Criminal Justice

Magic Words to Repeat While Beating Inmates Unconscious: "Stop Resisting"


The Los Angeles Times reports that Esther Lim of the ACLU was visiting an inmate in L.A.'s massive Twin Towers Jail when she witnessed the following:

[Inmate James] Parker, 35, was charged Monday with felony counts of battery and resisting an officer in connection with the incident. According to Lim's account, Parker was lying on his stomach, looking "unconscious" or "even dead." [Deputies] Hirsch and Ochoa, she said, simultaneously punched him and kneed him. Parker, she said, never put up his hands to protect his head, which Lim took as a sign that he had lost consciousness. […]

Lim called the deputies' account a fabrication, saying inmate James Parker was so still while being beaten that she worried he was dead. During the incident, she said the deputies monotonously repeated "stop resisting" and "stop fighting" as though they "were reading from a script."

That may sound like the grade school taunt "stop hitting yourself," but Lim claims law enforcement personnel employ such phrases to help immunize themselves from prosecution:

Lim said the ACLU commonly receives complaints from inmates who say deputies beat them while repeating "stop resisting" commands, even when the inmates aren't resisting. Lim said she suspects the deputies involved in this incident recited the commands as a ruse to later justify their actions with the help of a jailhouse recording or other deputies who may have heard their commands.

Read the whole story here. Reason's criminal justice coverage is here.

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  1. I don’t know how valid this (second-hand) anecdote is, but I know a guy who did mall security for a short stint and he was trained to yell something like this when dealing with rowdy people in order to influence the perceptions of people watching the event. That is to say, shouting “stop resisting” may very well be to help with any potential litigation after the fact rather than as a real order to the beatee.

    1. Err… That is to say, this practice has been rather wide-spread for a while*.

      1. Ummm… no shit.


    1. Oh, Steve… you so crazeeee


        1. You can drive an 18-wheeler through Sugarfree’s asshole. Of course he would like it.

    2. I know it wasn’t rape-rape. I think it was something else, but I don’t believe it was rape-rape.

      1. You said rape twice.


    1. beat me to it

      1. Same here.

  4. “Lim said she suspects the deputies involved in this incident recited the commands as a ruse to later justify their actions with the help of . . . other deputies who may have heard their commands.”

    Hardly necessary. I haven’t checked the handbook, but I’m sure the Blue Wall of Silence extends to corrections personnel.

    1. Yes, it does.

      1. Shuuudduuup!


  6. Didn’t Radley post a video like that a couple weeks ago? If I recall correctly, it was some fat-ass cop dry-humping a drunk teenager while yelling “stop resisting!” the whole time. I might be mashing a couple different videos together, but it was something like that.

    1. No you’re absolutely right. I’m on my phone so I’m not gonna dig up the link, but this is exactly what that subway cop was doing.

      1. That cop is one sick pervert.

  7. I don’t know how valid this (second-hand) anecdote is, …

    If a witness cop and a crack whore bystander had differing accounts about an LEO shooting a suspect, who would you find more credible on the witness stand?

    1. The crack-whore obviously.

    2. The dried and dirty globs of spent chewing gum stuck to the sidewalk.

  8. re: the magic words =

    I’ve seen this before. More than once. A cop will grab someone they want to bust, start repeating “Stop resisting”, throw them on the ground and whoop their ass. I’ve seen it in a variety of circumstances. I thought this technique was common knowedge; and that the corresponding thing to do in the event you’re ever on the receiving end is to calmly repeat, “Im not resisting.”

    If you’ve seen the video of that Pastor Anderson guy who got tasered and asswhooped at an Arizona checkpoint, they do a bit of dueling “Stop resisting!” / “Im not resisting” tete-a-tete, if I recall correctly. Maybe it wasn’t that one. I have a bad habit of watching these Arizona Border Patrol checkpoint Youtube vids to get my libertoid dander up. Fascism-porn. 🙂

    1. Yelling “I’m not resisting” still seems like resistance since he just told you that you were and you’re arguing with him. The best thing to do is to yell “I’m sorry that I have been resisting this whole time and that I continue to resist even now! I just can’t resist resisting.”

    2. I recommend painting yourself blue and white and yelling FREEEEE-DOOOOOM as you don’t resist. Or, maybe, you should just say fuck it and resist away.

      It raises an interesting question: If it’s unlawful to resist arrest, at what point does their unlawful use of force make it not unlawful to resist?

      1. Don’t resist…-Unspoken-…the urge to kick me in the nuts and take my tazer from me and use it on me, you are right for wanting to do what you are thinking right now!!

  9. I thought you were supposed to say, “stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting ….” etc.

    1. Stop endangering yourself! Stop endangering yourself!

    2. Stop endangering yourself! Stop endangering yourself!

    3. Hmm… For some reason, a reply consisting of “Stop endangering yourself! Stop endangering yourself!,” posted with the fictitious name “Nelson Muntz,” won’t get past the spam filter.

      Did Seth MacFarlane code the spam filter?

      1. If it had been a riff on Cartman, I could believe Seth was involved.

  10. This is a norm in Seattle where you get punched in the face for jaywalking or shot dead for cutting up a piece of wood. God help you if your latino…

  11. Dog the bounty hunter uses this phrase to when catching some low level peaceful “ice” head offender, so it’s gotta be legit.

    1. Anyone ever wonder how Mrs. Dog manages to stay upright?

  12. The whole time the ACLU is suing the prisons, they ought to yell “Stop litigating! Stop litigating and settle!”


      1. [Due to dunphy’s absence on this thread, we have hired a low wage, non-unionized Chinese worker to stand in. He charges only 25 yuan per day, but you should be able to froth at him just as well as the real thing!]

        derp, the policeman is always right. you is not right. back the blue boys in uniforms. because drugs! furthermore: herp.

        [Begin frothing… NOW.]

        1. ASSWIPE COP!!!!!!!

          1. ai! i am defeated! do not want!

            1. *throws down weapon and surrenders to suspect*

  14. Stop resisting…

  15. It does seem like most videos I’ve seen of cops mashing some dude into the pavement includes the repeated yelling of “stop resisting.”

    And yet, if you’ve got three guys with night sticks kneeling on your neck and trying to wrench your arm into a position that nature never intended, aren’t you going to reflexively “resist,” at least to the extent of simply trying to minimize the injury? I mean, you’ve got asphalt going up your nose and your teeth up against the curb, with a 278-lb donut boy leaning his sweaty knee into the small of your back and his elbow in the back of your head while his buddy smacks your leg with the 4 D-cell Maglite – you’re gonna resist a little. You’re at least gonna try to shield yourself from the blows.

    I’d be screaming “Stop beating the shit out of me! Stop beating the shit out of me!”

  16. It would be better if they just calmly asserted “resistance is futile.”

  17. I remember seeing this, multiple times, on COPS years ago. A guy, totally subdued, two cops on top of him, twisting his arm, beating him, screaming “stop resisting!”


  19. I’m surprised dunphy AND Arpaio-lover Gregory Smith haven’t showed up to defend or attempt to justify this yet.

  20. Ah, they musta done something to deserve it. The cops would be beating on him if he hadn’t done something. He brought it on himself.

    It’s pretty simple – just do what the cop says and it will go allright for you.

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