If a civilian assaults someone and deprives them of their freedom, they can not simply say it was an accident and be off the hook.
St. Ann, Missouri – Police in a town just outside of St. Louis recently assaulted and handcuffed the wrong person during a high speed chase. 22-year-old Joseph Swink was driving down the road, minding his own business last week, when his car was hit by a vehicle that was in a high speed chase with police.
Swink’s car was hit by the fleeing suspect, who continued to speed down the road after the collision. Instead of following after the suspect, police stopped the car that had been hit. Then they proceeded to assault and detain Joseph Swink, thinking that he was the man they were after.
As police arrived on the scene of the crash and saw Swink, they came after him as if he was the person that they were chasing. He then tried to explain to them what happened, and who he was, but according to the police department this could be considered resisting arrest. Police tackled Swink to the ground and handcuffed him as he attempted to explain the situation.
Police Chief Aaron Jimenez admitted to the incident and apologized in a statement to reporters.
“We did put handcuffs on the wrong guy, and I apologize for that. But they did it in good faith. It was literally an accident. He gets out and runs toward the back of the car, so they grab him, toss him on the ground. They didn’t Tase him. They didn’t use batons. They didn’t kick him in the face. They definitely put him on the ground and were trying to get handcuffs on him while he’s squirming around. And he’s resisting arrest because he’s trying to tell the police that it’s not him,” Jimenez said in a statement.
The police department refuses to accept any responsibility in the matter, in fact, Chief Jimenez has blamed the assault on the suspect, and said that the officers will not be disciplined because they “made an honest mistake.”
“I apologize for the mistaken identity, I am sorry he got put into that situation because of the suspect,” Jimenez Said.
However, Swink wants the officers to lose their jobs for such indiscriminate use of force.
“I don’t know what they were thinking. I’m just shocked that all of this happened,” Swink said.
According to the St. Ann Police Department, the actual suspect who was being chased was 32-year-old Anton Simmons, who was later arrested after crashing his car again a few miles down the road.
This type of unaccountable assault on innocence is sadly not isolated. Last year, three SAPD officers severely brutalized an innocent man as he tried to photograph his wife’s new location for her medical practice.
When KENS 5 news interviewed then SAPD police chief William McManus, he stated that “Clearly it was a case of mistaken identity. From the report that I’ve read, from the photo that I saw and from your description, I’ve not seen anything at this point that would indicate to me that anything out of order happened.”
The chief of police thinks that an innocent man being beaten to the point of hospitalization by incompetent police officers mistaking him for another man, and causing $15,000 in medical bills, indicates that nothing “out of order happened.”
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he is also the owner of a successful music promotion company. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.