The cops seem to be much more likely to use extreme or disproportionate force if news trends have any relationship to reality.
Samantha Ramsey is dead at age 19 after trying to leave a field party in Hebron, Kentucky. This conflicting story is moving into national news, likely because both accounts of police action seem to indicate the use of inappropriate force. The police account states that the Ramsey refused to stop her car as ordered, rammed the officer, Tyler Brockman, propelling him onto on the hood. The cop drew his gun and shot four times into the car (with three occupants), killing Ramsey, the driver. One of the occupants disputes the police story, and claims that he was not rammed, and that he jumped on the hood and shot first. The officer in question is now on administrative leave, and the Sheriff’s office is keeping quiet about the incident, thus far.
Another party crasher story details the firing of Tennessee cop, Frank Phillips, who choked a non-resisting student who was being arrested for disorderly partying. Photos taken by a freelance photographer seem to indicate clearly that there was no justification for rendering the student unconscious while he was being cuffed. The Knox County Sheriff demoted all of the officers associated with this particular incident. (It IS an election year).
The DC Clothesline blog, details other recent cases of police over-kill, including separate incidents of two teens killed by cops who were summoned for assistance. In another case, an elderly man was beaten by cops, and now faces charges after he called an ambulance for help with his wife’s behavior. The woman, who suffers from dementia, has been removed to a nursing facility, while the man is suing cops for assault.
The take home? Militarized style police raids and disproportionate uses of force have risen precipitously. Calling the cops could result in unnecessary injury or fatalities. Think twice about whether the call is worth the risk.