Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Liberty and good government do not exclude each other; and there are excellent reasons why they should go together. Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.”     Lord Acton

June 28, 2007

Another Police Outrage Caught On YouTube

by Doug Mataconis

Go skateboarding in Little Rock, Arkansas and you run into the iron hand of the law:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A police officer who appears to choke a skateboarder and put two others in a headlock in a video posted online has been put on administrative leave while police investigate, officials said.

Hot Springs Mayor Mike Bush said Tuesday that investigators have talked with witnesses who saw the officer, Joey Williams, stop the skateboarders on a downtown city sidewalk last Thursday. Skateboarding is banned in the area.

The video shows Williams apparently choking one of the skateboarders after forcing him to the ground, then later chasing and wrestling two others while holding them in a headlock.

“Unfortunately, the video shows it pretty good,” Bush said

Unfortunately ? Are you suggesting that it would’ve been better if the video didn’t exist, because then you wouldn’t have the inconvenient problem of evidence like this ?

H/T: Brendan Loy

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12 Comments

  1. I have talked to a few of the shop owners. They were quiet clear in what they saw. Merchants Bobbie Golden and Jerry Milroy said Canterbury went after Williams and that Williams was just defending himself. The girl was hitting him and had her hands around his throat. The video on youtube has conveniently edited that part and others out.

    IMO, the kids got exactly what they were looking for: TROUBLE

    Comment by Lark — June 28, 2007 @ 10:14 am
  2. i’m convinced — carry my camera everywhere to be ready to document the atrocities.

    wasn’t there a program by amnesty international to secretly provide citizens who lived under repressive regimes with video cameras?

    what a great concept movie witness is.

    i wonder what law the kid with the camera broke — inciting a riot? too bad i ‘m too old & fat to run that fast; i’ll have to take extra care to be surreptitious. it’s not just to avoid an arrest, but to smuggle the documentation away from the crime scene.

    if citizens can be tested for drug & alcohol abuse, why can’t raging cops be tested for steroids? how many police departments test for them on a routine basis?

    Comment by whaleshaman — June 28, 2007 @ 12:01 pm
  3. Seriously, Lark, you’re an idiot. They got what they were looking for? They were skateboarding (on National Go Skateboard Day) and even if it was illegal in that area, it doesnt give a police officer the right to act that way. That picture of him on top of the subdued kid while choking him clearly shows Officer Williams was doing more than defending himself. And tell me, how exactly did that girl get her hands around the police officers neck when she was holding her skateboard the entire time? He also hardly pays any attention to that one kid until he says he just took a picture of him choking their friend. most likely because he doesnt want the public to see a picture of him choking a subdued 13 year old. Notice the backup police officer there? He barely did a thing; if Officer Williams had actually been in any danger, dont you think he would have aided him? But he didnt because Officer Williams was in no danger and went above and beyond what is permitted by our country.

    Comment by guy — June 28, 2007 @ 12:28 pm
  4. The cop does go on a bit of a powertrip, but the kids could have just shut up, too. You also have to admit that the video has been edited to be most favorable to the skateboarders. It’s not quite the unbiased eye that it claims.

    Comment by David T — June 28, 2007 @ 12:41 pm
  5. David,

    You should check the unedited version on youtube. There’s no doubt that the cop was out of control with the girl. She didn’t try to fight the cop like he said she did, but he put her in a choke hold and flung her around by the neck anyway.

    Comment by Justin — June 28, 2007 @ 5:27 pm
  6. Whether these teenagers would shut up or not is not the issue. The officer has to be adult enough, and professional enough not to be agitated to the point of violence on his own be half. I’m glad those kids have evidence. There are way too many cops that lie and set up people because they get agitated. I’m talking from experience. It has made me totally not trust in the law anymore. There are too many crooked cops.

    Comment by Shay — June 28, 2007 @ 5:34 pm
  7. What happens when a police officer tells you to stop but you refuse to do so? He will chase you down. What happens when he tells you to sit down but you turn and run? He will chase you down. What happens when he gets ahold of you after trying to flee but you’re fighting him? He will try and restrain you. What happens when someone else tries to jump him? He will endeavor to restrain that person also.

    Of course we don’t see the beginning of the fracus and you can tell the video has been edited.

    I’ve watched the youtube video at least a dozen times. The officer was NOT out of line!!!!!

    As far as Williams choking the boy once he was on the ground? I want you to put your hand under your jaw, with the thumb grasping one side of your jaw and the rest of your fingers on the other. The gap between the thumb and fingers will most probably be under your chin. Push up. How is that hold choaking you? It’s not. It’s on the jaw restraining you. I’ve used it numerous of times with my kids.

    Is this what Williams actually did? Don’t know, can’t tell by the pic. If Williams did have his hand around his throat it was obviously just a restraining action cause you don’t hear the boy fussing about being choked.

    Did Williams hurt anyone? No.

    The problem is not with Williams but with the kids who did not listen to him.

    Comment by patricia — June 29, 2007 @ 12:56 am
  8. Deplorable conduct. This man has no business being an officer. He deserves a criminal conviction and to lose his job.

    Comment by O.W. — June 29, 2007 @ 1:13 am
  9. If that was my 13 year old, the officer would have concerns far wider than the action of the court.

    Comment by Ron — June 29, 2007 @ 1:16 am
  10. This most certainly goes above and beyond the reasonable force required to subdue a perp. One of the most important things about being a peace officer is de-escalation of a situation like this before force is required. This officer didn’t do that at all and in fact escalated the situation with his “iron fist”-style of policing.

    I’m not saying these kids were right by any stretch of the imagination, but the conduct the officer displayed is reprehensible. Choking the thirteen year old in the photo taken by Nall alone breached what is reasonable for detaining a child. The subsequent threats of force are also out of line with a misdemeanor charge. Likewise the threats to MACE the kid.

    A ticket, confiscating the skateboards until the parents could be notified, and stern warning. Those are proper methods of dealing with youths like this.

    Comment by Marshall — June 29, 2007 @ 8:26 pm
  11. The main problem right now with this situation is that people are looking for who is right and who is wrong. Unfortunently, this is not a black and white issue and this is where a lot of the angry posts and debates are stemming from.

    The police officer is supposed to be not only a professional but an adult as well. He not only is NOT a professional, nor acts in an “adult” like fashion, but escalates the situation as Marshall explains above.

    The questions people need to ask themselves is:

    “How would I feel if that was my child?”

    “Are these children so out of control that this type of reaction is justifiable?”

    “Would I not also run away if put in this same situation.?”

    “Why does the police officer act so brutally to the children after returning from chasing the one that ran away when those kids could have been LONG GONE before he ever came back?”

    I am not saying these children did not need to learn a lesson but the issue at hand are the principles being instilled and executed by our officers of the law.

    Comment by John — July 3, 2007 @ 1:22 am
  12. Those kids were certainly high calibre individuals and deserve respect huh?

    The officer was wrong. What he should have done is loaded them up, driven them home and kicked the ever loving hell out of the trash that spawned them.

    I’m no fan of the police, but if we are gonna have laws and pay someone else to enforce them, then shut up and let them do it or do it your damn self.

    I really feel sorry for the kids, the “brutality” they suffered must be severely traumatic. Get a grip sheeple.

    Comment by Takezo — July 5, 2007 @ 8:07 pm

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