California Police Under Investigation After Beating Of Suspect Caught On Videotape

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 11.43.07 PMThere is another controversy over the level of force used in an arrest. The latest such controversy comes from Salinas California where police are investigating a new videotape and witness complaints about a beating given to a mentally ill who was being arrested after shoving his mother into a busy street. While 28-year-old Jose Velasco is shown trying to rise at one point, police below are shown beating him with batons and shooting him with Tasers while he is on the ground.

Officers said that they found Velasco screaming, running into traffic, jumping on cars, and attacking his mother. Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin insisted that Velasco was “a violent man assaulting his own mother” but admitted that the videotape raised serious concerns about the police response.

The police stated that when officers responded, they “saw Jose Velasco slamming the female’s body into the pavement of the northbound lane of North Main Street while heavy traffic was passing by. As the officers tried to get Velasco off of his mother by pulling him away, Velasco began to violently resist and attacked the officers.” Thet would certainly justify the use of force in my view. There is a danger in viewing such scenes with the benefit of hindsight and distance. Officers often have to act quickly and, when an individual is clearly a danger to himself and others, they often have to use force. The problem here is not necessarily the force initially used but the extent and the length of time involved in the use the use of force. That concern is particularly great with regard to the second officer who arrives and continues to beat Velasco with a baton as other officers are sitting on him or holding him.

The videotape is another example of the value of videotape in the proving of police abuse. We have been following the continuing abuse of citizens who are detained or arrested for filming police in public. Despite consistent rulings upholding the right of citizens to film police in public, such abuses continue as well as efforts to curtail this right.

What do you think?

Source: NBC

92 thoughts on “California Police Under Investigation After Beating Of Suspect Caught On Videotape”

  1. [Nick; what do you want the police to do arm wrestle the perp, Leo Terrel [a left wing L.A. radio commentator ] said that” police shouldn’t draw their weapon unless they see a weapon.” The police aren’t paid to fight the perps

  2. I have said here many time, martial arts should be required training for all cops. If I were a female cop I would not go out onto the streets w/o knowing one of the martial arts.

  3. Michael Donner, I wondered how it was that people who regularly deal with sometimes out-of-control patients managed to deal with them without firearms, tasers, and batons.. Some teachers, those who have to deal with out-of-control students, get special training in how to restrain them without firearms, tasers, and batons. Cops seem to be weaker, in mind and body, than teachers and orderlies.

    1. I don’t think weaker. Their training is based on command and control, not safe restraint. To be fair, none of my staff had a gun, and I believe that police are very concerned about losing their weapon in a struggle. However teaching a different model of managing aggressive behavior could minimize the sort of violence seen here.

    2. bettykath – I don’t know if you say the court case, but a man with a fairly decent IQ was turned down by the police. He then sued because his scores were higher than anyone else. There defense was that he would be bored with the job. They wanted police with an IQ of about IQ. Would you want your teachers to have an IQ of about 100? Then again. Only a few of the teachers, who work special ed, do the take down, it it not the entire staff.

  4. Michael Donner

    Finally, someone with some common sense. The beatings the police lay in on suspects are to establish absolute authority. Beatings are expected to subdue as well but their primary function is to state that the police will trump whatever you feel you have, be it with a gun or baton. This was evident in McKinney when the officer pulled his gun out so quickly.

    There is a better way and it does exist in the US and other countries. The first step in fixing a problem is admitting there is one. Some members of the police forces in the US have serious problems regarding their function and to whom they are responsible. The police are not responsible to the police but to the public.

    The next step after realizing and accepting the problem is to simply develop less damaging and perhaps more effective ways of subduing a suspect. The one size fits all routine is demeaning and creates more of a distance between the police and the public. Handcuffing teenagers at a pool party accomplishes nothing but creating disdain for the police.

    The primary relationship between the public and the police should be built on respect going both ways. Intelligent use of force contributes to the public’s respect for their police. It seems apparent that fear and beatings mean nothing to a mentally disturbed person high on drugs. That the police used this sort of argument simply illustrates that they are lacking in arguments. In our society with enough mentally deranged people and/or drugged individuals turning up, one would expect there be some sort of system akin to capturing a bear or other wild animal. A net and two officers would suffice and no one would get hurt. But instead the first inclination is to beat the crazy out of the individual with batons and boots. This is not an exhibition of policing but of pent up anger and poorly trained and perhaps inappropriate individuals.

    1. issac – you have never captured a bear have you. You are out of your depth on the rest of the stuff, too.

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