Oh man, this one is bad news bears.
Gawker has unearthed some insane video footage shot back in January outside a strip mall in Phoenix, Arizona. A 15-year-old girl, apparently drunk, is shown being pinned down by her mother. The first nearly two minutes of the video are fairly uneventful; we see the mother and child struggling a bit, then some other people, presumably friends or family members, pull up just before a police SUV enters the scene.
Immediately after the officer exits his vehicle, he runs toward the young girl, who is unarmed and slowly walking away. When he approaches her, he body checks her, WWE-style, pummeling her to the ground. I think this is the first time I’ve ever literally covered my mouth and gasped while watching a YouTube video. (I prefer cats playing piano, thanks.) But this is police brutality taken to an inexcusable extreme. Take a look:
The officer, 6-year-veteran Patrick Larrison, has been placed on paid leave, effective Tuesday. According to the Washington Post, “Larrison has no previous complaints of excessive force.” Maybe that’s because no one had filmed him making an arrest before? I’m not sure what the worst part of this video is: watching a teenage girl get beaten by a police officer or hearing the citizen reporter giggle about it as it was being filmed.
The police were called by the girl’s school because she was drunk and offered alcohol to other students. The teen “was charged in juvenile court with one count each of aggravated assault for pushing the teacher, domestic violence assault for punching her mother and threatening and intimidation for later telling the officers that she would kill them and their families.” Clearly this girl is troubled, but regarding her last threat, can you blame her? I certainly can’t. Treating an unarmed but volatile teen who is not an immediate threat like a piece of garbage is only going to reinforce her feelings of rage. Was it even necessary for the school to call police? Couldn’t they have tried letting her parents deal with it first?
The Phoenix police department has had several complaints of late about excessive force and has even been accused of second-degree murder in the killing of an unarmed man walking his dog. If investigators find Larrison guilty, he faces “a reprimand that varies from counseling to termination.”
Ready to Shock: Top 10 Parenting Scandals of April, 2011!