Battle Creek, MI — A video uploaded to Facebook over the weekend has caused quite the debate online showing Battle Creek police officers apparently abusing a disabled African American man.
The incident happened on Thursday, Dec. 15 as police pulled over a driver for a suspended license. The video shows cops yelling at the man they just pulled over as he lays on the ground immobilized.
The driver is politely telling police that he needs his walker to get up and instead of giving it to him, they yell in his face.
“You dragged me out of the car bro,” says the driver as he lays there helplessly on the ground. “Look what you just did to me.”
“How would you like to get up,” asks one officer.
“I can’t get up without my walker,” responds the driver.
The driver continues to plead with the officers for his walker, but they hold it just out of reach while screaming in his face.
Instead of allowing the man to get up slowly, like he knows how to do, the cops resort to what they know best — force.
The man is yanked from the ground and painfully dragged to the police car as he screams in agony. When they get the man to the car, he attempts to explain to the officers that he must unlock his leg braces in order to get in the cruiser. Again, they ignore him and apply more force.
Instead of simply listening to the man who is repeatedly telling them that his legs cannot fold unless he unlocks his braces, the officers continue to shove the man into the car. His screams of agony are hard to endure.
According to a press release, Battle Creek police are aware of the video and plan to make an official statement this week. Police noted that the driver’s condition was assessed at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo before being released back to police custody.
Police also noted that the driver had an outstanding arrest warrant, but they did not elaborate on the details of it.
The reason this video caused so much controversy is because people believed the man was faking the fact that he can’t walk. On the surface, it is easy to jump to the conclusion that this man is acting and trying to milk the situation since people were filming. However, that conclusion would be wrong.
According to several people who know the driver, he is indeed paralyzed. But the controversy arises when people ask how a paraplegic can get around with a walker. And the answer is, in fact, simple — lots of paraplegics get around with a walker using leg braces.
The reason police couldn’t get the driver in the car was due to the fact that his legs were locked straight so he can use his walker. Studies have shown for decades that paralyzed individuals, using leg braces, can, in fact, walk long distances, short distances, and can even climb stairs.
Now that we know all the facts of this incident, the behavior of the officers is dramatically different than what many initially perceive.
Instead of assisting a non-complying man into a police cruiser, as will be the likely statement from the department, these officers, whether they knew it or not, tormented a man by keeping his walker just out of reach and then abused and humiliated him by dragging him and forcing him into the cruiser. All the while, they completely ignore everything the man was saying that would have prevented the entire ordeal.
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