Thursday, May 21, 2009


Birmingham police beating video

I am late posting about this but wanted to get my 2 cents in. Watch the video. It's horrifying. The whole chase got started when the cops wanted to question the guy about....drum roll please..........DRUGS. Of course, all the cops and cop lovers over at think it is perfectly OK to beat an unconscious man. I have to disagree.


The reason we have a court system is so a judge can mete out just punishment after a jury of the accused' peers have heard the case and rendered a verdict. Cops are NOT judges OR juries and therefore have zero power under the law to do what they did in this video. I glad they all got fired and hope they are sent to prison where they belong. The only thing that separates them from the criminals they beat (while said criminals are unconscious) is they have government sanction to be a criminal. Cops are the biggest gang of all.

And, while I'm on my soapbox here, lets do away with these high speed chases on heavily congested interstates and densely in populated neighborhoods....especially if they are initiated because of drugs. Is it really worth innocent lives to chase down someone because they might have a joint or a rock on them? Just look at how many people could have been injured or killed because of the dumb ass, greedy, got-to-get-another-drug-feather-in-my-fucking-cap-so-we-can-get-more-BYRNE-grant-money-cops.

I will write more on this later. But do watch the video and go by the site linked above and leave your comments.


sixstring said...

Man, I can't believe all the idiots posting on

BigSamoan840 said...

I almost got sick watching this video last night on the news, and was floored by the lack of reaction from anyone I've talked to about it. I was listening to the Lex and Terry show this mourning on 105.5 The Vulcan, and they said they thought it was justafied, and said screw you birmingham for taking the jobs of these officers.

almoderate said...

While I don't condone the actions of the officers, the person in question is far from a simple drug bust and shouldn't be painted as just some innocent victim of a drug war.

Not only did he run down a cop during the chase (shown on the video), but he also has a long list of priors-- including burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, illegally possessing a gun, reckless driving, and attempted murder. The police officer who approached him wasn't merely doing so because of drugs, but also because he had some outstanding warrants. And while yes, the chase did put people in danger, I'm not exactly going to say that they should have just let him go.

Really, neither party needs to get off on this one.

Loretta Nall said...

I never tried to paint the guy who got beat while he was unconscious as a saint. But, regardless of his criminal past (which he served time for) the chase was started over a suspected drug deal. Here is the original story from Jan 2008. And police starting a chase over some minor shit like that is beyond the pale. There are things where a high speed chase through a major metropolitan area can be a sexual predator has kidnapped a child, or there is a murderer on the loose...but drugs?? That's bullshit.

And, when I watch the video it doesn't look to me like the guy tried to run over the cop on purpose. He was dodging the spike strip and the cop was in the middle of the road....which is a really dumb place to be when a high speed chase is happening.

The cops deserved to lose their jobs. They also deserve prison time in my book although I doubt they will ever see the inside of a jail cell. Justice is rarely served when police officers are involved. Seems they get to live by a different set of laws than we do.

almoderate said...

"Justice is rarely served when police officers are involved. Seems they get to live by a different set of laws than we do."

The thing is... This is more the exception than the rule. The people who are hurt most by police brutality are actually police officers. Most of them want to actually "protect and serve", and they put their lives on the line for very little pay and even less thanks to do that. When things like this happen, they're met with more hostility and regulations. It makes it harder to do their jobs.

I know you're no fan of police, but imagine what life would be like without them.

Yes, this started with a drug bust, and then the person in question got hostile. Had he just stayed and answered questions like a normal person, this never would have happened. Why is it the cop's fault that the suspect ran? The cop didn't make the laws. Was he just supposed to throw up his hands and say, "Oh well. Guess he got away,"?

And the officer who got hurt was laying down a spike strip-- which requires him to be in the middle of the road. That was in effort to stop the chase-- the same one that was putting innocent lives in danger. Excusing that he got injured by saying that he shouldn't have been in the road is like saying a cop shouldn't have been shot because he was trying to stop a bank robbery. The cop who got hurt was one who was actually doing his job-- not one of the ones involved in the beating.

Again, yes there are bad apples, and yes these guys should be punished, but please don't insinuate that there was no fault on part of the person being chased. And please don't insinuate that all cops are just glorified bullies. I can guarantee you that even these guys didn't set out to beat the crap out of an unconscious man. Rather, they were doing their jobs, and then with emotions running high after seeing a guy (who's plates they'd run by now and knew he'd had priors involving very dangerous crimes) run down one of their fellow officers, they did what most very scared and frustrated people would have done.

There are six seconds between the time this guy hit the ground and the time that the first officer got to him. He's got priors, and he's likely got drugs and/or adrenaline pumping through his system, which makes him still a possible danger. Now, after seeing one of your own get hurt by him, knowing that letting him go is not an option, knowing that you could be in danger, is your first instinct going to be to walk over slowly and check to see if he's conscious or to try to subdue him while you have an opening?

The only real difference in this scenario is that they're police officers, and we expect them (and rightfully so) to be held to a higher standard and to be able to maintain control over their emotions in these situations.

And no, there's no different set of rules for them. These guys can and likely will be prosecuted just like any other person. In fact, had this been someone other than a police officer, it's likely that they'd be able to justify the action as self-defense or could get away with a lesser sentence. A police officer actually has no such luxury. The same is true for soldiers. And again, considering their positions and training, it should be that way.

Loretta Nall said...

alamod I love you but you and I will just have to agree to disagree on this one. This chase was started when a BHAM cop witnessed a 'possible drug transaction' and initiated a high speed chase, jeopardizing everyone on the highway that day in an attempt to stop someone from ingesting a substance. It's ridiculous.

The cops in this case are no better than the guy the beat. They are as violent as his record indicates he was. Then they tried to cover it up by editing the tape to show the Hoover cop being hit and not the police beating the already unconscious guy who had just been thrown out of a van. Additionally, the cops signed up for dangerous work. How come when they face actual danger they whine and cry about it? And the public takes their side? Hell, it was part of the job description. If they can't handle it then they need to find a new line of work. Chances are they will just go down the road a bit and get hired by the Lipscomb Police Department. They'd fit right in. They didn't even check for signs of life. They have to follow the rules and when they don't they deserve to be fired and, in this case, jailed.

There are many, many cases where cops beat a suspect and get away with it. Rodney King, the guy who was killed on the eve of his wedding in New York a year or so ago, Abner Louima, an Alexander City cop, (Danny Ray), who beat a handcuffed suspect at the Talladega race track two years ago. He was allowed to keep working at the AC police department without even a mention in the local paper of what he had done. Until charges were filed that is. The chief said he saw no reason to fire the guy. Blaine Barnett, down in South Alabama, who tasered a guy while he was sitting in his truck and then proceeded to beat him over marijuana. The cops in Huntsville and Mobile who planted drugs on people or kept their haul for themselves. The list goes on and on and on.

Do I think all cops are bad? No. But I think the majority of them have the potential and the opportunity to be and many of them take it every chance they get. Why? They know their buddies will cover for them. And, because they are the cops and they think they won't get caught and even if they did no one would believe it because they are the cops and they are supposed to be the 'good guys'. In my opinion Officer Friendly no longer exists.

I think on the day that this chase happened the cop should have just let it go. They could have gotten a tag number and put out an APB on the van and eventually they would have gotten they guy. But, no. They wanted to catch him with a substance so they could put another drug war feather in their hats and apply for more BYRNE Grant money from the feds. All the other people on the roads be damned.