Last week in Madison, Wisconsin an 18 year old, 103 pound girl named Genele Laird was forcibly arrested in the most violent way possible. Now before I get into discussing the incident, this girl fucked up. She was at a mall raising a ruckus and saying a bunch of shit she shouldn’t have been. As of this moment, no one really knows what was said, because it was all he said, she said – but even the girl admits she was wrong.
Mall security called the police, and apparently one cop arrived and escorted her outside. She was still being bitchy, but what happened next is unbelievable.
The Application of INjustice
You’ll notice that at the 1:35 mark, the original officer clearly has the girl restrained and has both of her hands secured behind her back. And clearly he has not communicated to her that she is being arrested.
The second officer arrives at 1:38, and by 1:43 he begins kneeing the young woman in the ribs! He knees her a total of 5 times, with 3 of the blows coming while she is already on the ground with her hands behind her back and no weapons present. Think about that for a minute! This cop arrived to the scene, where no one was in any sort of danger whatsoever, and then begins violently beating a girl who is already restrained by a much larger, much stronger, fellow officer.
This is not force being applied justly. According to the Federal Government:
“…the legal test of excessive force…is whether the police officer reasonably believed that such force was necessary to accomplish a legitimate police purpose…”
So how could this officer drive up, and within 5 seconds of simply hearing a girl mouthing off with her hands held behind her back and no weapon reasonably believe it was necessary to knee, punch and tase this girl in order to apply handcuffs and put her in a car?
By 1:55 he beings punching her directly in the ribs.
And by 2:04 the second officer draws a taser and begins tasing the girl repeatedly. In less than 30 seconds of contact with this unarmed, restrained girl – he has done everything except actually used deadly force!
It Sucks to Be Poor
To cap off the incident, the District Attorney is bragging about “not pressing charges” against Laird. But the police chief, and apparently the DA are supporting the officers involved in the incident. UNBELIEVABLE!
By the way, this is clearly a case where “class” is involved as well. Not race. The fact that the girl isn’t white has no bearing. But the fact that she obviously has no money means there isn’t a high powered attorney breathing down the necks of the police department on her behalf. Because she SHOULD have been charged with whatever she did. But the Officers in this case should also be held accountable for what THEY did. And it takes money to make a case like that. And this girl has no chance for actual justice at this point.
If there were ever such a thing as excessive force, this is definitely it. And reasonable people have to ask themselves, if you were present and forced to witness these actions, would you feel you had a very difficult decision about whether to intervene on behalf of this young woman?
What are citizens supposed to do when they witness horrendous police brutality? If we saw any other people doing this to a woman and intervened on her behalf we would be lauded as heroes. But we all know that anyone who interfered with this absolutely illegal arrest would have been beaten, tased and also arrested. And that’s if you’re lucky!
Think About It…
Lets say this happened in Texas. And a legally armed citizen was witnessing this behaviour (or for the sake of argument, something much more egregious) and in their opinion they absolutely had to step in and stop the officer from continuing to commit a crime against a citizen. So they attempt to physically restrain the officer or otherwise stop the illegal activity – and even tell the officer they are placing them under (citizen’s) arrest!
Now the officer turns on the good samaritan, and God only knows how this could escalate between two armed people.
WHAT THE HELL ARE PEOPLE SUPPOSED TO DO ABOUT THIS? I would really like to hear a police officer explain what a citizen should do if they witness a cop going way beyond anything that could be an acceptable use of force!