Philadelphia, PA — As we constantly repeat here at the Free Thought Project, being entirely innocent is no defense against getting arrested or abused by police officers. And, as the following video illustrates, being an entirely innocent woman—in handcuffs—is no defense from being attacked by police either.
Last month, Khalil Harvin had harmed no one, and had committed no crime when she was arrested and put into handcuffs by two Philadelphia cops. The officers stopped the vehicle Harvin was in because they claimed it was stolen. However, it was not.
The owner of the vehicle had reported the van stolen several weeks ago after he was robbed at gunpoint. However, he found it less than a week later and called police to let them know it was no longer missing.
The vehicle owner showed his confirmation number from police to FOX 29 proving that he reported it found, but he says they have simply forgotten to remove it from their list. He explained to FOX 29 that he’d been stopped several times because police have failed to remove his vehicle from their list of stolen vehicles.
Their irresponsible record keeping then led to an innocent woman being abused by two of Philadelphia’s finest.
As the video shows, Harvin is no threat to police when she’s being shoved up against the side of the police car in handcuffs. The only thing this innocent woman is doing is loudly protesting her treatment by these officers as she has done nothing wrong.
Harvin tells the two officers who are wrongly arresting her to “get off of her” and then threatens to spit on them. This set the officer off who then grabbed Harvin by the hair, kicked her legs out from under her, and smashed her into the pavement.
The crowd around the officers all began voicing their concern for the woman’s safety. Luckily for Harvin, the abuse stopped at this point, but not until she was kidnapped and charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
After realizing the officers had targeted and assaulted an innocent woman, District Attorney Larry Krasner then dismissed all the charges against Harvin and she was released.
The local chapter of the NAACP is now speaking out about the video, saying they want the officers to be disciplined.
“We, from our examination, saw this as completely unnecessary,” says Minister Rodney Muhammad, the president of the NAACP Philadelphia branch. “We’re concerned about policing and how one encounter of something like this could’ve turned deadly.”
Indeed, police encounters like this one all too often turn deadly. Had Harvin done more than just swear at the officers and actually physically resisted her unlawful arrest, things could have taken a violent turn for the worse.
“No matter how people sound you should only be concerned with what they’re able to do,” says Minister Muhammad. “This young girl was not able to do anything that would be a threat to the officer’s safety, so his actions were unwarranted.”
Muhammad is now calling for an investigation and disciplinary actions against the officer involved.
“We think there should be some disciplinary action, I think this strikes in the face a police department that is trying to bring about reduction in unconstitutional stops.” Minister Muhammad explained.
Philadelphia Police have since released the typical statement saying they take “all matters involving the application of force seriously” and noted that there is an internal investigation underway.
While Harvin escaped with only minor injuries, others have not been so lucky.
As TFTP reported last year, disturbing body camera footage was released from the shooting of a man who police claimed was mistaken for a thief as he sat in the vehicle he owned. The video shows that when the man was approached by an officer, he attempted to comply before he was shot twice in the back.
Lyndo Jones is lucky to be alive after his encounter with police in November 2017 left him with severe injuries that forced him to spend several days in the intensive care unit chained to a bed. He was entirely innocent, yet he was shot by police who mistook him for a car thief.
Officer Derick Wiley, a 10-year veteran of the Mesquite Police Department, was charged with aggravated assault for shooting Jones but in September, the officer’s trial ended in a mistrial.