Disabled Man Thrown Face Down From Wheelchair By Police — Police Later Claim He Fell Out of The Chair

This video has raised serious concerns of how the D.C. Metro transit officers put a wheelchaired man into custody. The video shows the officers slamming the man face first into the concrete. Later you can see the man is laying near a pool of blood.

I do not know the reason for the arrest, but the face plant is disturbing. There are two officers arresting a handicapped and unarmed individual. It is hard to see why it was necessary to throw him face first onto the cement.

What is equally disturbing is the statement by the Metro police that the man resisted arrest, “which resulted in him falling out of his wheelchair.” Falling out of his wheelchair? There is a history in D.C. of high-ranking police officers denying misconduct shown on video to clear officers, as in the controversy involving Internal Affair head Assistant Chief Peter Newsham. The question is who approved the statement that this man “fall out of his wheelchair”? That is a rather bold and reckless statement before the conclusion of an investigation into whether he was the subject of excessive force.

The Washington Post article below does not address the striking disconnect with that official statement and the video. Hopefully there will be a follow up on this story.

Source: Washington Post

Kudos: Anna Smith

25 thoughts on “Disabled Man Thrown Face Down From Wheelchair By Police — Police Later Claim He Fell Out of The Chair”

  1. Pete,

    They’d have to suffer from the same hell as you and I…

  2. wonder what would happen if, while trying to subdue a dangerous felon in an electric wheelchair, the brave officers shot a taser at said felon, missing felon and hitting the electrical controls of the electric wheelchair.


    (where are the mythbusters when you need them)

  3. That was a disgusting video! Those officers need to be indicted and charged with misconduct and assault. Horrible.

  4. What if a crowd of people who witnessed the act tried to do a citizens arrest of the two officers for assault, which clearly the video demonstrates?

  5. Blouise:

    “the patron resisted arrest which resulted in him falling out of his wheelchair.”
    But Harris said, “I did not resist any type of arrest. I’m disabled, as you can see, how can I resist? They picked me up out of my chair and forced me to the ground.”
    Harris is homeless and has been a fixture on U Street for years. The lifelong D.C. resident sells newspapers and is known by many who describe him as harmless.”

    Mr. Harris paper selling days should soon be coming to and end thanks to the video.Now they will know him as compensated.

  6. Now if the “official Policy” is not to remove a handicapped person from a wheelchair, can the bullies be sued civilly? ( not the city)

  7. If you exclude them driving like morons, it’s probably way past the point where more innocent people are injured and killed by cops than are injured and killed.

    If not by overall numbers, I’d certainly argue a larger percentage of cops have harmed an innocent than % of the populace has harmed a cop.

    And there are still people out there who oppose individual gun ownership. Don’t get it.

  8. You should never remove people in wheelchairs from their chairs if you don’t have a suitable place to put them and and don’t know what you’re doing. Using his arms to move him like the police were doing just proves that they hadn’t a clue how to do it. Using his belt for leverage if he can’t assist in rising by himself does not make it anywhere near an appropriate transfer. You’re right, they were just using bullyboy tactics.

    With luck, after he sues them, he won’t be homeless. Karma baby, karma.

  9. At least with a Video….the victim will still exist….but for the times…I wonder how many would still be alive today…

  10. Development phase of the response policy of Police being taped.

    “Who are you going to believe, someone that was not there or your lying eyes”

  11. “Bullies with badges. I don’t like bullies.” -Nal

    Thanks for that, Nal. My language might be a little stronger, but… A whole lot of bullying goin’ on these days.

  12. It reminds me of my ordeal in Paris last month. that my daughter and I, she an English as a second language teacher and I a registered nurse, suffered at the hands of the French police in a metro station on Easter Sunday night. They pushed me from behind while my hands were cuffed behind my back and I smashed to the cement floor in the Gore Du Nord metro station. One minute we were drinking a few martinis in a French cafe in Paris meeting great people and the next being arrested and dragged to a station and terrorized and beaten for almost 48 hours when they told us we were free to go with no charges against us. I was looking for my metro ticket that I paid 30 euros for while sitting on the floor of the metro because there was nothing to sit on. We were approached by a man who began harassing us in French. we told him to leave us alone. Later we found out was a metro worker.They claimed we were drunk and violent. WE WERE NOT, JUST SCARED TO PIECES. What happened was an absolute nightmare. We did nothing wrong. I hear the French police want to strike because they’re not allowed to drink alcohol on the job anymore.They are insane drinking or not. Here’s a picture of me one hour before the arrest

    Here is a picture of me two days later. Please note the bar and bench in the lower right hand corner of the picture that we were shackled to almost continuously between interrogations and hospital visits for over 40 hours.

  13. It is hard to see why it was necessary to throw him face first onto the cement. -Jonathan Turley

    “It is hard to see…” because it wasn’t necessary, of course…
    Dispicable — nothing more, nothing less. Some of these cops love to throw their weight around…

  14. Hey….who was that person videoing the assault….did they get the officers permission….Arrest them now….

    I suppose the police like it when a person films others committing crimes….then there is no forth issue…because its not police conduct or an agent of the police…..

    But it seems like…they do not like the converse…

  15. Truth,new normal =”video”.

    Without it today you are up that creek with no paddle.

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