Police beating in Philly

If you don’t wanna get beaten by the police, don’t steal no cars and don’t shoot at no police.

Why is the NAACP in this? There were black cops beating the guy also.

It’s ridiculous that this guy’s family is going to sue the Philly Police Department. If I were the cops chasing him, I’d sue him and his family for attempted murder. After all the cops were only doing their jobs and this guy was shooting back and trying to murder them. Lawsuits like this just waste the city (and the citizens’ money).

Well, what’s everyones’ feelings on this?

That this is the wrong forum?

(Non American speaking) The police may use reasonable force to detain someone. The fact that the person they are detaining might well be a complete scumbag does not change this.

The role of the police is not to punish. The kicking a person may or may not deserve is not to be meted out by a bunch of passers-by, whether or not they are in uniform. If they take on such a role, they become thugs.

Presumably the NAACP has become involved here because they feel that blacks are frequently the target of extra-judicial punishment by uniformed thugs, and that in addition to the injustices meted out on suspects, black citizens feel less able to use the public service which should be provided by the police lest people in the proximity of the event become subject to unjustified beatings.


Wrong forum indeed, Mojo. Fortunately for the OP, our remedial methods are not quite so severe as those of the Philly P.D. We just move the threads. Well, unless you piss off Lynn. But you don’t even want to contemplate that.

I can just see it now. Former troll sues SDMB for severe head damage after savage beating.

On the actuall OP, no they are not justifyed. Have you heard of excessive force? remeber the man is innocent until proven guilty. The police beat someone who until found otherwise is not guilty of a crime. Also one of the eyewitnesses stated that he tried to surrender earlier, the cops attacked him, then he stole a cop gun and tried to defend himself.

Yes the law is that the police should only use the amount of force necesary to achieve the arrest. The law is also that people should not shoot at police or steal their cars.

I can understand that with adrenaline rushing after a shootout and chase it is almost imposible for a human being to rationally stop himself. This guy was very dangerous.

I have very mixed feelings on this. While i believe the law should be respected by everybody, including the police, I also understand the heat of the moment and I know i would probably do the same.

Some years ago I was walking some dark and lonely streets with a girl when a couple of guys sneaked up from behind and one hit me on the side of the head with the butt of a knife while the other snatched her bag. They started running and I to chase. They split and one went down a narrow alley. Another guy joined me in the chase and… what do you know! At the end of the alley there’s a police car! Afetr the long chase we caught up with the SOB and man… I’m telling you I have never enjoyed anything as much as the few kicks I gave the SOB. The guy was still resisting and we all let him have it until one of the cops thought that would do :slight_smile: It turned out the guy who joined me in the chase was also a cop in plain clothes.

So, should it be legal to beat up on that scum? Probably not. Would I do it? You betcha!

I agree. I think there is a huge difference between you beating up someone and the cops though. The police are in positions of authority. They are paid to not let their adreneline get in the way. If they can’t do that they shouldn’t be cops. What if it was the wrong guy?

This kind of thing happened in WWII in France also. You’ve heard of Germans killing soldiers who surrendered. US troops did it also. I’ve read that US troops would attack German foxholes and have comrades get killed by gunfire as they rushed up. When they got to the foxholes the Germans would throw down their weapons and surrender, but no dice, the GIs would have such an adrenaline rush from the attack and seeing their friends killed that they’d pull the trigger even when the Germans put their arms up. Ever seen Private Ryan?

And it’s easy for all of you who’s pontificating sitting at your computers, but have some guy who’s stealing your car and shooting at you, let’s see if you kiss him nicely when you catch him. Don’t you remember whupping kids in the schoolyard who stole your pencils or trashing your desk?

If you don’t want to get beaten, don’t shoot at cops. If I were shooting at cops and I got kicked in the head after they caught me, that’s my own d*mn fault (for shooting at them in the first place, and stupidly getting caught in the second place.) Heck, even criminals are crying like babies in this country. If you can’t stand the pain, don’t do the crime.

An ugly story from Melbourne.

Two nice guys walking in a park. Woman (who turned out to be an addled loonie) claims she has been raped. Nice guys look for rapists.

Gay couple walking in the park affronted by guys looking for blood. Thinking they are about to be bashed, guys run.

One is beaten to death.

Two nice guys convicted of manslaughter.


Motorist Rodney King.
When Motorist Rodney King was stopped, he had the crap beaten out of him. Now Motorist Rodney King had broken the law, and it turned out that Motorist Rodney King was hardly a sterling citizen. However, even with the inebriated Motorist Rodney King having tried to attack the cops, it was obvious that they were using excessive force to subdue him. Ya know, 48 or 49 whacks shoulda been good enough, not 50-odd.

OK, listen up - I’m from Philadelphia, and hoo boy, this damn thing is everywhere.

Here’s the story as I’ve been hearing it so far - police spot a carjacked car (knocked over a sweet li’l old 65-year-old granny loading her groceries to get it), pull it over, guy makes a run for it, sees an empty patrol car, gets into driver’s seat, another cop reaches in to grab the keys, shots are exchanged (it is currently unclear whether or not he stole an officer’s gun or had one on him, eyewitness accounts being inconsistent), officer gets hit (in the thumb, but still), guy gets hit five times and still manages to take off in police car, high speed chase through residental district ensues for like a dozen blocks, guy crashes cruiser, police swarm car, pull him out, video shows while they were getting him out and putting the cuffs on they (probably 20 cops) were indeed punching and kicking him, he bit another police officer, they get the cuffs on and haul him off. Turns out he also had stolen credit cards on him, had an outstanding bench warrant for his arrest for skipping a hearing, and is suspected in several other robberies.

Couple things to note: He shot a police officer, he stole a police car, he put the public in danger with gunfire and a high speed chase, and the fact that he took five bullets and kept going has lead to suspicion that he was high on something (this has not yet been confirmed). Did the cops go overboard? Yes, but I personally think it was warranted - the guy was an immediate public threat that needed to be taken down, and fast, before more people got hurt. I’ll also note that as far as I can tell he was only getting the snot kicked out of him until the cuffs were on - there is clearly a point where they stop their assault, and it seems to be after he was subdued by having the cuffs on. And eyewitness accounts notwithstanding, there does not seem to be any point where this guy attempted to surrender.

The NAACP has said they are not viewing this as a racial issue (as there were black officers as well as white officers, and the suspect was black), but rather they are appalled at the assault. Personally, I think they have an agenda in this case, but that’s just me. Mayor Street (who is also black) is telling everyone to chill out and wait until more information can be gathered, especially since the videotape that made the news really doesn’t tell the whole story. Police Commissioner Timony is saying the same thing.

On a competely unrelated topic, it is my personal belief that Street is going to run this city into the ground a la Mayor Goode and effectively undo all the good things Ed Rendell did for this city for the past 12 years. Pray for us.

Questions? I’d be happy to give you the on-the-scene perspective. And now, back to oldscratch in our studio…


And since someone brought it up (as it’s been brought up a lot), there is a marked difference between Rodney King and this guy. King was stopped for a traffic violation; this guy was driving a stolen car, shot at police, stole a police car and ran like hell.


Gah, Esprix, I never figured you for a Rizzo supporter. :rolleyes:
The Philadelphia police have been this way for generations. The really sad part about it is that it hasn’t worked. Philly is the only major city in the country that hasn’t experienced the massive downward trend in violent crime.

The police officers involved are going to claim temporary insanity due to the battlefield-type stress. Guess what? They’re likely to get away with it. Philly police officers used the same defense in 1978, after the first MOVE confrontation, and were acquitted. (The MOVE story is a great tragicomedy - if you want to know details, I’ll post a thread).

Esprix, sure they stopped stomping on the guy when they put the cuffs on him. But that begs the question - why didn’t they put the cuffs on him before they opened up their can of whoop-ass? They weren’t trying to subdue him – they were exacting revenge. Revenge is a very human emotion, but cops can’t be human when they are on the job. They are the law, and have to conform with the law.

Esprix, hope the Rizzo crack wasn’t too harsh. In certain parts of Philly, that’d be the ultimate flame. You know I love ya, baby! :stuck_out_tongue:

[heavy sarcasm]Riiight… “Let me surrender or I’ll shoot!”[/heavy sarcasm]

I totally agree that the police have no business administering beatings after a subject is subdued. But are you seriously saying this idiot was acting in self defense, or that there was some possibility that he was “the wrong guy”?! [more sarcasm]“Well, Your Honor, I can’t swear the defendant wasn’t under remote mind control while he shot at me.”[/more sarcasm]

The problem involved with cases like this is deciding where “justified action” ends and where “excessive force” begins. The more unpredictable and unreasonable the actions of a suspect, the more likely it is that he/she will be met with a high degree of vehemence; this was the arrest of a dangerous suspect who had shown willingness to do lethal harm to others.

SuaSponte (to Esprix):

Um, wouldn’t it have been revenge if they’d cuffed him and then stomped him? It seems to me like the sequence supports their contention that they were subduing him. IANAA (I am not an attorney), so maybe there’s a legal precedent I don’t know about?

The police should excercise restraint in dealing with suspects. HOWEVER, anyone who leads the police on a high speed chase (or shoots an officer) deserves a few kicks in the stomach before they are taken into custody. The Philly policemen’s mistake was to beat him in broad daylight. Wait till he gets back to the squad, take him in the back room, and give him a few in the gut. Now, to clarify, I’m talking about a few punches, and not a beating that results in the hospitalization of the suspect.

BTW, I don’t really give a dang whether or not the suspect resists arrest. You can still knock him one or two anyways. Resisting arrest just means they should hit him a bit harder.

Viva vigilantism

So 20 police were surrounding the guy within boot distance before he was subdued [xenophon? Brave chaps.

Whilst I have been posting, greatsatan666 seems to have the nub of it, although possibly by a different end of the stick.


Ahh yes beating up innocent people. Really great. Like Abner Louima. Now, I know you didn’t advocate anal violations, but, the point remains the suspect is innocent until proven guilty. If the cops can’t restrain themselves they shouldn’t be cops. It’s like politicians. If you can’t resist the urge to punch someone who disagrees with you you shouldn’t be in Congress. We have to hold public servants to higher standards.

Not that I’m a police officer, but if I were and I saw a fellow officer trying to subdue a suspect who was resisting arrest and biting a fellow officer, I’ll try to help out even if 19 other cops are there as well. This isn’t a justification but it was all over in under 30 seconds.

And I agree with Xenophon- it would’ve been more like retribution than subduing if it had happened after they cuffed him.