As The Free Thought Project reported last week, an El Paso police officer pulled his gun on a group of pre-pubescent kids while he was attempting to arrest a teenager for trespassing. But instead of charging the officer with brandishing a firearm—an average individual would have been charged with—El Paso Police responded to the incident by arresting more kids.
In all, two 12-year-old boys; three boys ages 13, 14 and 15; and two girls, ages 12 and 16 were arrested and charged with burglary for breaking into a park and recreation building and stealing a key.
After pouring over camera footage from the area, the police concluded that the group of kids took a key. That’s right. In an apparent effort to deflect attention away from a reckless police officer, the department responded by arresting more children, a move which will likely enrich the courts, the lawyers, and anyone else who profits from people getting arrested, such as probation and family courts.
El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles then engaged in what TFTP calls “blaming the victims” by insinuating that the same group of kids was suspected of vandalizing the park pool and the softball equipment storage shed. This shadow casting did not go unnoticed by members of the community, including the mother of the first teen arrested.
Elizabeth Flores said she tried to get the still-unnamed officer on camera choking her son but was unable to start the recording soon enough. She says she saw the officer choking her son and jumped over a fence to confront him, pointing her finger and questioning his training.
Bystanders were recording the incident, which has now gone viral, appearing on many major news outlets. While very adult language could be heard coming out of the mouths of little children, something Wiles also noted, the fact remains that an El Paso Police officer drew his weapon from his holster, pointed it at unarmed, defenseless children, and is still an employee in at the department.
According to the El Paso Times, the officer "showed poise and restraint while under attack from the disrespectful and disobedient kids." Apparently, "restraint" is now assaulting unruly children with a deadly weapon.
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Wiles is joined by El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen in criticizing the children involved, as well as their parents. Allen stated that the incident is being investigated by Internal Affairs but added that the language used by the children toward the officer was inappropriate. He questioned the youths’ parents as well, casting another shadow on the late curfew they were allowed to have. According to USA Today, he remarked:
At 11 o'clock at night, a 12-year-old being out seems a little unusual to me.
Allen also said the incident involving the police officer drawing his loaded weapon on children has been passed along to the citizen’s review board, an outside supposedly objective committee made up of members of the public.
It has been our experience at TFTP with such incidents that officers are typically placed on paid administrative leave pending a lengthy investigation (at an enormous cost to taxpayers). The investigation will likely end with a reprimand being given to the officer, his gun being handed back to him, then the department allowing the officer to go back to "protecting" the public (if that’s what you call pointing guns at kids).
If firing is recommended, the officer will likely have a chance to resign first which affords him the opportunity to get hired by another policing agency. At which time, he is known in police accountability circles as a “gypsy cop,” one who works long enough to get into trouble somewhere but then goes on to another department where his record appears clean. The citizens of El Paso deserve to know who he is and to see to it that he never is allowed to possess a weapon again.
Arresting more children only exacerbates the problem, causes undue hardship for poor families, and does not fix the initial problem. In the end, the theft of a single solitary key will cost families thousands. They’ll have to see that same police officer on their streets daily. And that my friends, is the definition of state-sponsored tyranny.
Watch the original video below: