Home / Badge Abuse / Cops Bully Witnesses During Video of Pot Arrest — Taser and Beat Onlooker for No Reason

Cops Bully Witnesses During Video of Pot Arrest — Taser and Beat Onlooker for No Reason

Englewood, NJ – As a bystander recorded a cell phone video of police choking and arresting a man throwing money out of his pockets, officers suddenly attacked an onlooker before shooting him with a Taser. Although the police claim that the onlooker threw a punch at the officer, the video does not corroborate the official narrative.

In a video recorded on Sunday night, several Englewood Police officers can be seen restraining Varian Hooks against a parked car. While ordering Hooks to stop resisting, one of the cops grips his hand around Hooks’ throat and begins choking him as Hooks tosses his money across the car’s back windshield toward the bystander recording his arrest. As the bystander begins picking up the cash, another officer quickly snatches the bills out of his hand.

Although Hooks did not fight back, the video does show officers choking and punching him in the face while Hooks refused to allow the cops to handcuff him. As the police take Hooks to the ground, a diminutive officer can be heard taunting an off-camera onlooker and repeatedly asking, “What’s up? What’re you going do to? Who you sizing up?”

As the smaller cop walks away, another one steps in incessantly provoking, “Beat me up! Beat me up!”

Several seconds later, off-camera onlooker Jason Eaves can be heard asking, “Why you touching my hand?”

Suddenly, the police grab Eaves from the crowd and throw him onto the street. While a cop keeps monotonously repeating that he does not know what happened and orders the crowd not to move, a witness can be heard telling the willfully ignorant officer, “He just pulled the cigarette off his hand and then smacked him! For what?”

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Momentarily rising to his feet, Eaves is shot with a police Taser after officers had already taken him to the ground again. With Eaves immobilized by the Taser, another officer grabs his head and slams him against the pavement.

On Tuesday afternoon, Englewood Police Chief Lawrence Suffern issued a statement claiming that Hooks had thrown both cash and marijuana out of his pockets even though the video only shows him throwing money at the bystander. Suffern also accused Eaves of throwing a punch at an officer’s head, which led to the use of a Taser. But once again, the video does not show Eaves throwing any punches.

According to Suffern, Hooks was charged with disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana, resisting arrest, and tampering with evidence. Eaves has been charged with resisting arrest, obstruction, and aggravated assault on a police officer, despite the fact that the accusatory punch was not recorded on video and the officer was clearly requesting to be struck.

Under Englewood Police’s previous policy, Tasers could only be used against suspects likely to cause death or serious bodily injury, either to themselves or others. But new guidelines allow the cops to use Tasers on anyone actively resisting arrest or posing a “substantial” risk of causing bodily injury.

Andrew Emett is a Los Angeles-based reporter exposing political and corporate corruption. His interests include national security, corporate abuse, and holding government officials accountable. Andrew’s work has appeared on Raw Story, Alternet, Activist Post, and many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @AndrewEmett and on Facebook at Andrew Emett.

  • Natalie Vernon

    Hes resisting and there are others in the back ground inciting..

  • Cam Alft

    like how the corrupt cops grab the guy and at the same time,say a lot of useless and false shit,then drag him out in front of the squad car camera,making a case against the guy watching,arresting him,but having audio evidence of him doing something,then in seconds that follow,now have video evidence of him resisting arrest…..didn’t you hear and see that set up against an innocent person people,open your eyes to ewhat these criminal cops are doing,they got mad because they were caught committing crimes,so they retaliate by arresting and framing an innocent person….so if one guy gets off of the charges or lowered charges,they just created a back-up charge and even have evidance for that false arrest to make it look legit….stop feeding the machine,look at what these corrupted cops are doing to you and how they do it…..they commit these types of crimes against people everyday to generate revenue,and you fall for it,every dam time…..cops are criminals,not your friends

  • anon ymous

    Rusty knives is to good an exit for these sick Cowards!