Video: Man Attacks Baltimore Officer During Arrest Of Another Man

This video shows why officers often try to keep people at a distance during arrests. This man calmly walks up and attacks an officer who is trying to arrest another man.

The man is now looking at some serious charges — starting with assault of an officer and interference with an arrest. This is one case where the public videotaping of officers will assist the officers in bringing charges. While the kick in the face by a third officer may be viewed as on the line, it is likely that it would be considered permissible by police reviewers given the man’s resistance on the ground and the need to assist the first officer.

28 thoughts on “Video: Man Attacks Baltimore Officer During Arrest Of Another Man

  1. “We got that on tape!” Yep, and it exonerates the police officers, even the third officer (wearing soft sole shoes) appears to have kicked the assailant in the face soft sole shoes). Except where revelation of the officer’s identity constitutes a threat, law enforcement personnel should want their encounters taped.

  2. Corrections (sorry about that) —

    “We got that on tape!” Yep, and it exonerates the police officers, even the third officer (wearing soft sole shoes) who appears to have kicked the assailant in the face. Except where revelation of the officer’s identity constitutes a threat, law enforcement personnel should want their encounters taped.

  3. Regardless of the actual threat (and it was actual), a kick in the face when he was down is not justified. An officer never has the right nor does he have the permission to seek revenge. You can see the raw emotion on that kicking officer’s face. If you can’t cool your head and be effective in that situation, turn in your badge.

  4. Expecting officers to “fight fair” is how we get them killed. Both of the officers on the ground had lethal weapons on them. If the “bad guy” managed to get one of those guns this would have turned out a lot worse. The “kick to the face” allowed the officers to subdue this guy and regain control of the situation. Once a suspect attacks an officer he’s lucky not to be shot much less kicked in the face. Any time an officer is in a physical fight with a “bad guy” his life is in extreme danger and he should have the right to respond aggressively. The cop was just doing his job and some moron clocked him in the side of the head. That moron deserved what he got.

  5. Brian,

    I’m often as cynical about police tactics as the next guy, but the guy was not down when the kick happened, only in the loosest sense of he was on the ground. He was still actively engaged in wrestling with the officers where anything could of happened, up to grabbing the officers weapon. Few Baltimore officers are equipped with tasers so I doubt these officers were equipped with them, but if there was ever an appropriate time to use one to neutralize the situation much quicker this would of been it.

    There are mountains of reasons to have a low opinion of many officers, but this isn’t one of them.

    Did they end up catching the original suspect or was he long gone by that point?

  6. So . . . would it have been better to come in and grab the guy’s arms in order to prevent him from grabbing a gun, or was the kick to the face the wiser choice? A professional officer should have grabbed the arms, one of them was easily available in the video. He got an emotional kick to the face in before he went on to assist with the arrest. Not the kind of hothead I want walking around my city with a gun, even if he is wearing slippers.
    Immobilizing a guy by grabbing his free arm while he is on top of your colleague seems much more effective than kicking him in the face. Officers are trained, I believe, to try to keep a cool head and not act out of emotion. This officer, justifiably angry, sought revenge before doing his job and protecting his colleague.

  7. It is interesting that the original suspect seems to have gotten away. The kick in the face by a third officer was unwarranted. The assailant still had a hand on the officer, but he was no longer in imminent danger. The officer was actually trying to punch the assailant in the face when the third officer came into the picture. It is funny how the use of video may help convict the assailant. All officers should be filmed in every arrest situation as a matter of procedure and the film should be public record.

  8. I can’t believe I’m defending cops here, but there is no amount of training in the world that overcomes human emotion and knee-jerk reactions when a situation is developing. Whether its cops or pilots or anyone else. New science continues to explore this area pretty comprehensively. None of us are there, in that moment to assess that situation. I see definitively two cops at the onset of the situation and about 50 people crowded around in a town that is VERY, VERY rough and a situation that wasn’t under control to begin with and suddenly rapidly deteriorated from even that low point.

    This is one of those times that the video is going to help, not hurt, the officers involved.

  9. So . . . do you risk more involvement by the crowd if you grab the man’s arms or if you kick him in the face? If an officer with pepper spray, a gun, a baton and self-defense training cannot overcome “knee-jerk reactions”, he should not be a cop. He may get a pat on the back when he returns to the station, but he did not help his colleague by going with his knee-jerk reaction. An aggressive but professional cop is much more effective in a tough city than a cop who surrenders to knee-jerk reactions.

  10. Shouldn’t a third officer be there to arrest whoever owns the camera and a fourth to administer pepper spray on the first three and a fifth whose only purpose of being there is to deny medical attention to the other four and a sixth …

  11. I think your argument relies too much on the idea that training overcomes anything. Why did the pilots of the Air France pilots do exactly the opposite of their training when an emergency situation arose thus worsening the situation and causing their eventual demise?

    I’m not defending the kick, but I think the idea that adequate training will override reactions that fall outside of the training manual is off the mark.

    My hope is that the more we understand the science around our reactions, that will help improve training in the future to try and counteract the hardwired tendencies of humans, but in its present tense when the sh*t hits the fan its a rare individual that is going to follow the playbook play for play.

  12. “Any time an officer is in a physical fight with a ‘bad guy’ [and surrounded by an obviously hostile and uncooperative crowd] his life is in extreme danger and he should have the right to respond aggressively.” —

    Except for the opinion of someone who is a impartial, bona fide expert on the use of police force in the type of situation described in the sentence above, all other opinions concerning the actions of the third officer are like . . . well, you know the rest.

    Despite the popularity of a particular saying, I find more often than not that hindsight is blinded by bias and agendas.

    Now for the cynical me: the dumbest thing about the actions of the third officer is that it virtually guarantees a legal claim against the officer, the police department, and the city however, any official who attempts to take action against the third office other than the imposition of extra training on the use of force, will be excoriated by the police union, law and order types, and politicians.

  13. I agree with Brian. Legality aside, more than anything, the video highlights the need for better hand-to-hand training for officers. They farted around with the first guy for far too long and should’ve had him cuffed and gone long before the second guy had a chance to jump in. Once the second guy made the tackle, the officers all just kind of bonk him on the head ineffectually when the one on top (talking on his radio) was in a perfect position for a submission hold. Any submission hold. That was just sloppy, a high school wrestler would exert better control of the situation than the three heavily armed officers managed to here…

  14. You lost me on the comparison of a dangerous physical altercation with the impending crash of a jet plane.
    I agree that training does not overcome everything, afterall cops are still humans and citizens. But this hothead should get some help. He did not help this situation. In fact, by the look on his face, the guy with the camera is probably lucky that the officer was otherwise occupied. I doubt there will be any consequences whatsoever for his actions, which may embolden him in the future.

  15. Immediately before being kicked at 54 seconds the attacker was in the process of wrapping his arm around the neck of the officer on the ground and had nearly succeeded in doing so. The fight was still escalating at that point and had lasted about 15 seconds.

    After the kick the guy gave up and and was subdued in under 7 seconds. Looks like a great use of force to me.

    Which arm are you suggesting that the officer grab? The one pinned under him or the one around the neck of the officer on the ground?

    Additionally, it’s not clear from this video where the third officer came from or what he knew. He might have just approached the situation and saw a coworker on the ground with an assailants arm around his neck. Maybe it was a calculated way of removing the threat rather than a “knee jerk” reaction.

    Seriously dude. If you physically hit a police officer in the head while he’s only doing his job and then continue to fight with that officer you should expect to get kicked in the face.

  16. Brian: How are you lost? Do you think the same chemical reactions and brain processes and adrenaline flow is different from the two situations? Maybe in a superficial context, but we are primates and an emergency life-threatening situation is still an emergency life-threatening situation.

    Jink: Good analysis for the most part. To kick someone in the head is a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction regardless as I’m sure it falls outside the manual of what the academy taught them but is spot on when it comes to detailing that the situation was still dangerous, volatile and ongoing when the third officer arrived (Which could of been from anywhere). The guy wasn’t subdued in any capacity. If he was subdued (even before cuffs being applied), it would of been very out of line without question. As much as I despise tasers as they are used 99.9% of the time, this is the ideal time for an escalation of “non-lethal” force if there ever was one.

    Deadly Pacifist: I agree they should of wrapped the first guy up much quicker, esp. with that many people around. I think they were pretty lenient in not man handling him and reserved when they could of been a lot more forceful. He may of been in the position for a submission hold, but The Wire is not really all that exaggerated when it comes to depicting some neighborhoods in Baltimore… If I’m surrounded by 50 gawkers that are almost always openly hostile to law enforcement and agitated by their presence (esp. if arresting a relative or gang affiliate), am trying to subdue one guy and just get attacked by another you bet your ass if there is just two or three cops there I’m calling in the calvary first and foremost. In many ways this reminds me of the recent NYC subway video where the officer showed large amounts of restraint in attempting to peacefully detain and question the girls before being attacked. But once you poke the bear…

    Personally, I’m against police brutality and excessive force and am disgusted by the amount it occurs, but I’m also an eye for an eye guy, so I’m glad he got his just reward for punching someone in the face, cop or not.

  17. Brian your a moron and obviously not a LEO, your one of the idiots that says the cop should have shot the gun out of the suspects hand instead of shooting the suspect. The suspect or “crook” was in the process of assaulting a Police Officer and he is lucky that the officer gave him a single kick to the head and not a baton to the head.

  18. Well; I’m just a simple country Philosopher but it seems to me that once the physical fight begins; all’s fare; the only object being to subdue.

    Having said that i would be remiss if I failed to mention that I grew up in and around Baltimore city and my experience is that Baltimore Cops love to beat their victims; suspects.
    Could be either way in Charm City.

    I’ve known several of their victims and some who were not.

    Having said that I should also say that this Cop / Civilian—Brutality / Enforcement issue is a difficult one.

    At the same time we are witnessing the brutality of the Police all over the country; we are also stuck by our percieved need for Police protection.

    It is hard to back the cops; even when i see a video like this one because I can easily place the same cops at the scene of a peaceful protest beating the living shit out of some young girl (did you notice the disproportionate number of young girls and painfully thin boys the Police chose to beat and arrest at the OWS protest?)

    I imagine many german citizens felt this way in the thirties. like us; they saw their neighbors arrested, beaten, and hauled off for the least excuse; and this was before they started cracking down on the Jews.

    They didn’t do so well when confronted by the Fascists.

    Will we?

    I can’t seem to get my mind to solve this problem of the dual role of the Police in our lives and how the one role gets more and more violent and random in it’s actions.

    I must believe that their role as our protectors will suffer; has suffered; may die.

  19. As a largely ignorant amateur, my sense is that while kicking the guy in the face probably wasn’t the single best course of action for that officer, it seems to be adequate. Everything about that situation was ugly, and it’s a good thing no one was seriously injured or killed. Hopefully that video will be used to train police to address every part of that situation better.

    But the interesting thing to me was that the officers making the initial arrest didn’t seem too concerned about the middle-aged white guy walking directly up to them while they were trying to cuff the initial guy. The officers don’t seem to even notice him approaching.

    What was the attacker’s motivation? He’s clearly not significantly drunk. Did he have a personal beef with the officer he attacked? Was he distracting them so the guy on the ground could get away? WTF?

    OK, the Baltimore Sun has some more info, but it’s hardly a clear explanation of what happened:

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/blog/bal-video-shows-man-attack-city-officer-during-other-mans-arrest-20120103,0,6145735.story

  20. I have a problem with the use of force, the non use by the black officer. What a BITCH! When someone attacks a fellow officer,in front of you, it’s time to Handel up! They treated that savage to nice.

  21. Angryman, I didn’t realize Baltimore was considered the country.

    You’re right, if you’re in a fight it’s no holds barred if you want to live. The graveyards are full of cops and soldiers who fought the fair fight.

    As for skinny kids and girls if you throw urine and feces on anyone you will get beat, period. And I’m sure they would be much bigger, the occupy bunch, if they tried eating more food instead of doing so many drugs. As far as your comment about police brutality I have two suggestions. Don’t F with the police, and don’t f with a Pitbull,make sense?

  22. sunsaint,

    How refreshing to hear from a new vioce. Just as fascist as others but with a slight lyrical twist.

    “Angryman, I didn’t realize Baltimore was considered the country.”

    I said I grew up in and around Baltimore. I am now 53 and have resided in a rural county for the past twenty-five years thus; Simple Country Philosopher.
    Also i do not accept the suggestion that a simple country philosopher might not live in the City; any city; as the basic values and personality traits that determine the nature of ones life pholosophy are not neccesarily tied to ones location but are influenced by ones parents and friends as well as ones understanding of God/Nature and ones own life experience.

    “As for skinny kids and girls if you throw urine and feces on anyone you will get beat, period.”

    Ah; now here is where the Fascist or the Uninformed shows itself.

    First: I have seen no proof that actions such as you desribe took place. Only hearsay testimony of the cops doing the beating.

    Second: the Police were engaged in an illegal action against American citizens engaged in legal excersise of their first Amendment rights as set out in the Constitution.

    The Police were ordered to break up a legal protest; by Police officials who had been paid millions of dollars by the Fascist Wall Street Bankers to disperse the protesters using abusive and harmful techniques thereby turning the NYPD into a private mercenary unit of the Bankers; deserving of no respect or tollerance in a free society.

    “And I’m sure they would be much bigger, the occupy bunch, if they tried eating more food instead of doing so many drugs.”

    Perhaps Yes. perhaps they would eat more food if their pay wasn’t so low; prices so high; there were jobs to be had; the 1% wasn’t hoarding all the money; millions of American jobs hadn’t been shipped overseas to feed the corporate greed and lust for power; and the corporations weren’t in total control of the government to our detriment and destruction……Perhaps.

    “As far as your comment about police brutality I have two suggestions. Don’t F with the police, and don’t f with a Pitbull,make sense?”

    No not really. Um….the Police have no business fucking with me. The Police are there to protect citizens not abuse them (of course we have moved on from the video which was as i say an obvious case of self defence). police actions all over this country have escalated to a point where it is always in doubt as to whether an action was neccesary or just another case of police sensing the mood of their 1% Masters and using it as an excuse to practice their over-the-top beat down procedures and chemical weapons.

    Apparently you have no problem with this. you say just bow down to the Mercenaries of our Oppressors

    I guess if you don’t see the 1% as your oppressors you either are one of them or you work for them.

  23. Hey Brian,

    You are an absolute idiot. In a fight there are no rules. When you were in a fight did you tell the other guy, no kicking, no biting, no punching. No you idiot you fought, you did was needed to get the job done. Whether it was right or wrong. The guy should have stayed in the crowd and let the officer do his job and make the arrest of another subject, but the idoit much like you thinks they have the right to do what they want. So next time you are being assaulted or robbed don’t call the police you may not like the fact that they have to get their hands a little dirty to get the job done. I suggest you go for a ride along, it will change your rose colored glasses view of the world. The guy had the officer in a head lock, which equals choke hold, and could have killed the officer. The kick to the face worked as other officers had try to pull the guy off.

    So in review,,,,,you are an idiot.

    The Citizens of Baltimore

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