Pittsburgh Police Officers Beat and Taser Fan

This video is raising some obvious concerns over the use of force against a fan in Pittsburgh. The fan, Scott Ashley, 41, seems pretty obnoxious and does shove a guy on the way out of the stadium but the officer appears to start to beat him over his verbal confrontation with the officer.

Ashley was being forced to leave the game between the Rockies and Pirates in the 6th inning because of his use of foul language and bothering other fans. He is shown walking down the stairs as fans begin chanting “USA, USA” — referencing his windbreaker. When he reached the bottom, he shoves a fan after failing to connect on a high five. The man is clearly a bit of a brute and deserving of being tossed out of the game. The question is whether he deserved the beating. The officer seems to strike out when Ashley talks back to him.

From the video, it would seem a strong case for excessive force by the officers who began in the right and appeared to end in the wrong. The fact that Ashley was not moving toward the officer and held any weapon is highly material in any review of the police conduct. The extent of the beating that followed also seems unjustified.

Source: The Examiner

29 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Police Officers Beat and Taser Fan”

  1. I do not believe that this sort of thing is a new phenomena, what is new is the presence of millions of video cameras. The white, middle and upper class society has been shielded from the reality of interaction with law enforcement. As children we were taught “policemen are your friends”. But any examination of the history of law enforcement shows that these stories, almost always ‘unverified’ happen with frightening regularity.

    Being a cop is a crumby job in a lot of ways; it eats at your soul and creates a mind-set that can justify all sorts of bad behavior.

  2. I downloaded that video and stepped through it frame by frame. It seems to me to have been edited to make what happened appear much worse than it was, with some events repeated as though they happened more than they really did. Some of the edits are fairly obvious with a full-screen playback at normal speed, some are more subtle; yet there is considerable repetition in that video clip.

    So, as best I can tell, after close study of the video one frame at a time, what happened may or may not have been police over-reaction; what is on YouTube does not allow me to sort that out.

  3. Blouise,

    That is the problem with giving officer immediate employment after a military stint…. they have no civilian training…they were trained that you have no rights and you give those up when you enlist…. makes for bad juju…

  4. Given my vantage point — given what I’m seeing — you’re spot-on, Blouise.

  5. I’m beginning to think that the police have become more like a foreign occupying army …

  6. No one saw what he did in the stands to get ejected from the stadium. The man went to high five a bystander and a stadium employee put his hand up to stop him and in turn assaulted the employee. Obviously the guy was not obeying the commands of the officer. You typically get a beat down for that.

  7. Did you see how the fan repeatedly used his head and body to attack that cop’s billy club? That’s why the fan was charged with resisting arrest. He just wouldn’t stop hitting the cop’s club.

  8. Sure looks like a clear case of obstructing an officer to me?

  9. I think the Internet is totally wonderful.

    And it is new.

    When I was first imprisoned without a bail hearing or a criminal charge no one had ever heard of “blogging”. That really first started in late 2006 / 2007.

  10. billmcwilliams,

    “If it weren’t for the Internet, even most self-described liberals
    would probably deny that this kind of incident happens more than once in a blue moon.”

    Never ASS-U-me, sport …

  11. If it weren’t for the Internet, even most self-described liberals
    would probably deny that this kind of incident happens more than once in a blue moon.

  12. According to the FBI web site

    Excessive force: In making arrests, maintaining order, and defending life, law enforcement officers are allowed to use whatever force is “reasonably” necessary. The breadth and scope of the use of force is vast—from just the physical presence of the officer…to the use of deadly force. Violations of federal law occur when it can be shown that the force used was willfully “unreasonable” or “excessive.”

    I recently emailed to the FBI regarding a federal crime. They responded on March 17

    Thank you for your email. As described more fully on our web page, with the exception of cases brought under RLUIPA and FACE, the Special Litigation Section has authority to seek remedies for patterns or practices of misconduct, but not single instances of injury, and does
    not have authority to represent individuals. Information about single instances of misconduct is nevertheless valuable to us in determining whether a pattern or practice investigation is warranted in a particular
    jurisdiction. We will review your message and respond to you as soon as we are able.

    I have not heard back anything else. I emailed to them again and received the exact same message.

  13. These officers should be thrown off the police force. I did not know that being an idiot with a big mouth is grounds for a beating. I hope this guy can sue the officers and the Pirates for this outrageous behavior.
    Is that Sheriff Joe’s prison? He thinks he is King so this officer will not be sanctioned!

  14. Brutality and torture by police is going on all day every day in this country. No doubt we will see officers laughing as they beat and taser their subjects in the videos to come. Police operate with near total impunity.

    The embedded version of the video JT shows above is not the original poster, but the account did have a telling collection of videos of police brutality across the globe, including what goes on once Americans are in the custody of the State:


  15. IT APPEARS THAT the officer appears to have slipped…. How the hell did the person with the camera get away…. I bet that this does not happen again..

  16. Judge rules in favor of officer in Rodeman case

    Facts of Rodeman case still to be determined at April trial

    By Jack Weinstein Friday, February 11, 2011
    Steamboat Pilot

    Steamboat Springs — A U.S. District Court judge ruled Wednesday that former Oak Creek Police Department officer Erik Foster didn’t use excessive force when he used a Taser to subdue the town’s former mayor, Kathy “Cargo” Rode man, during a 2008 arrest.

    The ruling came from a request for summary judgment from Foster and the town of Oak Creek, which is involved in an ongoing civil lawsuit with Rodeman stemming from her arrest.

    U.S. District Judge Phillip A. Brimmer ruled that Foster thought his safety was at risk, that excessive force was necessary to ensure his safety and that Rodeman resisted arrest.

    “Sgt. Foster gave plaintiff several warnings and plaintiff had ample opportunity to comply with his commands but still refused to cooperate,” Brimmer wrote. “Sgt. Foster’s decision to deploy his Taser to force plaintiff to comply was, therefore, objectively reasonable.”

    Bri mmer’s ruling, however, didn’t determine whether Foster had probable cause to enter Rodeman’s home because the facts are in dispute.

    Foster arrested Rodeman on July 19, 2008. Foster has said he tried to pull Rodeman over in her car because she failed to use her turn signal and said she then fled to her home. Foster has said he pursued Rodeman into her home and used a Taser to subdue and arrest her because she wasn’t cooperating.

    Rodeman has said that she didn’t commit any traffic infractions and that Foster unlawfully forced his way into her home and used excessive force when he stunned her with a Taser.

    Colorado Springs lawyer Gordon L. Vaughan, who is representing Oak Creek, said in an e-mail that whether Foster had probable cause to enter Rodeman’s home would be determined when the case goes to trial in April.

    “I am happy that the court has determined, as a matter of fact and law, that Ms. Rodeman failed to comply with numerous orders of Officer Foster and that Officer Foster’s decision to tase her was objectively reasonable,” Vaughan wrote.

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