A SWAT team driving around in an unmarked van was taking random potshots at people on the street with rubber bullets.
Someone fires a shot or two in return, then immediately surrenders when he sees that they are cops. The cops swarm him.
It turns out that the group of people that the cops were shooting at were the business owner and some employees who were protecting the business from looters.
For over an hour, those cops had been driving around, randomly shooting at pedestrians they saw on the street. In the officer’s bodycam footage, officers armed with less-lethal launchers can be seen crowded in an unmarked, white cargo van. The van was equipped with police lights but the officers didn’t use them. As cops can be heard explaining, the van was the lead vehicle in a caravan of other, marked cars, and the cops wanted to use that stealth to their advantage. At one point an officer in the van asks for the trailing patrol cars to stay far behind “so we can… utilize 40s.”
Advance to 41 seconds. The man had already surrendered when the cops came up and began kicking, punching him, and slamming his head into the pavement. They fractured his eye socket. The officer doing the beating, Officer Stetson, wrote in his report that he struck Stallings to gain control of him, even though he was flat on the ground and not moving, and claimed Stallings wasn’t complying. The video shows that to be a lie.
The man, Jaleel Stallings, was charged with eight felonies, including attempted second degree murder of a LEO and first degree assault. Despite the large amounts of mitigating video evidence in the case, the charging attorney still wanted to throw the book at him, asking him to plead guilty to counts carrying 13 years in prison. Instead, he demanded a jury trial and was acquitted of all charges by the jury. He used self defense as his defense, and it worked.
His lawyer has since released the video showing that the cops went hunting that night. They even planned it out, and all of it was caught on their bodycams.
Discussing it while driving around, one supervisor said, “We’re going hunting. Fuck these people.”
During their “patrol” their bodycams even revealed them slashing people’s tires:
One of the officers admitted in court during the trial: “We went out that evening and concealed our presence so people wouldn’t flee and we’d be able to get close enough to shoot them… and we were actually having fun shooting them”
This behavior is indefensible. The cops here were just plain wrong, and were worse than the rioters that were burning the city.
I count no fewer than ten cops in a relatively small box. They are either engaged in beating up and cuffing the one suspect, or milling around while not really paying attention to their surroundings.
These are the actions of people who don’t really think that there is a threat.
Now imagine that the people they are abusing are mad enough to fight back. Imagine that the people who are fighting back have some military experience.
For those of you familiar with ambushes: What could a four man fire support element do if they were in an overwatch position 100 yards or so away and this was a planned ambush? How hard would it be to lure police into a kill box and then overwhelm them with large amounts of fire before disengaging and disappearing before the cops could organize an effective counter?
The police need to be very careful to stop treating the citizens they are sworn to protect as if they were the enemy, because the citizens might just eventually begin acting like it.