The power dynamic in any encounter with a member of the police is never in your favor.
They have the badge, the gun, the truncheon, an increasing number of militarized weapons surplus to the needs of the federal armed forces, and powerful electronic devices like tasers.
Unless you are an armed militia member yourself, you likely have a mobile phone, some gym clothes, and a book or two in your backpack.
Still, the emotions that rise up during the wrenching protests against the racially-charged brutality of the very people who are meant to be protecting and serving all of a municipality’s citizens often lead people to ignore the inherent imbalance in power between themselves and the police and nonetheless get right up in their faces to express their displeasure with their performance of their duties.
The consequences of doing so are not always very pleasant, to say the least.
One man in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn learned that the hard way this weekend when he began shouting at a New York City police officer about the arrest of another protestor as he was marching in a BLM demonstration.
Apparently the officer felt that the man was getting too close to him for his liking despite the fact that the protestor was merely arguing with him angrily without touching him.
After telling the man to step back, the officer barely waits a second before shoving the protestor, after which he is then tackled by a second officer, who — having been unable to bring the man to the ground — proceeds to take out a taser and fire it at the man.
As the protestor falls to the ground, a bystander videoing the proceedings exclaims: “Oh, he’s going to lose his job!”
As police try to strain and handcuff the innocent man exercising his rights to free speech, he cried out in shock and anger:
“You Tased me! I didn’t do nothing!”
As the officers pulled the man’s arms behind his back to arrest him, he complains that they are going to break his arm by using excessive force. He was then taken into custody after the video clip ends.
As it turns out, the bystander who warned the police about the risks to their livelihoods such unwarranted actions could produce was somewhat prescient.
After the video of the incident began circulating on social media, New York Attorney General Letitia James saw it and requested that witnesses report the incident and forward the video to her office for investigation.
There may be some justice gained against unwarranted assaults and arrests by New York City police yet.
You can watch the video and see Attorney General James’ tweet responding to it below.
Please report this and send this video to my office:https://t.co/KBxAufIC4I
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) July 13, 2020
Original reporting by David Edwards at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.