Two More From Philly’s Finest

  • Two cops “trained to deal with mental-health issues” kill “an 18-year-old man with mental-health problems” with a Taser.  Apparently the cops felt threatened because the man “armed himself with several sticks and tried to set them on fire.”  Oh, and they’d been called to this same house 14 times before.  According to the article: “‘The cause of Johnson’s death is under investigation,’ [Lt. Frank] Vanore said.”  I don’t know, but I’m thinking the fucking Taser may have been the cause of death.*
  • A 51-year-old woman is beaten by the police for refusing to stand outside—in the rain, at 4:00 a.m., in her pajamas—while the cops searched her house for “guns and gunmen.”  (This is after they had already searched the house, without a warrant; they wanted her to stand outside while they conducted a more thorough search.)  Instead, she suggested that they all wait inside while the cops got a warrant, and when she went to light a cigarette, one of the cops threw her against the wall and grabbed her by the hair and smashed her head against the wall several times.  They also beat the woman’s 52-year-old sister for attempting to defend her sister.  Both women were arrested for, no shit, “resisting arrest and related offenses.”  The cops, of course, dispute the sisters’ story.  They say their records show no indication of any injuries or medical treatment needed.  Case closed, I guess.**

*In a follow-up piece, the cops justify their actions by saying that the kid “lunged at them” with the sticks.  Doesn’t sound terribly life-threatening to me, but what do I know?   I don’t wear a uniform and carry an array of lethal weapons around with me, so I guess I’d have no way of knowing how frightening such a situation could be.  Even better, though, are the comments below the article.  There you’ll find the usual assortment of victim-blamers and police-abuse apologists.  The logic goes something like this: The cops shot/Tasered/beat somebody; therefore, he/she deserved it.

**During their search, the cops found and arrested the woman’s son, who was accused of being involved in some kind of incident involving a gun.  The article also mentions that the women had past connections with the mafia, and that this may have had something to do with the cops’ animosity toward them.  Also, the police claim that the women had originally been outside, and that when they were allowed to go inside to get some warmer clothes, they tried to shut the door on the police, and one of them kneed a cop in the balls.  Whatever.  I only mention this stuff because no doubt the apologists are using it to justify the cops’ actions.  Point is, though, there is no justifying their actions.  And to top it off, they wound up getting a search warrant after all.  So what was all the fuss about then?

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