Manderson, S.D.- A startling display of police brutality was captured on camera on Friday, Aug. 15th. Officer Becky Sotherland, 32, of the Pine Ridge tribal police screams at a man to get into her vehicle as he lay on the ground helpless and handcuffed.
The man, incapacitated, unresponsive, and unable to get into the vehicle, is hit with a stun gun repeatedly as Sotherland yells at him to get in the car threatening that, “It’s gonna get you again,” referring to the 50,000 volts of electrical current delivered by the tazer.
Sotherland continually brutalizes the man until finally horrified onlookers begin yelling for the assault to stop, telling the officer they will help get the man into the vehicle themselves, as they are disgusted at the scene taking place before their eyes.
Sotherland obviously wasn’t using the stun gun as a means of defense, as the man is laying helplessly on the ground handcuffed, rather she is using it as a means of sadistic punishment in an attempt to motivate him to get into her police cruiser as she is seemingly too lazy to simply put the suspect into the cruiser herself.
The video begins with a woman saying, “This is the thirteenth time tazing him.” With another bystander stating, “We’ve been watching him for about a half hour.” Obviously distressed, the woman says, “Oh my god… poor guy.” With the other chiming in, “He probably can’t get in because she tazed him so much.”
Officer Sotherland can be heard on the video telling the incapacitated man, “It’s gonna get you again!” You then hear the cracking of 50,000 volts of electrical current being discharged into the man. She then yells sadistically, “There it is!!”
Sotherland continues screaming, “Hurry up! Get the car before it hits you again! Hurry up!” The brutal electrical punishment continues as the she keeps commanding the man to, “Get up and get in the car or it’s gonna get you again.”
You can hear the man screaming in pain as he lay on the ground being shocked with electricity. Never during the encounter did the man make any aggressive moves. Throughout the incident he simply lays on the ground writhing in pain screaming as he is being brutalized.
Finally in disgust the bystanders yells at the cop, “Let him go, quit tazing him! Just help him up! Just stop tazing him and help him up. One of these boys will help you.”
Sotherland responds, “You guys gonna help him up?” To which the onlooker says, “Yeah.” At this point a gentleman then can be heard saying, “I dunno, I don’t trust her myself,” referring to the cop after seeing what she has just done to the man on the ground.
It’s at this point that a number of bystanders go over to assist the brutalized man into the police cruiser.
The officer engaging in the brutal assault, Becky Sotherland, grew up in Hot Springs, S.D., roughly an hour northeast of the reservation, she became an officer in 2011 and joined the Pine Ridge tribal police last year.
The FBI is currently investigating the incident. Agents went to the home of the woman that took the video on Sunday to see the video first hand.
With vulgar displays of police brutality such as this, it’s no wonder that people don’t trust the police as shown in recent polls.
Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, freethinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis and on Facebook at Sir Metropolis.
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