Saturday, February 28, 2015
Florida Officers Under Scrutiny for Mistreatment of Arrestees
For two consecutive days, two Florida police officers were caught on video mistreating arrestees. The first video in the article link shows Fort Lauderdale police officer Victor Ramirez escorting Bruce Laclair, who is reported to be homeless, at a bus terminal. According to the arrest report, Ramirez asked Laclair to leave the terminal and that he was given plenty of time to do so. The fact that Ramirez is a nine-year veteran at his local police department just astounds me. Despite the controversy surrounding police brutality and the scrutiny police officers are under, it seems to me that they continue to abuse their power. The day after this incident, Broward Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Johnson is seen dragging a woman, who is mentally ill I might add, across a courthouse because she failed to comply with his instructions. In the video, she constantly yells, "You're hurting me." Lynn Desanti, the chief assistant public defender in charge of the division that represents the dragged woman, called the deputy's behavior a "huge disgrace." Despite the fact that Obama proposed these body cameras for police officers, they continue to continue their unnecessary actions. While the 4th and 14th amendment protects an individual from police misconduct before and during arrests, it doesn't seem to stop these officers and plenty of other unheard cases in the US.
What should be done about these officers other than restricted duty and paid leave?
What other actions can local and federal take to ease this tension among individuals and police officers?
What measures can be taken to limit or possibly eliminate the targeting of minority groups (eg. Eric Garner case)?
What is the extent at which police conduct is considered "police brutality?" How can laws be be tightened or even reformed for that matter in order to prevent incidents like these?