"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of police brutality?"
In what has quickly become viral as yet another example of extreme (and unchecked) police behavior against the people, California Highway Patrol says that it is investigating footage posted on YouTube that shows a policeman repeatedly punching the face and head of a prostrate woman. As the disturbing clip shows, "the policeman just pounded her," and described by a witness, "If you look at the video, there are 15 hits. To the head, and not just simple jabs. These are blows to the head. Blows. Really serious blows. And this is ridiculous to me... I find it hard to believe there [was] no other remedy in this situation."
Happy Birthday America?
As The BBC reports, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) says that it is looking into the details of the incident, which has been condemned by civil rights leaders.
As a matter of policy, every time there is a use of force by our officers, there is a review conducted to determine whether the use of force was appropriate," a CHP statement said.
"That will be done in this case. However, since there is an ongoing investigation, it would be premature to comment on this specific video segment without reviewing the entire incident."
When the video starts, the officer is seen trying to detain the barefooted woman, who walks a few steps away from him.
But the officer is seen forcing her to the ground, briefly struggling with her before repeatedly pummelling her. A few moments later, a plainclothes officer enters the picture and helps his colleague put the woman in handcuffs.
A CHP spokesperson was quoted by CBS Los Angeles on Friday as saying that the agency was trying to bring Tuesday's incident "to a just conclusion".
Starting at around 15 seconds, the CHP officer just loses it...
But, as CBS reports, the community wants answers...
The video caught the attention of local civil rights leaders, who expressed shock and outrage at their own news conference.
"Speaking for the women of this community, we are angry, we are upset," said Lita Herron of the Youth Advocacy Coalition.
Community activist Earl Ofari Hutchinson, speaking at the local leaders' news conference, agreed.
"Over the years, CHP has had a very good track record in terms of community relations," Hutchinson said. "That's why this was so shocking."
But Hutchinson said that "excessive force, abuse of authority, is not going to be tolerated," calling for a federal investigation and for the officer to be immediately suspended pending the results of the federal probe, reports CBS Los Angeles.
Hutchinson said the group has not received any information from the CHP about the context of the video, although he could not think of a reason that could justify the officer's actions.
"We don't know at this point [what occurred before the recording]. The only thing we have the video," he said, insisting that no matter what transpired "the officer crossed the line."
"To subdue, that's one thing. But to beat, that's another thing," Hutchinson said.
CHF Chief Chris O'Quinn added...
"I can say that the tape only shows a small part of what transpired. There are events that led up to this. Until that's collected and put into -- perspective, we aren't going to be able to make a determination."
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Perhaps the SWATification of America's police force is going to their heads, and the fact that America is rapidly becoming a consequence-free nation, at least judging by America's so-called leaders.