Indiana, PA — Most parents would agree that their worst nightmare is something bad happening to their child and them not being able to prevent it. When a Pennsylvania father received a video of his son being attacked by police for asserting his rights, this was one of those nightmares.
When retired Airforce veteran Will James got a call over the weekend with a subsequent video showing what happened, he said it was the worst day of his life. His son had been arrested after being violently taken down and punched multiple times by police for no apparent reason.
In the video, we see his son being cordial, polite and entirely non-violent. However, as he attempts to assert his rights, that is when police became violent.
While we certainly do not know or claim to know what happened prior to this video starting, we can assume that this man had not been witnessed committing a crime as police would've already been arresting him. Instead, police are asking for his ID to which the young man refuses—an entirely legal option in the state of Pennsylvania even if you are being arrested.
In Pennsylvania,you do not have to show ID when police stop you on the street and ask to see ID. If you are detained or arrested, you may choose to show ID when police demand it. If you choose not to show ID, you can be detained for a longer time while police attempt to identify you.
This young man had not been told he was being detained and was merely trying to walk away—as is his right. However, one cop apparently had enough of this young man attempting to assert his rights, so he moved in.
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As the young man tries to walk away, the problem cop says, "you're being detained now," as he proceeds to escalate to unnecessary and excessive force. Within only seconds of saying he is being detained, the officer reached out, grabbed the young man's arm and began twisting it backward.
Smelling the blood in the water, the other officers swarmed the young man as well and the gang-style beat down had begun. The entire time, the young man appears to remain non-violent. However, it was to no avail.
Further illustrating the senseless nature of the stop and the unlawful assault and arrest, the only charge police could stick on the young man was their goto claim of resisting arrest.
Naturally, people are claiming in the comments of the video that he should've just complied with the officer's demand to show his ID. However, he had obviously committed no crime and he was well within the law to refuse to ID. Also, unless he was being detained, which according to the video, happened only a few seconds before he was assaulted, he was well within his rights to walk away.
What good are rights if they get you beaten and kidnapped by police when you practice them?
Below is the infuriating video. It was uploaded to Facebook over the weekend by James who wrote the following description.
Today was one of the worst days. I received a phone call from my son. He began to tell me about an encounter he had with the Indiana, PA Police Department. I began to get angry with him. Maybe because I was afraid for him. I knew where he was and I knew how the situation could've ended.
Then he sent me this video and said he was charged with resisting arrest. I immediately became outraged after watching this. This was one of the hardest things to watch. As I'm watching and he shows no sign of resistance at any point. THIS HAS TO STOP.
He wasn't gravely injured but I can only imagine what others have felt with so many incidents occurring so frequently.
More details will be released once I'm cleared to do so.
The Free Thought Project reached out to the Indiana police department for comment on this incident, however, we have yet to hear back.