Despite the evidence against them, the police department has insisted that the use of force was necessary and justified.
New video released in a police brutality case in Baltimore shows that the police had lied in their initial reports about what took place on the night in question. New cell phone video shows that victim Jamar Kennedy was actually attempting to move away from police with his hands above his head at the time of the assault.
However, the police said in their report, and in testimony after the incident, that Kennedy was being violent with them, and attempted to grab an officers gun. In the multiple videos to come out since the arrest, it is clear that the situation was nothing like the police officers described it.
Despite the evidence against them, the police department has insisted that the use of force was necessary and justified, because according to them, Kennedy had gotten into a fight with a bouncer at a bar just moments before the assault took place.
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Police said that they were called to a nightclub because Kennedy had gotten into a fight with a member of the staff. Whether any of this is true or not is unclear, but regardless, it does not justify the use of force that can be seen in the video evidence that has recently surfaced.
Kennedy's attorney, Alicia Altamirano, said that, "We believe the force used was excessive. If this behavior complies with the Baltimore police policy and training, then an overhaul of the policy and training is warranted, as we also believe this behavior is unreasonable and possibly life-threatening."
After the videos of the beating went public, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was forced to recognize the issue and make a statement. While she did admit that something needed to be done about police brutality, she insisted that those who have recently been implicated in police brutality cases were not a sign of a systematic problem.
The recent events in Ferguson, Missouri have brought the debate about police brutality into the mainstream spotlight, and have forced people all over the country to take notice of the issue. Many local police departments throughout the country that have long been plagued with corruption and bad press, are now starting to feel increased pressure, as more people are filming their police encounters.
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.