790 1 38
Columbus, OH — A disturbing video has prompted an internal investigation into a Columbus officer after it showed the officer punch and taser a man over an open can of beer.
Maurice Taylor, 35, had harmed no one earlier this month when he was subsequently approached by an officer from the Columbus police department. The officer approached Taylor because it is in his job description that he must extort and harass otherwise entirely innocent people for carrying open containers of alcohol.
According to police, when the officer approached Taylor, he refused to provide identification, so the officer escalated force. To make sure he punished Taylor for daring to have an open can of beer, the officer tackled him and took him to the ground.
The bystander video begins after Taylor is already on the ground. The officer is seen on top of Taylor, shouting at him to “get on your belly!” Because Taylor does not respond fast enough, and continues to question his orders, the officer punches him right in the face.
The punch was so egregious and shocking that the bystanders watching the interaction gasped. After the officer delivered the punch, however, Taylor was still not on his belly — likely due to the fact that he was attacked for drinking a beer — so the officer pulled his taser out and shot the man in the neck with it.
“Police rushed him, and pushed him down and got on top of him, that’s when I started recording, I knew it went too far,” Josiah Chapo, the man who filmed the video said.
“He also got tased in the face” the witness said.
Court records show that Taylor was arrested and charged with resisting arrest, failing to disclose personal information, and having an open container.
Judge David Tyack issued a $1,000 recognizance bond and released Taylor after a representative from the YMCA came to court and told them that Taylor lived at the Y and would have support services available.
While laws against drinking in public bring a ton of money into police departments all over the country, they have also worked to deepen the divide between the police and the community by criminalizing average people and effectively making a legal drug illegal. Still, police continue to pretend that they are providing people a with a public service by harassing them and taking their money.
The video below shows what drinking a can of beer looks like in a police state.
After the Facebook video began to go viral, the Columbus police department released the footage from the officer’s body camera which showed the interaction and how quickly the force was escalated — all over a can of beer.
While these bystanders remained peaceful and merely filmed the incident, a story the Free Thought Project covered in 2015, shows that isn’t always the case.
A 22-year-old man named Phoenix Low was attacked by a police officer for carrying an open container of alcohol outside. When the officer attempted to arrest him, Phoenix tried to stand up for himself and was then aided by a number of concerned neighbors who attempted to prevent the arrest from happening.
According to the police, “a crowd surrounded the officer and began to interfere with attempts to arrest Low by yelling, striking and pulling at the officer and the prisoner.”
While the crowd’s attempt to stop Low’s arrest eventually proved unsuccessful, it shows the unnecessary and dangerous interactions caused by the enforcement of victimless crimes.
If you would like to peacefully voice your concern over what you watched in the video above, you can do so at the Columbus police department’s Facebook page, here.
790 1 38