12 Videos That Show The Difference Between What Cops Said And What Actually Happened
Few aspects of policing attract more scrutiny than an officer’s use of force. And as people around the nation continue to voice concerns about the contentious relationship between citizens and law enforcement, it’s become clear that police and the policed often have drastically different interpretations of the same incidents.
A number of high-profile cases over the past few years suggest that something even more disturbing can happen when police are given the responsibility of self-reporting violence. The instances below offer clear evidence of cops – and in some cases, their superiors – attempting to sanitize, mischaracterize or simply lie about the use of force.
They raise disquieting questions about what might have happened if videos of the incidents had never surfaced – and how many similar incidents never become known to the public.
1. “The shackles accidentally hit one of her arms.”
The incident captured in the above surveillance video. Saulny can be seen repeatedly striking a 16-year-old girl who was in a holding cell following an arrest.
Saulny reportedly informed his supervisor immediately following the encounter, which left the girl with minor injuries, according to a police report.
But you watch the video, that clearly show what really happened.
2. “The officer ‘escorted [the suspect] to the floor.’”
In his own report, Walker wrote that he “forcefully threw Ms. Acker … face down on the ground.” He claimed that Acker was intoxicated and combative prior to arriving at the hospital, and said the kick was valid cause for him to respond with force. The lawsuit claims Acker sustained significant injuries from the takedown, including facial trauma, a concussion and problems with memory and cognitive function, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Walker is still employed by the Colorado Springs Police Department.
3. “A physical altercation ensued.”
A passing motorist filmed as California Highway Patrol Officer Daniel Andrew rained blows down on Marlene Pinnock, a 51-year-old grandmother who was walking along a freeway. A CHP incident summary of the incident claimed that Pinnock became “physically combative” when Andrew attempted to pull her away from traffic, at which time “a physical altercation ensued."
4. Officer "placed his arm around” a teen and tried to “console” him.
According to WFAA, Rossi’s official police report claimed the boy had started to cry, and that Rossi had placed his arm around the boy to “console” him. The report didn’t mention his threat to the teen. Rossi later faced an internal investigation and described his remarks as a “verbal technique that I’ve used to try to calm down people or suspects in my career with no intention of ever meaning the words I say.” He also denied making false statements on his initial report.
Rossi is still employed by the Dallas Police Department.
5. Officer hit suspect “several times with a closed right fist."
In the video above, police in Inkster, Michigan, are seen beating 57-year-old Floyd Dent during a January traffic stop. Officer William Melendez, the cop seen pummeling Dent, later suggested in an official report that Dent looked like he was on drugs at the time and that he’d verbally threatened officers before the altercation. Melendez also claimed that he hit Dent "several times with a closed right fist” after Dent bit him on the arm. In this case, “several” means 16.
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