Two metro officers are on blast this week after video showed them repeatedly hitting a man with their batons. According to the person who took the video, the man’s only ‘crime’ was dribbling a basketball as he waited for his train.
Nzo Hodges took the video last week as he waited for his train. He explained that the passenger holding the basketball hadn’t done anything to warrant officers approaching him, much less beating him the way they did.
Hodges explained that there was a brief verbal exchange between the man and the officers when all of the sudden, the officers threw the man into the concrete wall and then down to the ground.
“He wasn’t being aggressive – they were being aggressive with him,” Hodges explained.
As CTV News reports:
In the two-minute clip, the agents are briefly seen grappling with the man on the ground before he breaks away.
Dragged back down to the ground by the agents – lying on his back – the man puts his hands up and screams that he is in pain while a handful of onlookers watch.
Still on his back, with his head precariously close to the tracks, the man appears to surrender to the agents.
“Stop hitting me, please,” he is heard saying, curling into a protective stance just before one of the agents whacks him in the ankle with a baton.
The second agent then strikes with his baton, while the man peels back towards the edge of the platform just as a metro pulls into the station – horn blaring.
As the train pulls in, somehow the man escapes the two cops on foot, leaving behind all of his possessions, including the basketball which allegedly started the altercation in the first place.
The Metro department refused to comment on the story, releasing only the following statement, claiming that the officers followed proper procedure.
STM spokesperson Philippe Dery said “at first glance, and according to the information we have at this time, everything was done in compliance [with STM regulations].”
“In such circumstances, it must be known that the level of force used is always in response of the level of cooperation of the person being questioned,” Dery said.
While it certainly appeared as though the man was resisting, he was definitely not the aggressor. If he was truly approached and thrown to the ground for doing nothing other than dribbling a basketball, he had every right to protect himself from the unlawful assault.
Although police claim the man may have been “bothering people” on the train. Multiple eyewitnesses refute that story.
Samantha Gold rode through 11 stops with the man and while she noted he had a basketball, she explained that he did nothing to posture toward or impeded anyone.
“I saw them address a man who was holding a ball of some kind,” she said. “[They were] speaking to him, questioning him somewhat aggressively. I felt something in the pit of my stomach, knowing something was going to happen.”
“I strongly debated whether to interfere,” she added. “I really didn’t notice him until STM security approached him.”
“I see this guy trying to wriggle out of their grasp – he’s being hit by the security guards, he’s being tackled, and he’s yelling ‘stop it, stop hitting me, ca fait mal (it hurts),’” she explained. “I was horrified – I felt like he was unfairly targeted, and I feel like the STM security guards were too quick to violence.”
“My heart was racing, and I was scared – scared for the man,” Gold said.
As you watch the video below, consider the description from the multiple eye witnesses—every baton blow was allegedly doled out for a man carrying a basketball.
Because he was bouncing a basketball in the metro!!!
Posted by Nzo Hodges on Thursday, March 7, 2019