“I want to know what happened before…”, a conservative friend commented when she saw that I posted this link. My friend was insinuating that depending on what occurred before the video began to record, the officer might have been justified in beating the restrained woman. The link leads to an article and a video which describe and show a Wildwood, NJ police officer punching a woman in the head while another officer holds her down. A few seconds into the video, a third officer enters and holds down her legs so that she can’t defend herself from the unprovoked attack. According to the article, the officer approached a 20 year old mother for allegedly ‘possessing alcoholic beverages’ while on the beach. She told the officer that she was not drinking and she complied with the officer’s demand to take a breathalyzer test, which she passed. The officer then followed her around and asked for her name, which she was hesitant to give to the rude man who was following her and asking her questions, which is understandable. In fact, it’s what many people teach their daughters to do.
I replied to my misled friend that it didn’t matter what the woman was doing prior to the beginning of the recording.
I then asked my friend whether she knew what the actual role of law enforcement was. She does not know, and millions of Americans seem to be confused on the matter as well. The sole responsibility of law enforcement is to bring the suspect into the justice system (where a judge, jury, prosecutor, and defense attorney are to be present). The justice system determines whether to convict and punish the suspect. If the suspect were to be convicted by the justice system, they could then be punished and referred to as ‘convicts’ or ‘criminals’. This is how the current justice system is supposed to operate. Police bring suspects to the justice system, and the justice system determines them to be innocent or guilty. I ask that you please read that last paragraph again and again until you recognize the difference between the role of police and the role of the justice system. If you believe that police can punish people, there is no need for the justice system. Let’s abolish all courts, prosecutors, and juries. If police should not be beating people up ‘to teach them a lesson’ like conservatives tend to believe, then let’s start convicting these cops of violent crime when they beat people up or kill or rape them. I sincerely hope that this is not brushed under the rug by the media since the victim does not seem to be a racial minority. In ancient American history, society used to consider suspects to be innocent until proven guilty. In our current police state nation, suspects are whatever law enforcement says they are.
The bodycam footage from the officer has been released. It seems to confirm that the officer beat this woman for no reason. It also confirms that law enforcement are currently being trained to purposely escalate situations in order to justify using force and/or arresting individuals. This is extremely unfortunate.
CBS reports that the officer seemingly turned off his bodycam twice during the incident.
The report also seems to indicate that the police officers initially approached the 20 year old beach-goer because her towel seemed to have a can of beer on it. It was unopened and belonged to the woman’s aunt.