Police Abuse

The COVID-19 Pandemic Didn't Stop This California Cop From Getting Physical During a Teen Smoking Arrest

Some officials want to reevaluate enforcement of low-level, nonviolent offenses during the pandemic. For others, it's business as usual.

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Given the COVID-19 pandemic, some officials have rolling back enforcement of low-level offenses. But many police continue to use force against nonviolent offenders, social distancing be damned.

A video shows one such interaction between a California cop and a teenager. The teen's crime: possessing "tobacco products."

The short clip shows a deputy with the Rancho Cordova Police Department (RCPD) detaining a 14-year-old on Monday. The deputy, who is already on the ground with the teenager, is seen attempting to flip the boy onto his stomach. When faced with resistance, the deputy shoves the boy's face into the ground and then punches him repeatedly.

New York criminal defense attorney Rebecca Kavanagh shared the video, saying that the deputy accused the boy of smoking marijuana earlier. A woman identifying herself as the teen's older sister tweeted that he has a "serious heart condition that could be triggered very easily by being hit in his chest/back."

Reason reached out to the RCPD on Tuesday for further explanation. The request went unanswered, but the department subsequently released a statement on its website and social media platforms.

"These are the facts as we understand them at this time," the department wrote, adding that an investigation was underway and the story was "subject to change." The officer (not named) had reportedly been "proactively patrolling" the area between Mills Station Road and Mather Field Road, due to complaints about the sale of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco to minors. Believing he witnessed such an exchange, the deputy approached the teen. (The statement says he lost sight of the adult conducting the sale.) The boy initially refused to provide identifying information, then later told the deputy he was 18. When the deputy tried to detain him, the teen knocked the deputy's handcuffs out of his hands; the deputy then restrained him without handcuffs while waiting for his partners to arrive.

The teen was ultimately found to possess some "tobacco products," and he was subsequently cited and released.

Because of the unique threat the COVID-19 pandemic poses to corrections facilities, several counties have reprioritized enforcement of low-level, nonviolent offenses. Evidently, the call has not extended far enough.

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  1. “These are the facts as we understand them at this time,” the department wrote, adding that an investigation was underway and the story was “subject to change.”

    Subject to change = Officer of the Year Award. The statement makes it pretty clear a conclusion has been reached.

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  2. I am always wary of diving head first into videos of police officers beating people where the initial interaction is not captured.

    1. If that gorilla can’t handle a scrawny, little boy who literally weighs less than half of him without punching him several times and grinding his face into the dirt, then that gorilla belongs in a zoo, not on the police force.

      1. Your comment has fuck all to do with anything I said.

        1. Gotta go with Sarcasmic on this one. No way an unarmed 100 lb. child was any kind of threat to this thug.

          1. I don’t know what the initiating altercation was.

            But teenagers, even scrawny ones, are capable of carrying weapons and shooting cops.

            https://www.foxnews.com/us/missouri-officer-is-shot-twice-by-teen-caught-breaking-into-vehicle-police-say

            1. So you’re justifying that level of force against all teenagers because a teenager shot a cop once in Missouri? I hate cops. I won’t deny it. I’ve never met one who wasn’t a piece of shit. Then again only a piece of shit would be attracted to a job where they get to beat up on scrawny kids and then laugh about it over drinks with their piece of shit buddies. But there are times when that level of force is warranted. That was not one of them. That was indefensible.

              1. //So you’re justifying that level of force against all teenagers because a teenager shot a cop once in Missouri?//

                No.

                //I hate cops. I won’t deny it. I’ve never met one who wasn’t a piece of shit.//

                Nobody cares.

              2. Ooohhhhhh!!!! Another Sarcasmic strawman! Filled with all kinds of stupid.

        2. Actually it did. You were basically saying that the kid could have deserved it, that you were reserving judgement because you didn’t the lead up. I’m saying that that gorilla had no business handling that little kid like that.

          1. //You were basically saying that the kid could have deserved it//

            Yes.

            //I’m saying that that gorilla had no business handling that little kid like that.//

            Nobody cares. You hate all cops, and we all hate you.

          2. It’s not impossible. Do you understand that you’re actually motivating people to defend the cop? Mainly because you’re going full retard, as usual.

            Not that you’re capable of listening, but never go full retard.

            1. No, it’s not impossible, but its orders of magnitude less likely than that the cop is just an asshole and a bully.

              They didn’t find a weapon on the kid and they didn’t hit him with any kind of weapons possession charge.

              1. I agree the odds are on the cop being the aggressive party here. But I like to be sure.

        3. You said “where the initial interaction is not captured.” and sarcasmic simply pointed out that it really doesn’t matter. The 200lbs a-hole (who happens to be in a uniform) had no cause to punch kid and more importantly, no “initial interaction” would justify it either.

    2. I’m split. The video absolutely is information. There may’ve been an exchange prior and the kid may even have feigned injury prior. At the same time, I grew up with a brother and wrestled through HS, hell, I’ve taught belligerent dogs to roll over. I can categorically say that punches to the face are one of the least effective methods of achieving that end.

      1. It’s about hand/wrist control. Most people instinctively raise their hands/arms to protect their face from a punch. If somebody is using their hands to control your wrists in a ground altercation, or to grab onto your clothes, punching them in the face is an easy way of getting them to stop using their hands. And, when they pivot to protect their face, you can begin to try to control their hands.

        This is why you see MMA fighters with a wrestling base alternate between advancing their position from top position, and throwing punches to get their opponents to lift their arms/hands. If they are protecting their face, they are less able to resist your advance.

        But, back to the video ….

        1. Most people instinctively raise their hands/arms to protect their face from a punch.

          Yup. The bring their hands and elbows up which makes them harder to roll over and subdue. MMA fighters punch the face because they’re paid to subdue their opponent at all costs. If they do nothing other than break the guy’s jaw and knock him unconscious, they did their job. Bludgeoning force is a defensive or a dominating tactic, it’s not a subduing or policing one. Even then, MMA fighters don’t get to punch their opponents when they aren’t resisting or in the back of the head. Moreover, police officers aren’t paid to knock people unconscious.

          1. Cops are paid to use any level of force to make people do as they are told. That’s why failure to obey can lead to execution on the spot. That’s why cops would see absolutely nothing wrong with what that gorilla did. Heck, he could have shot the kid, said “I thought I saw a weapon,” and nothing else would have happened.

            1. //Cops are paid to use any level of force to make people do as they are told//

              No.

            2. Sarc, you’re largely incapable of any complex cognitive thinking, so such a comment is very much expected.

          2. //Bludgeoning force is a defensive or a dominating tactic, it’s not a subduing or policing one.//

            I don’t understand this distinction at all. Cops carry batons precisely for this reason.

            Again, I’m not saying what happened was justified, just that it is hard to draw a conclusion from a video that doesn’t portray the entire interaction.

    3. Sometimes yes.

      This time, no.

      The video starts with the officer on top of a child. The officer then assaults the child by smacking his head into the dirt.

      Once that happens, it is the duty of any bystander to end this cop.

      1. Yes, clearly a random bystander should have wrestled the cop’s gun from its holster and then proceeded to shoot the cop.

        Good thinking.

        1. Why would the random bystander not used his own weapon?

          1. Majority of people aren’t armed. So I’m playing the percentages.

    4. What could have happened in the hours leading up to the start of the video that could justify what the recording captured? Perhaps my lack of imagination has stymied me here.

      1. Just abjectly conjecturing:

        Officer orders kid to halt. Kid feigns an injury or loss of consciousness. Officer approaches and, once within reach, kid strikes at officer and attempts to flee.

        Not saying that’s what happened and give it a 0.0% probability of having taken place. Just saying answering or addressing the “What reason could you have to assault someone who appears to be pretty much subdued?” question.

        1. Officer orders kid to halt – Officer is in the wrong.

    5. When the police officer is beating someone because the initial interaction was for something that shouldn’t have been illegal in the first place – I’m not. Cop’s in the wrong. Period.

    6. “Geraje Guzba
      April.29.2020 at 11:17 am

      I am always wary of diving head first into videos of police officers beating people where the initial interaction is not captured.”

      That’s typical of hard core copsuckers. But you are obviously not wary of putting in your worthless 2 cents when you essentially had nothing to say except you want to give the benefit of the doubt to an oppressor perpetrating violence against a minor. The same oppressors that will not give you the benefit of the doubt. You can address that in your next therapy session.

      Geraje Guzba
      April.29.2020 at 12:11 pm

      Your comment has fuck all to do with anything I said.

      Perhaps mine is more to your liking. It’s more direct so that even a moron like you can see it.

  3. Dog bites man, cop’s an a hole.

  4. Don’t blame the cop. He had that goddamn Olivia Newton John song stuck in his head.

    1. “Olivia Newton John song stuck in his head.”

      Would that be “Let’s get physical?”

  5. Any parent who used that level of force to restrain their child would be put into prison. Not jail. Prison. You don’t strike a child with a closed fist. Period. This cop isn’t a human being, he’s a fucking gorilla.

    1. You don’t strike a child with a closed fist. Period.

      Not all 14 yr. olds are as small as that kid. Not all adults are as big as that cop. There are situations where I can understand punches, even to the face. Punching someone in the face or the back of the head to get them to roll over makes no sense to me.

    2. “You don’t strike a child with a closed fist. Period. ”

      Only assholes speak in absolutes.

      Wait…

    3. Sarc, it’s a shame your parents didn’t beat you much more. Much, much more.

  6. Damn good thing the kid wasn’t walking the family dog – – – – – – – –

  7. So many things wrong here.

    Cop weighs 3x the kid. WTF.

    Kid is a dumbass. If he has a pre-existing heart condition, why is he smoking, and why is he arguing with a cop? (answer: he’s 14. 14 year old kids are dumb. and this one has probably seen some crazy shit, given his neighborhood.)

    I think the issue is that “real” crime has dropped heavily with Covid and the cops are looking for new ways to flex.

    1. Yeah I’m sure there aren’t any unsolved murders or rapes or wanted felons in the city they could be looking for during this lull.

    2. Yesterday I saw three speed traps on one mile of road. Yeah, they’re bored as fuck.

  8. Thank god the wonderful officers of the RCPD have caught all the murderers and rapists in the city so they have time to deal with kids smoking tobacco. Well done. Well done.

    1. I agree. Stop enforcement of all other laws until every murderer and rapist is caught first.

    2. Dude, investigating actual crimes with actual victims is actual work. Cops abhor work. They like to strut around and assault anyone who doesn’t obey their every command. But investigating crimes? Phht.

      1. //They like to strut around and assault anyone who doesn’t obey their every command.//

        You’re an idiot.

  9. Local cop is asshole.

    Thank God for Reason’s daily focus, because otherwise we’d never know

    1. “Thank God for Reason’s daily focus, because otherwise we’d never know.”

      It’s for the copsuckers, like Geraje, that need their noses rubbed in the truth enough times to cause a cognitive dissonance they cannot ignore.

  10. Was there audio? Was he shouting “STOP RESISTING!” with every punch?

    1. I’m sure he was, or at the voices in your head were screaming that.

      I’m really not a fan of the police, but you manage to make me want to defend them. Mainly because you’re such massive idiot.

      This is the part where you should just admit I’m right and go drink some drain cleaner, just like the voices in your head told you that Trump said to.

    2. “Was he shouting “STOP RESISTING!” with every punch?”

      That would require multi-tasking skills, rhythm and fear of accountability.

  11. “proactively patrolling”

    Otherwise known as “I can beat up anyone I want and make up some charges later, and my department will back me 100%”.

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