A rookie cop in Texas sustained a major injury to his leg after he was shot with a bean bag gun by senior officers at his department. The attack was much like an act of hazing, which is a typical characteristic of initiations for fraternities and gangs.
Officer Erik Marmol of Rosenberg, Texas was badly injured this May when fellow members of his newly joined SWAT team ordered him to take a bean bag shot as a right of passage onto their team.
If it was not for security camera footage that recorded this incident, this whole thing would have probably been swept under the rug. When questioned about the incident, all of the officers involved had been caught in lies, and all of them had different stories.
In the video, the officers can be heard laughing and cheering as officer Marmol cried out in pain. The bean bang round made a direct hit on Marmols leg, an area where he was not wearing protective gear.
Lt. Aaron Slater, who orchestrated the initiation was fired, and surprisingly many of the other officers involved were demoted as well.
Slater says that the incident was actually part of a training exercise, and claims that his comments in the video about an “initiation” were only a joke.
“This wasn’t a hazing incident. It was never intended to be a hazing incident,” Slater told Houston reporter Jace Larson.
“Doing it to begin with may have been a mistake,” Slater added. “However, this type of spontaneous training happens all the time.”
The Police Chief, however, who was responsible for firing Slater disagrees. “This can only be characterized as a hazing incident, an initiation incident. I think that type of behavior cannot be tolerated,” Chief Dallis Warren said.
Slater also told reporters that, “an officer walked in. I asked the question. I asked if he’d be willing to take a round and he said, ‘Well as long as all the safety precautions are there.’ We discussed what safety precautions there would be. I made a comment in jest: ‘It’s part of the initiation to the SWAT team.’ We immediately joked. We laughed about it. It was obviously not the case.”
One disturbing thing that this situation brings to mind, is the fact that these so called “non lethal weapons” are used against protesters without the slightest concern about the damage that could be done. Bean bag weapons are used fairly regularly in protests and in the mainstream media and among politicians, this is presented as humane way of dealing with social unrest.
Additionally, this video sheds some new light on the shady underworld that exists within SWAT teams and police departments.
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.