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Cases of Police Brutality and Heroism

Updated on January 11, 2020
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ME has spent most of his retirement from service to the United States studying, thinking, and writing about the country he served.


Good Cop, Bad Cop

Images of police brutality and heroism have been ubiquitous in the news. I thought it might be worthwhile to document some of them.

November 2019 - "It's a lie, but it's fun" - Bad Cop

Sometime in 2018, in Seattle, Washington, there was a hit-and-run fender-bender; nobody was really hurt. In order to flush out the runner, however, a police office put out the ruse (lie) that the women driver of the car that was hit was in "critical condition" and "might not survive". That word got to the run-away driver and caused him to worry. Apparently, he worried so much that he might have killed her that less than a week after the crash, he eventually committed suicide over the possibility. Nobody says why he didn't turn himself in.

In November 2019, Seattle Police Office of Police Accountability ruled that the officer in question (everybody is unnamed) was partially responsible for the suicide. They said:

""The ruse ultimately contributed to the subject's subsequent suicide," Andrew Myerberg, the civilian director of the OPA, said in a letter to Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best."

As it turned out, the lie was pre-planned because "it was fun".

"Before arriving to the house, the officer told his partner that he would use the ruse if they found the suspect and said "it's a lie, but it's fun," his partner recalled, according to the OPA report."

May 2018 - Bad Cop

On May 10, 2018, four white police officers killed an unarmed, 22-year old black man in Jefferson Parrish, Louisiana. Keevan Robinson was being investigated for narcotics crimes and when the police went to arrest him, he ran. He damaged several police cars, jumped fences, and resisted arrest. When the officers finally got off of him, he was dead. The coroner ruled it a homicide because of evidence that one or more of the officers choked Robinson to death.

Jefferson Parrish police carry neither body cams nor dash cams.

November 2016 - Bad Cop

On Nov 11, 2016, a uniformed Arizona police officer was caught on camera punching a woman in the face. Apparently, there was a warrant still out for her arrest even though she told the police the issued had been resolved and the warrant dropped.

“You cannot arrest me until I know I have a warrant,” she tells the officers as she struggles with them. At that point, one of the officers, Jeff Bonar punches her hard in the face even though she appears to be restrained by a second officer - twice.

They finally cuffed and arrested her for resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. The incident was witnessed by her husband and children as well as many by-standers. One, who filmed the assault and released it on Facebook, yelled at Bonar, "Hey, you can't hit a girl like that" and to Morris as she was being put in the police car, "I got it on video, Merrisa".

More than a year later, Bonar who had resigned earlier, was charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault. In a plea deal, he pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to six months probation. Merrisa Morris was unhappy with that outcome saying that she "felt that he deserved the felony charges and a harsher penalty," and that she "feels that he's getting special treatment because he was a police officer."

If Bonar successfully finishes is probation and anger management classes, his record will be expunged.

July 2016 - Bad Cop

Alton Sterling, 37 year old unarmed black man was shot and killed by white Baton Rouge, Louisiana police officers Howie Lake II and Blane Salamoni.

After receiving an anonymous call by someone saying Sterling threatened them with a handgun. Lake and Salamoni arrived at a small grocery where it was reported that Sterling was selling CDs. The officers claim that they first used a stun gun on Sterling before tackling him to the ground. After one of the officers shouted that Sterling had a gun, multiple shots were fired into Sterling's chest and back. Sterling did not have a gun.

In 2017, the federal government refused to file civil rights violation charges and the case was never put before a local grand jury. The Louisiana attorney general would not bring charges.

July 2016 - Good Cops

On July 7, 2016, at a Dallas, TX protest, a sniper, Micah Johnson, opened fire on the crowd demonstrating against police who shot 2 fatal shootings of black men by white police. His target was the police. In the melee, officers Patrick Zamarripa, Brent Thompson, Lorne Ahrens, Michael Smith and Michael Krol died; several died heroes saving a black women and her son.

Shetamia Taylor, 37, who is black, said several white cops threw themselves between her and the assassin. She was there to take her children to the march so the family could protest the shootings. Taylor ran behind others who were fleeing, but was hit by a bullet in the back of her leg. Taylor told reporters “My son went to grab me, but I was already shot so I grabbed him and lay on top of him,” That’s when an officer got on top of her to shield both her and her son from the onslaught of bullets. Another cop protected at her feet while another stood close and protected us. All these cops were white and Taylor said as a result she gained made her “admiration for police greater.”

This is on July 16, 2016 in Homestead, PA. Four police were eating in a Eat 'n Park restaurant when some diners walked in. Tensions had run high nationally after high-profile police shootings of black men this month and a sniper attack on officers in Dallas, Texas so when some other diners entered, they were very wary of the cops and asked not to be seated near them. The police assured them there was no need to be afraid, but afraid they were.

Rather than get all huffy and defensive, the cops decided to make their point by paying the diner's $28.58 bill, plus a large tip. They also added a note that said "

“Sir, your check was paid for by the police officers you didn’t want to sit next to. Thank you for your support,”

It all ended amicably. One of the couple thanked the men in blue and gave them a smile, according to reports.

Bad Cop Viral Videos

June 2016 - Good Cop

On Jun 12, 2016, after 49 people were murdered and many, many more were injured by a domestic terrorist, Corporal Omar Delgado of the Eatonville, Florida police department went through the carnage to find and help survivors. As a result, many lived that might have died; most consider him a hero.

One result his unbelievably horrible experienced, he developed PTSD. Now here is the kicker - the police department is firing him because he can't go back out on patrol, they are firing him - six months before he would qualify for a full pension. By the way, he is black.

Graphic Video of Anton Sterling Shooting

© 2018 Scott Belford


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