Sunday, January 9, 2011

Zealous cops brutalize black man in diabetic shock weaving on the road

As local police departments become increasingly  militarized, American law enforcement officers are being accused more and more frequently of using violence without clear justification.  Reckless high speed chases are one manifestation of this "above the law" attitude copped by some cops.  Excessive using of tasers is another.

The Cincinnati Examiner reports on a tragic case:
John Harmon was coming off a late night at work when he left his downtown marketing firm for his Anderson Township home just after midnight in October 2009
The 52-year-old longtime diabetic's blood sugar levels had dipped to a dangerously low level causing him to weave into another lane.
A Hamilton County sheriff's deputy spotted him on Clough Pike and suspected drunken driving.
What happened over the next two minutes and 20 seconds should never happen to anyone, Harmon said.
Deputies broke the window of Harmon's SUV, shocked him seven times with a Taser, cut him out of his seatbelt and wrestled him to the ground, severely dislocating his elbow, and causing trauma to his shoulder and thumb.
The deputies' actions prompted a state highway patrol trooper to pull one deputy away from Harmon because he was so concerned about how Harmon was being treated. That trooper alerted his bosses to the deputies' actions.
Even after learning the incident was a medical emergency, deputies charged Harmon with resisting arrest and failing to comply with a police officer's order.
"I thought for sure I was going to die," Harmon said. "I remember praying to God, 'Help me through this.'"
Harmon, a tall and burly black man, owns a marketing company with his wife. He said he moved to the mostly white township for its good schools, and said he believes he wouldn't have gotten the same treatment if it was a white man.
"I do think that maybe (race) was a factor," Harmon said. "Just out of common decency some of the things that were done here don't make sense, even if I were drunk."

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