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.