December 5, 2020

Cops Are Finally Being Disciplined—but Is Anybody Buying It?

Nearly two weeks into protests against the killing of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis police custody, a slew of different cities across the country have been forced to confront the brutal methods used by their own police officers as videos emerged of harrowing incident after harrowing incident.

And on Friday, it seemed a reckoning of sorts was in the air: Police officers in multiple cities were suspended, hit with charges, or stripped of their powers after they were caught on camera treating peaceful protesters like combatants.

In New York City, where earlier this week authorities had praised the police department’s “restraint” amid protests despite video evidence to the contrary, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea announced that two officers involved in violent encounters with protesters—including one woman who was violently pushed to the ground and a man who was pepper sprayed after his mask was pulled down—have been suspended without pay.

New York Cops Beat Protesters for Crime of Being There

In Philadelphia, the District Attorney’s office filed aggravated assault charges against police inspector Joseph Bologna after a video showed him hitting a demonstrator with a metal baton. The demonstrator, a Temple University student who was also arrested and detained for 24 hours, needed ten staples and sutures in his head following Monday’s incident in Center City.

Several states away, two Chicago police officers caught on video pulling a woman from a car by her hair before placing a knee on her neck have been stripped of their police powers pending an investigation, authorities said in a Friday statement.

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