Police Abuse

20+ Philly Cops Caught on Video Beating Up Suspect, Calling Him 'Piece of Shit'—Charge Him With Assault Afterwards

Also charged with drug possession

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YouTube

Police in Philadelphia say they stopped 22-year-old Tyree Carroll because of a "narcotics violation"—his family claims he was stopped for biking the wrong way down a one-way street. Police say they found 5 grams of crack-cocaine on Carroll—if the drugs are actually his, biking the wrong way down a one-way street was particularly reckless. His arrest was a caught on video—by the end of the incident it had involved more than 20 officers and a good deal of apparent police brutality caught on tape.

At one point, one officer calls Carroll a "piece of shit". Later, another cop yells, "Here I come! You're getting the fucking Taser." Police say they are investigating the incident but that the officers involved filled out use of force reports that included "strikes" and "control holds." Police say Carroll tried to bite officers and drew first blood, and that the head injury for which he was taken to the hospital was self-inflicted while Carroll was in the police van. The police say their investigation so far shows no evidence or record of Taser use despite the one cop's statement.

You can watch the portion of the incident caught on video below:

A lawyer for Carroll's family said he was "confident" Philadelphia's police commissioner, Charles Ramsey, "takes these things seriously." Indeed, Ramsey has fired more than a hundred cops since 2008, over problems ranging from minor misconduct to major crimes.

But the commissioner, despite being the head of the police department, doesn't have the last word on employment. Fired cops can seek arbitration and eventually get their job back. That's what happened to a cop accused of sexual assault by three different women. Ramsey said he didn't want someone like that on the force and fired him—an arbitrator forced Ramsey to put the alleged sexual predator back in uniform and on the street.

The journalist who first posted the video online, Jasmyne Cannick, had a pretty simplistic explanation of the behavior for The Daily Beast: "Beating someone while you call them a piece of shit, there's no explanation for that, unless you want to admit you're a racist." None-white officers, of course, are accused of misconduct too, even, and especially, toward other non-whites. Last month in Philadelphia, a nasty encounter between a black man and his infant daughter and a black officer over alleged fare jumping made the local news because the cop shoving the man while the man was holding his baby and the incident was caught on video.

And, importantly, police officers can act with impunity not because their racism (or their race vs. the victim's race) grants them that privilege, but because powerful union contracts that make it difficult to discipline and fire cops do. Police contracts and public employment laws have created the conditions for a total lack of accountability.

While Philadelphia has more or less stopped enforcing laws against marijuana possession—even smoking in public yields just a $100 fine—the rest of the drug war rages on. And while drug war policies are certainly racist in their application, it's important to note that what drives the drug war in places like Northwest Philadelphia, or any other neighborhood where it's waged, are the residents of Northwest Philadelphia and their revealed political preferences. The city wages a drug war in the neighborhood because enough residents demand it that waging a drug war becomes good politics. Racism has little, if anything, to do with that dangerous, democratically-endorsed, perpetuation of an all too real drug war.

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  1. “Beating someone while you call them a piece of shit, there’s no explanation for that, unless you want to admit you’re a racist.”

    Because race is the only thing that would make a cop think he was better than you. Not a legal monopoly on violence.

    1. “Beating someone while you call them a piece of shit, there’s no explanation for that, unless you want to admit you’re a racist.”

      Really? I usually chalk it up to my Dominant-tendencies and penchant for open-handed spanking. I’m normally not into Raceplay that much, but hey, if it gets her juices flowing….

      1. (that wasn’t meant as a reply specific to nicole)

            1. So..umm…hows about those Mets?

              BASTARD! ….just took 2 out of the 3 from my Giants!

        1. Suuuuure it wasn’t.

            1. Ha, now she cannot comment until I say “Nikki”…aw, dammit!

              1. Hastur! Hastur! Hast-“

              2. Just dont say “Nikki” three times… the last time I did that, Bernie Sanders declared his candidacy.

              3. Ha, now she cannot comment until I say “Nikki”…aw, dammit!

                Pretty sure you just said it…

            2. The only correct answer is this.

              1. Wow, the old GI Joe cartoon is really confusing and weird.

    2. Or a psycho, or a bully, or a hotheaded violent POS, or…

    3. Seems clear we need to eliminate police gangs… er… unions.

  2. Ramsey has fired more than a hundred cops since 2008, over problems ranging from minor misconduct to major crimes.

    Let’s be generous, and say that comes to 40 per year. Out of a department with 6600 cops (leaving aside the 800 “civilians”), that’s a rate of 0.6% firings per year.

    Laughably low, IOW. Probably better than many others, but still, the idea that this rate of “for-cause” firings is within an order of magnitude of where it should be is, well, pathetically na?ve.

  3. I will not be surprised one day to learn that someone or even a group of the bystanders suddenly began spraying the swarm of police officers with bullets. I will not approve of it and I will be greatly disappointed and saddened, but surprised I won’t be.

    It seems like too many officers are pushing the limits of ordinary people’s tolerance, and sometime in our near future even such ordinary people will react to the brutality displayed before them with some form of counter-force.

    1. Yes, my bosses love such mass team violence. Normally we would frown on wasting so much meat. But in this case it’s steroid infused, so no loss. We prefer our cattle to be more natural.

    2. Such an incident would guarantee the passage of some extreme gun-control legislation, as well as deadly force being the default option for when anyone fails to show sufficient respect. Try to record the cops? You will be killed. Say “No” to a cop? You will be killed. Gather around to watch the cops do their job? You will be killed. And nothing else will happen.

      1. That’s a declaration of war. Are they that dumb? That might pass in Blue states, certainly not Red ones.

        1. People fighting back against the cops is the declaration of war. The next logical step for the government is to disarm the enemy.

          1. sarc,

            I envision martial law being declared in the city in question, and if it’s a city like Boston we already know from experience the extent to which the various governments will go to find their enemies. Making the theoretical scenario even more problematic is the possibility – no matter how slim – that one or more residents will forcefully resist home searches and law enforcement will likely respond in the manner in which we’ve been seeing some of them respond when they meet determined resistance.

            I do not foresee any good coming from such a scenario.

            1. and if it’s a city like Boston we already know from experience the extent to which the various governments will go to find their enemies.

              And how docile the people are when imprisoned in their homes by their protectors.

              1. What if it’s Dallas or Houston? I don’t think local authorities are that stupid and I don’t think the Texas National Guard would cooperate.

                1. What if it’s Dallas or Houston?

                  I think you’d be in for a rude awaking as to how many people value security over liberty.

                  1. I’ll disagree – hope we don’t find out.

                    1. “… hope we don’t find out..”

                      I share that hope, Drake.

                  2. Ya. Conservative does not equal libertarian. Many Texans and other Red Staters are just as much authoritarian bootlickers as any liberal could be.

                  3. I think you’d be in for a rude awaking as to how many people value security over liberty.

                    Drake, I gotta say that, at least for right now, HM is spot on. I can’t tell you how many people in the area have the, “Well, you shouldn’t break the law/should’ve complied with the orders” mentality.

                    I did, too, for a long time (too long), then I discovered a groovy little place called Hit & Run…

                2. I don’t think local authorities are that stupid and I don’t think the Texas National Guard would cooperate.

                  Cops aren’t there to protect the people. They’re there to protect the authorities from the people. If the authorities felt that their protectors were in danger, I doubt much would stop them from going after the people who they felt were threatening them. As for the Guard, I don’t know. Individual members may grumble, but doubt they’d refuse to follow orders en masse. Maybe I’m wrong.

                  1. I was in the NJ Guard and I think the unit would have disintegrated with those kinds of illegal / unconstitutional orders. In a place like Texas? Probably remain intact and turn on the authorities issuing those orders.

                    Think I’m going to search my own neighborhood and house for guns?

                    1. Downstate IL units wouldn’t react well to such an order.

                    2. Kent State

              2. I watched in disbelief. Of course I was glad there wasn’t any violence, but things could have gone awry rather easily with how jumpy a good many of the law enforcement personnel were reported to have been.

                Not all places are like Boston and not everyone is like the seemingly docile New Englanders, however.

                1. That was a late response to sarc’s “And how docile the people are when imprisoned in their homes by their protectors”.

                2. Not all New Englanders are as docile as Bostonians.

            2. That “Boston Strong” meme made me sick. “Boston Pussies” would be more accurate. Thanking the cops when they threaten you with violence for taking your dog out so it can take a shit? Fucking pathetic.

          2. You have to win the war first.

    3. Yep – I’ll bet it will be family members who happen to be armed.

    4. I will be greatly disappointed and saddened

      Why? Because there weren’t more?

      1. Greatly disappointed because of the likely reaction from those in government and law enforcement, saddened because of the injuries, loss of life, and emotional and possible financial strain that the families would experience.

    5. yeah when we get a few months in a row without any police brutality scandals, which is all too infrequently, I start wondering if maybe im misunderstanding the whole situation cuz i dislike some of the laws police enforce, and then I see another video like this. and then i remember weve only had the technology to take spur of the moment videos like this a few years, so this is probably the way police have always behaved just people always give them the benefit of the doubt. we’re awesome

  4. I hope the cops all recover from being assaulted by this man. Their knuckles may never be the same after he caused all those bruises.

  5. Police say they are investigating the incident but that the officers involved filled out of use of force reports

    Oh, well, in that case – case closed! Not guilty!

    Whew! That was a close one!

    1. Procedures were followed, force employment reports were filed….BOOYAH!

  6. Why are cops allowed to shout obscenities in a public neighborhood like that? I mean, they are cursing at the top of their lungs.

    That’s professionalism right there.

    1. That’s just their enthusiasm for justice spilling out.

      1. Evidence of the King’s even-handedness.

        /Galen

  7. Running in screaming and swearing and threatening to tase someone is actually okay. I owned a bar for years, a rough bar. Police did a big show of force in order to immediately quell the person. One cop, one troublemaker, and the guy thinks he might be able to take the cop. Five and they’re all yelling, the guy stops instantly, usually.

    In this case though the guy was down and stopped with the first couple of cops.

    I hope every one of them is fired. And, charged with assault.

  8. Did they all make it home safely?

  9. at least he’s not dead?

    1. Yet.

    2. “Message for you, Sir.”

  10. The article says “None-white officers, of course, are accused of misconduct too….” Editors, please correct the typo: It should say “Non-white officers….”

  11. Here’s one for ya. How about you comply and stop resisting. Get your day in court. Blacks routinely never want to comply then scream racism and get their payout.

    1. Todd,

      The fifth officer arrived and immediatly rushed over and kicked the man as he was already being beaten and restrained by the first four officers. Does this comport with your sense of justice?

      I’m serious.

  12. And, importantly, police officers can act with impunity not because their racism (or their race vs. the victim’s race) grants them that privilege, but because powerful union contracts that make it difficult to discipline and fire cops do. Police contracts and public employment laws have created the conditions for a total lack of accountability.

    Why is that so hard for 9 out of 10 people to understand?

  13. Because people have rose colored glasses on when it comes to cops and firefighters.

    Well, except for my older cop friends who disgustedly admit that there are people on the force who do not belong there.

    You meet old cops and you meet bold cops. But you won’t meet man old, bold cops.

  14. Riding the wrong way on a bike is an obvious gateway crime.

  15. It would be more appropriate to call this an excessive abuse of power rather than a racist act by the police involved, and the appropriate response would be to suspend without pay all the police involved immediately, with an investigation resulting in criminal charges filed on all those who actively engaged in the beating, with all of them being terminated and permanently barred from being employed in any job relating to law enforcement. The constant application of the word ‘racist’ tends to alienate blacks and whites with the belief that ALL whites are racist, to be used by politicians for political gain, and divisiveness.

  16. it doesn’t look as bad as it report makes it sound

    throughout the early part of the video, it looks like they’re struggling with him some how. You even hear one cop say “How do you even have the energy to do all this?”

    I’m guessing either he had a piece of “rock” or something in his mouth and they were trying to pry it out of him, or the guy was just really squirmy, and they couldn’t get his hands behind his back. If it’s the latter, then it’s the cops’ fault for being such fuck ups that even with 4 guys they can’t manage to get the dudes hands behind his back.

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