The New York Police Department (NYPD) is the star of yet another cellphone video of an arrest that may have involved excessive force. You can watch the chaotic scene, with officers meeting resistance not just from their target but residents in the area too, below:
What did the man on the ground do to attract all those cops toward him to effect an arrest? This is your drug war. He was allegedly seen with a little bit of marijuana (something New York's progressive apologists insist has been decriminalized in the city). PIX 11 provides details:
Police say officers in Bedford Stuyvesant saw 32-year-old Jahmiel Cuffee in possession of a small amount of marijuana on Tuesday night in front of 223 Malcolm X Blvd. The video picks up after an officer asks Cuffee for ID. He hands over the ID, but resists arrest. One officer pulls his gun, but once they get Cuffee to the ground, it gets worse.
In the video, an officer is seen walking away, then coming back and making a motion with his foot.
"He abruptly stomped on top of the gentleman's head," said Gary Dormer, who recorded what happened on his cell phone. "He lifted his foot with excessive force and came down like he was stepping on an ant or a roach or something at the time."
To the cops' credit, none of them appeared to try to confiscate any of the cellphones recording the scene, although it's possible they would've been unable to even if they tried. The NYPD says Cuffee was injured during the arrest, but not on his head and that it is at least his eighth arrest for marijuana.
Community activists demand the cop who allegedly head-stomped Cuffee be removed from the job because the "officer cannot represent our community and work for us if he's going to violate people's rights." New York City's police abuse problem is inextricably linked to its policing priorities. So long as appearing tough on crime (read: drugs, especially in minority communities) wins votes for the Democrats in charge of the city no amount of agitation may be enough to change things. If you keep voting for the same people pushing the same policies you'll keep getting the same results, even if your rhetoric insists you support something else. There is no "right way" to arrest someone for possessing marijuana because it's not something police should be arresting people for.