Philadelphia, PA — A disturbing video was uploaded to Facebook showing a Philadelphia SEPTA police officer slam a handcuffed man to the concrete. The reason for the cop slamming down the non-violent man was that he was not obeying his command to sit.
As the video begins, the officer is threatening the man filming the interaction with arrest. He then turns his attention back to the man in handcuffs.
During their exchange, the officer admits he handcuffed the man for the simple reason that he did not provide his ID fast enough. When the man in cuffs attempts to explain that he could not hear the officer due to having his headphones in, the cop wants nothing of it.
“I had my headphones in. Obviously, I couldn’t hear you,” explains the man, sending the cop into drill instructor mode.
“I’m not fucking yelling at you!” screams the cop as he pokes the man in the chest.
Stating the obvious again, the man in cuffs replies, “Yes you are yelling at me.”
Clearly agitated with a man that would question him, the officer asserts his authority and attempts to demean the man further by demanding he “sit,” like a dog.
The man politely refuses which flips a switch inside the cop, who then begins to manhandle the non-violent and handcuffed man.
“Sit!” demands the cop.
“I am not bothering anybody. I am not doing anything wrong,” replies the entirely compliant man, outside of refusing to be treated like a dog.
“Sit down!” barks the officer as he begins assaulting the man.
“That’s not a seat,” says the man.
At this point, the officer kicks the legs out from underneath the man and dangerously slams him to the concrete. The man in cuffs fell to the ground unable to stop his fall. Had he gone down at a different angle, he could have smashed his face or worse.
Many people will watch this video and say that this man should have simply listened to the officers commands, and none of this would have happened — and they are probably right. However, that argument does not justify this officer’s violent escalation.
Slamming a handcuffed man to the concrete, who poses no threat to anyone, is entirely unjustified.
The SEPTA officer will likely claim that the man in handcuffs was passively resisting. However, he was not, as he allowed the cop to place handcuffs on him. Even if the handcuffed man was passively resisting, according to the police use of force continuum, the officer is not allowed to use pain compliance until the subject actively resists. However, this man simply asked not to sit down — and, he was in handcuffs.
The Free Thought Project contacted the SEPTA Transit Police Department to inquire about this officer. However, our calls were not immediately returned.
For more videos documenting the transgressions of cops in Philadelphia, check out our archives, here.