San Jose, CA — If you ever have any doubt about how the state forces compliance with arbitrary dictates like vehicle registration, it is the promise of violence. If you do not obey every single arbitrary traffic code, you will be issued a promise of extortion via a citation. If you refuse to pay those who are doing the extorting, they will kidnap and cage you. If you refuse to be kidnapped and caged, they can and will initiate violence against you.
Over the years, the Free Thought Project has reported on countless instances in which people have been beaten or even killed over things as trivial as a burned out light bulb on their license plate. As the following case illustrates, the state is willing to hold children at gunpoint while beating and arresting their mother for failing to pay the state for a vehicle registration sticker.
The video, recorded by San Jose resident Josh Gil, shows police stop a family in a McDonald's parking lot. When the video begins, the mother is outside of the car and on her knees. She is not resisting and not posing a threat when all of the sudden one of the officers appears to kick her in the face.
The unidentified woman immediately drops to the ground as the officer yells at her, “Shut up,” and “I told you so.”
The cop then jumps on top of her as he continues scolding the woman. In the meantime, her children are hysterical in the back seat. The cop then grabs the woman by the handcuffs and yanks her so hard she comes off the ground. He then proceeds to drag her across the parking lot by the cuffs.
“I couldn’t believe it to be honest,” Josh Gil said. “Especially after what’s happened and all the protests going on like it felt like none of that is making a change because police brutality will always exist. It was sad to be honest, especially hearing the kids in hysteria in the back.”
“It was nothing like she was trying to run or anything — she was already on her knees, there wasn’t much she could have done,” Jonathan Gastelum, another eyewitness to the incident, said.
“It was a scary situation for everybody,” Gastelum said. “It was just — it was just bad.”
After the video began to go viral on Twitter, San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia said the department has since launched a review of the incident. He urged citizens to stop short of judging the officers who held small children at gunpoint while savagely abusing their mother — because vehicle registration.
Recommended for You
“I understand the scrutiny we are going to receive when these type of videos go viral. We’re not going to run away from it,” Garcia said. “But what you’re seeing is a small clip of a larger situation.”
As Mercury News reports, Garcia said police had sought the silver car for a week, after officers tried to pull it over for an expired registration on July 18 and its driver fled. That prompted police to obtain a seizure warrant for the car; when officers tried to stop it on July 21, it sped away again. Officers saw the car again Wednesday and conducted a traffic stop, leading to the encounter in the McDonald’s lot.
“A vehicle takes off from from police twice, there are people in the car, and the officers don’t know what’s going on. People don’t flee from police for no reason,” he said. “That said, I totally understand the sensitivity, and the scrutiny here. We’re looking at the force that was used and analyzing it.”
But those who witnessed the senseless violence disagree with the "officers don't know what's going on" defense.
“No child should ever have to see their mother endure that type of brutality, you know?” Gil told the Mercury News. “Even if she was guilty of the crime they suspected her of committing, there was no reason for them to use excessive force while she was complying. There’s absolutely no reason for that.”
We agree. This woman was suspected of a minor traffic infraction and her entire family was held at gunpoint as she was savagely kicked in the face, dragged across the parking lot by handcuffs, and then thrown in a cage. The only "victims" in this entire violent debacle was the woman and her family.
Many police supporters will say that she should have just paid her registration and none of this would have happened. But these people lack the empathy to understand this family's position. State fees for driving in California can total in the hundreds of dollars. If you are late paying them, you are hit with penalties that keep adding up and, like the woman in the video below, subject to arrest.
Many families have to choose between feeding their children and paying the state for the privilege of driving just to get to work. If this woman goes to jail over her unpaid fees, it means she can no longer work to earn money to feed her children, which is a powerful impetus behind fleeing the first two traffic stops.
Now, as this woman sits in jail, she is unable to work. Her family will suffer as a result and may lose their home and vehicle. The children could become wards of the state, thus setting back taxpayers tens of thousands and possibly leading to the children being sex-trafficked. And all of it started with an expired vehicle sticker in the land of the free. Feel protected yet?