excessive force. However, usually that assault has to come first. In this instance he is using assault on a police officer after the assault to justify it.

I really have no idea. If a cop is hitting me in the stomach with a nightstick and I vomit on him, can I be charged with battery?

That was noted in the OP.
And all the charges are easily dropped by the DA, or dismissed by a judge once the suspect’s condition and history are brought into the picture. The guy (gently, I hear) kicked an old man in the butt who was getting off a bus and walked in front of him. The guy was obviously schizoid. I could tell from his brief appearance early in the video.
Crazy people tend to scare the shit out of us, and some of us try to disguise that fear with outrage.

An officer doesn’t know if someone is mentally ill, and it’s irrelevant anyway. The defensive arrest tactics remain the same regardless of the suspects mental/emotional status, age, size, sex, etc…

It appears to me that the officer was going to put the suspect against the half wall to cuff him.

If you watch the slow motion part of the video it looks like it was the subjects right arm that goes forward and breaks the window, not his head. Had he not done that he would have ended up pushed against the wall/window and cuffed without the glass breaking.

The one who is acting crazy in that video is the police officer, and I’m not afraid to admit that I’d be frightened of him.

That seems to me a normal defensive reaction, to stop his head from hitting the wall. Why couldn’t the officer force him to lie on the floor, where there’s less chance of glass breaking?

Is it possible that the suspect commited felony level crimes, but got “plead down” to misdemeanors because the cop fouled up the arrest?

(The theory would be that it’s easier to sweep all this under the rug that way.)

Same here. Anyone who pushes a mentally ill person who isn’t fighting back through a window, then tries to punish the suspect because the assault backfired is scary as hell.

The Detroit Police had a suspect in the back seat of their car., a few years ago One of the cops was beating him with his flashlight. He died. The police said it was his fault for resisting arrest. I suppose they thought that he should have calmly taken a beating without defending himself. That is hard to do. Maybe it is impossible. A person does try to save his own life on instinct.
Any time a cop goes over the line ,he claims resisting arrest. His word wins out .It does not make it true.

We’re talking two different kinds of crazy here, the real kind as with the victim and the stupid kind as with the cop.
I agree about the cop, but about 30 seconds into the video you see the guy yelling at whoever it is only he can see and holding his arms out. That’s mania, and he’s unaware of what’s really going on.

No. Did you watch the video? The guy was propelled into the window by the cop.

No. Youtube blocked at work. Hence my question was a question, and not a statement.

I assumed the general description (that the cop was abusive) was factual on its face without seeing the video.

Does the video show the reason for the arrest?

Just a second or two while still on the train. Here’s a story that’ll fill you in.

Because if he did a leg sweep, or kicked the suspect in the knee or ankle to collapse the leg, and the suspect went down head first, then people would be railing on the cop for brutality on this basis. When your actions get caught on camera, edited, and then dissected by a public that is largely ignorance of physical constraint methods and appropriate use of force policy, there is no winning.

The first thing about this video clip is that it is edited so only about half of the actual video is shown at first. If you watch past the initial portion, you can see the precursor where the suspect is clearly behaving erratically and possibly threateningly toward the passengers. The officer comes on board the train (which had been stopped because of the suspect’s behavior), puts him into what appears to be a rear twist armlock, and directs him off of the train. The suspect is clearly struggling and self-locomoting the only way that he can in that lock, i.e. straight forward. Although both the officer and suspect are facing away from the camera, it looks to me as if the suspect is flailing his arm out in front, and this is clearly what makes contact with and goes through the window. (If the peace officer had placed the suspect’s head through a plate glass window, you would have seen copious bleeding from a forehead or scalp wound) once he turned him around.) The officer then turns the combative suspect around, modifies his arm lock for greater control, collapses him to the ground, and keeps him in a stiff armed lock while securing him in restraints (handcuffs). The way this video clip was edited for this news story serves to distort the actual events in favor of inciting public interest and discussion, which is, of course, what pulls in viewers and sells ad slots.

Although it isn’t a picture perfect takedown, I find it hard to believe that the officer didn’t act entirely within his department’s POST-compliant use of force policy with a suspect that appeared to be a threat to public safety and was certainly disturbing the peace. Whether this was due to an intent on the part of the suspect to commit a crime, or because he was mentally incapacitated by intoxication, psychosis, or other mental health disorder is not the officer’s immediate concern; his job is to protect the public, defend himself against injury, secure and detain the suspect, and protect the health and well-being of the suspect while in custody, in that order. The officer’s actions are clearly geared toward removing the suspect from the train car so that he did not pose a danger to passengers. Once having done that, the suspect moved forward (and if you look at the footwork, he’s clearly trying to pull away from the officer), and because the entire wall face is glass, there isn’t anywhere to positively check the suspect’s avenue of escape. The suspect clearly leans into the window and flails his arm, breaking the window.

All of those who are shocked and outraged about their perceptions of the officer’s actions need to do a ride-along with their local metropolitan police department some evening and see what the segment of the population that peace officers have to deal with. These aren’t your friends and neighbors; the people that peace officers come into contact with in their efforts to secure the safety and comfort of the rest of the community are often sociopathic lying scumbags who would think nothing of taking a cheap shot on an officer if they could get away with it. And the first rule of patrol work is to come back off-shift safely, 'cause an officer that was unnecessarily injured on duty, especially due to inattentiveness or neglect to safety, is a liability to his brother officers and his agency.

Frankly, it appears to me that the officer did everything in compliance with a standard use of force policy, and that the suspect was combative and struggled against legal restraint. If Oakland or BART (can’t tell which agency he works for) elects to throw the officer under the train, all they are going to do is damage officer morale and reduce the ability of the pertinent agency to provide for public safety.