What will happen to the police officers in these two cases?

In Atlanta, a police officer arrested a disabled woman who was sitting in a chair in front of her home waiting for an ice cream truck.
Walker said an Atlanta police officer approached her and told her to move. “He came right here and said we had to move, and I said ‘What reason do he have to move?’ ” Walker said. She said the officer told her, “Because I said so.” Walker claims she stood and told the officer she was going to call his supervisor.

“That’s when he grabbed me. My ice cream fell and my phone fell,” she said. Walker said that’s when the officer put her on the ground. Walker has photos of the incident. Walker said the officer sprained her shoulder in the process, and she had to be taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.

The charge was disorderly conduct. "In six months, 27 of the 38 arrests the officer made were for disorderly conduct." And in Southwest Miami-Dade a police officer clobbered a man with Down Syndrome because he was suspicious of the bulge in the man's trousers.
Liko said, the officer smacked him in the face with an open hand and knocked him to the ground. "His whole hand," he said. According to the police report, a Miami-Dade Police officer noticed a bulge in Liko's waistband. The officer attempted to conduct a pat down, and Powell tried to run away. "I said, 'Didn't you know he was a Down's Syndrome kid?' And he said, 'No, I'm not a doctor. I don't know.' And I said, 'Well, you can see it in his face that he is a Down's Syndrome kid,'" said Powell's mother, Josephine. The bulge that Liko had on his waistband was a colostomy bag.
What will happen to the police officers in these two cases? So far nothing. My guess is that any disciplinary action will be minor.

(Via Nothing To Do With Arbroath)


    1. My belief has always been that if a civilian commits a crime, that civilian should be punished by 1 standard, however if someone who is given a position of civil authority/power commits a crime, that person’s punishment should be at least double (if not 10 times more) that of the civilian.  Why?  Because that person was given that authority/power in trust and clear understanding that he or she will use it to protect (or for the benefit) the civilian(s).

  1. *facepalm*

    Sadly, I expect nothing will happen to these bad examples of cops. I am related by marriage to a cop that has caused a couple shit storms in the Portland Or. area over the past 2 decades and he has always received slaps on the wrist.

    Hopefully the communities that are local to these jerks make a lot of noise. It’s the only way *anything* will be done in response.

    1. I’d settle for half instead of twice, and I think it would be much better to put the humbled men back on the street.

  2. I don’t think there’s any law stating that you have to be a human being to be a cop, so it’s all within the law.
    The Rule of Law is : if the police tell you to move, you move. If people didn’t respect The Rule Of Law we’d have Anarchy, and most will agree that We Can’t Have That. Better to have cops beating the occasional granny than Anarchy. It would be very bad for business.

    Who here can honestly say they’d prefer Anarchy to this? If the police showed any sign of retreat,or apology, that would be the beginnings of Anarchy. People would begin to disregard The Rule of Law. Bad for business. Without business there is no iPhone, no internet, and no boing boing.

    So before y’all start hating on the polis, THINK.

    1. Yes, because the options are tackling grannies and the mentally handicapped or anarchy. There is NO MIDDLE GROUND.

    2. Should we just ignore crooked cops? How is that fair to the 99% of police officers who do their job without beating disabled people?

      1. Bad cops don’t exist in a vacuum.  Good cops are usually just a few feet away when the Bad Cops are doing their thing.  By not stopping them or crossing that Thin Blue Line, they ally themselves with the Bad Cops.

      2. “How is that fair to the 99% of
        police officers who do their job without beating disabled people?”
        If those other 99% where doing their job, they would not let bullies like this run wild.

    3. I don’t think you are quite getting how rule of law works (or how it should work, in theory).  it’s not that authority figures have unfettered authority to do as they will, and we all are obligated to listen, cause they represent state power (that’s just fascism) – it’s that there is a rule of law that all people within a society should adhere to, including the police and other “people in charge”.  Working within a legal framework is supposed to curb the power of authority figures, as much as it discplines a population.  Part of things like the 4th amendment (protection against unreasonable searches, etc), is to protect citizens from arbitrary acts, just like this.  The choice is not anarchy vs arbitrary power, as you suggest.  The theories behind rule of law do not give cops the right to break the law – they in theory need to act within the law, or you get situations like the NOLA PD or the LAPD, both of which have historically been called out for abuses of power. Keep in mind, this is in theory.  Historically, it has not worked this way always.

      This is not about hatin’ on the polis, as you put it, but it’s about guarding against abuses of power.  It sounds like this particular cop (in the case from Atlanta) was power tripping, and he should be disciplined accordingly.

    4. I’m an Anarchist… so F%#K YES I’d rather have Anarchy than Tyranny!!!
      Of course… since I can’t tell if your being sarcastic I’ll hold off on lecturing you about the history and philosophy of Anarchism…

      1. Yeah, anarchy is pretty sweet.  Especially if you like sitting on your roof with a shotgun so no one takes any of your stuff.

        1. exactly, in anarchy there is no mutual aid, there are no protection services to be purchased, the only way to protect your stuff is to sit on your roof with a shotgun.  

          1. If a bunch of know-it-all dudes agree with each other about something, even though it is BS, does it become true?  lol

            Yeah, right- because anarchy is all about ignoring those that might need help- even if you want to. Fuck ’em! /s

    5. @ osamabama  What the hell does anarchy have to do with citizens wanting cops to obey the law or be subject to its consequences? Police showing signs of retreat or apology as you put it is not the “beginnings of anarchy” those signs are signs of a free society my friend. As far as i can tell, there has been a big surge in the ammount of attention the media is paying to stories about police brutality, violating rights (videotaping arrests) boingboing included. The common theme in all of these stories is that some cops abuse power. Sometimes to a degree that can ruin or in some cases end lives.>To say that hey they have a hard job is one thing, but dont for one second sir try to fool anyone into thinking that because their job is difficult; that gives them the authority to treat my or anyone else in this countries rights with ill regard or reckless abandonment.As far as im concerned. by telling people to calm down and not make any ripples, you are getting in the way of making this country a better place to live. God Bless America

      1. I think the argument Osamabama is making is that cops make the rule of law up as they go along and are not likewise bound by the rule of law, because they are the rule of law. In the words of Cartman, they are the law, and we should “respect their authoritah.”

    6. The Rule of Law is : if the police tell you to move, you move.

      You know that doesn’t really have anything whatsoever to do with the rule of law. In fact, arbitrary authority is the precise opposite of the rule of law. The point of law is to protect the population from capricious police power.

      1. “You’ve been asked by an old friend. You’re being ordered by a superior officer.  Now you’re being given your last chance by a man with a gun.” – Ed Harris, The Rock

        That’s not the Rule of Law.  That’s the Rule of Guy With Gun.  If a man pointing a gun at me tells me to move, I move.  It’s preferable he have a badge but I’m not prepared to argue with him about it.

    7. The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

      -George Bernard Shaw

    8. This rule goes both ways.  If “hating on the polis”(sic) leads to anarchy, then allowing the police (errr. . .  “polis”) to do whatever they like simply because they are the “authority” leads to a police state, a dictatorship where nobody is really free except authority.  But then business would be great, I suppose (lord knows IG Farben, Mercedes/Benz, Volkswagen an many other German companies raked in the profits under a certain dictatorship.)

      Oops, I just Godwinned.

    9. “Kiss the Shiny, Shiny Boots of Leather” is a Lou Reed song, not the State Mandated behavior for civilians to the police.

      And yes, I recognize the true intent behind the post.

  3. And this is why we can not film them, because then we would have proof of the evils some of them commit. 
    Not all police are bad, the bad ones just get much more attention. 
    I am often amazed at how even the “good” cops close the ranks around one of their own in these types of cases.
    The police talk about how they get no respect from suspects, and we see these types of cases and stories of the “tricks of the trade” they use to get confessions… and they still do not understand why they have moved from being viewed as the trusted protector of society to criminal with a badge to make it all legal.

    Dear Police,
    We are tired of administrative leave, retraining, sensitivity classes.  Every time you use these excuses for those that do a disservice to your profession, you erode what little trust we have in you.  Stop protecting those who should not have a badge, stop looking away and do something.  Your job is to serve and protect… even if it means protecting us from one of your own.

  4. the words of KRS-ONE come to mind:Take the word “overseer,” like a sampleRepeat it very quickly in a crew for exampleOverseerOverseerOverseerOverseerOfficer, Officer, Officer, Officer!Yeah, officer from overseerYou need a little clarity?Check the similarity!The overseer rode around the plantationThe officer is off patroling all the nationThe overseer could stop you what you’re doingThe officer will pull you over just when he’s pursuingThe overseer had the right to get illAnd if you fought back, the overseer had the right to killThe officer has the right to arrestAnd if you fight back they put a hole in your chest!Woop-woop!That’s the sound of da police!

  5. Only two kinds of people become police officers: those who are genuinely willing to give their life to ensure the safety and security of their fellow citizens, and those who were bullies in high school and have found that society no longer puts up with their nonsense. 

    At least we have records of the abuse.  Heaven help those who took those records, should these officers return to duty…

  6. I’m taking Osamabama’s posting as Sarcasm (with capitals), mostly because of his first sentence.  Am I off on this one or is everyone else misreading the intent?

        1. I suppose that depends on your definition of progress… or maybe you’re being sarcastic there, too, like possibly maybe Osamabama?  We need sarcasm quotes on this here internets.  We can’t see each others faces to know when we are rolling our eyes, no matter how hard and loudly we roll them!!!  

  7. I suspect that a couple of “good ol’ boys” are getting liquored up and going around town proving that that don’t like bullies. They don’t like competition.


  8. I have said this before, but I like repeating it: those of you who say there are lots of good cops. BULLSHIT.

    If there were, scum wouldn’t be able to keep their jobs; corruption would get reported instead of covered up; police would be the first ones to clamp down on something that ruined their reputations in the community. But the supposed 95% (or whatever figure your fantasy holds) “good” cops don’t do anything about it, do they? Oh, wait, they do: they cover it up. 

    So much for “good” cops.

    You listening, Mark?

    1. If every good cop turned against their department, we wouldn’t have good cops anymore.  They’re here to protect us, but their fellow cops – be they corrupt or not – are their brothers and sisters.  The good cop might not approve, but he or she needs to rely on other cops, even if they’re crooked.  Stand out too much and you either get fired or things go all Serpico on you. 

      I know there are good cops.  I’ve worked with a few in the past (which is not a euphemism for getting arrested).  I’d rather encounter a good cop from a bad department than a bad cop from a bad department.

      1. “They’re here to protect us, but their fellow cops – be they corrupt or
        not – are their brothers and sisters.  The good cop might not approve,
        but he or she needs to rely on other cops, even if they’re crooked.”

        Then they are NOT here to protect us. 

        1. It says “to protect and serve” on the side of their car.  They are here to protect us.  Whether they do it or not is definitely open to debate, but the fact that a system is broken does not negate its intended purpose.

        1. OK then, how about this?  They are ideally here to enforce the codification of our society’s values with the intent of maintaining an established order even at the cost of a statistically low number of marginalized citizens.

      2. The ‘good’ cops you know are a lie. Any cop who helps or ignores the illegal activities of another is a criminal. That is a fact and it is the law. Take a read on how a real cop gets rid of the bad ones. Theodore Roosevelt worked to get rid of police corruption http://www.bartleby.com/55/6.html and gave no excuse for criminal cops.

  9. I notice no one has named the police officer involved in the first case. This is unfortunate, because anyone Googling Atlanta Police Officer Kenneth Thomas’s name should see this story posted high.

    Walker responded by telling Officer Kenneth Thomas she was within her rights to sit outside, and that other Atlanta officers had not had a problem with it. Kenneth Thomas then grabbed Walker’s wrist and twisted her arm, causing her to fall to the concrete, unable to get up on her own, Walker said.

    Unfortunately, none of the articles I read had the name of the officer who apparently slammed the Downs Syndrome kid to the ground, causing facial injuries to him.

    1. There’s a campaign to get Officer Kenneth Thomas fired from the Atlanta Police Department. 

      Of course, it’s not the kind of thing the police are used to doing, but if there’s enough ongoing public outcry and it becomes a major issue, the department may have no choice.  How can we help get this cop fired?

  10. in Southwest Miami-Dade a police officer clobbered a man with Down Syndrome because he was suspicious of the bulge in the man’s trousers.

    Suspicious, or. . . jealous?But seriously, as soon as I read the headline, I knew the answer was “nothing will be done.”

  11. Hey guys, maybe we shouldn’t worry so much about whether or not Osamabama is a troll and look at his points, even if we disagree with him. 

    I don’t agree that the only alternative to having bad cops is to have anarchy.  I know that this kind of behavior is unacceptable (even if I acknowledge that there is a price to pay for fighting it). 

    That said, if a cop tells me to get on the ground and put my hands behind my head, I do it.  I do it because I know that the cop has no idea who I am, what I’m thinking, or what I’m capable of, and whether a cop is good or bad, you do NOT want them frightened.  I know that if I shoot and kill someone in my own home, in self defense, I have still shot and killed someone.  I will be cuffed.  I will be taken to jail.  All the cop knows at that point is that I am armed and capable of killing, and I do NOT want him to think for a second that I’m going to turn that gun on him.  Sure I’ll be able to defend myself later but at that particular moment, I am going to be as non-threatening and cooperative as possible, because all cops carry a glock and I want to keep all my blood on the inside. 

    That said, I don’t think that was the particular situation with the disabled woman, even if she was clearly brandishing a frozen confection.

  12. http://www.reddit.com/r/Bad_Cop_No_Donut/ is full of stories like these. This kind of fuckery from the police is routine.

    It’s a good thing though, as every story helps more and more Americans understand that law enforcement in the USA is corrupt to the very core and getting worse every day. It’s important to realize that the police are our enemy.

  13. Your country scares me.  Every day I see examples.  Then you show me folks playing the Dr Who theme on giant Tesla Coils.  And kittens.  What’s a poor guy to think, huh?  Gimme a breakdown. How many Americans are insane?  Just a percentage hunch.  I’m sure as sh*t not asking the authorities.

    1. 100%

      We’re all born normal, but America is such a batshit crazy place that we all end up going crazy trying to adapt to living in it.  Some go good crazy, some go bad crazy.  These cops are bad crazy.  Dr. Who theme on Tesla coils is clearly good crazy.

      This is the secret behind all the best and worst things about America.  We are living in a crazy dystopian future so that we can sell internet technology to you folks living in the present as part of a nefarious scheme to show you pictures of our cats.  Thousands of them.

      1. I thought I should clarify a few things:
        1. Only those on the coasts and a few inland cities live in the future.  We do this by borrowing time from rural populations, who as a result live in the past.  This works out well because we are mostly sci fi fans and their tastes skew more towards high fantasy.
        (OK, I probably deserve to get clobbered for that joke)
        2.  “Nefarious schemes” was redundant.  All of our schemes are nefarious.

  14. @osamabama……You make it difficult to be sure, but I have to think you are being facetious and ironic and sarcastic and , well….funny..or else, what are you doing here on boingboing where people have a definite, if wacky, sense of humor.   So haha ha.

  15. http://passthepolicetest.com/psych-test/police-psychological-evaluation-exam

    Here are some traits from a potential prospect that might raise a red flag, and subsequently get you DQ’d:

    Below average problem-solving and social judgment suggests a lack of experience in making decisions while under pressure, particularly when being pulled in several different directions by people or issues that might influence you. In short, it comes down to a lack of life experience.

    Difficulty presenting information in a straight forward manner suggests you may have difficulty analyzing facts and relating them to others in a brief, concise and accurate manner. Instead, it suggests you may include too much information, unnecessarily injecting other factors that have no relevance and complicating resolution of the matter. Again, this suggests a lack of life experience.

    Aggressive behavior –  Prospect that displays an unwillingness to listen to authority or is in a constant state of aggression will raise a red flag to the examiner, and as a result will issue the department a “not suitable to be a police officer” recommendation.Like I mentioned in this article, there is no way to prepare for the police psychological evaluation test. You just need to be honest.

  16. This cops on the down-low. Meaning, people who sit outside see EVERYTHING, maybe she was losing him some drug dealing kickbacks. 

  17. Can these postings be accompanied by the names of the cop in question, the police department, the chief of police, and the mayor?

    The only way to make this change is to embarass the people who can do something about it.

  18. The American people need to assert every right every time no matter how silly or inconvenient it may be. I may be mistaken but Qualified immunity does not apply if the officer knowingly violates the law. They get away with it, because they claim after the fact that they are incompetent. THE biggest problem is a complacent press, that is authoritarian and does NOT do its JOB. In the case of the man with Downs. “WHAT Crime did you suspect he committed? What crime was he Committing? What crime was he about to commit? To give you authority to detain him in the first place. NONE,  THEY simply do not ask, the last thing the press wants to do is educate the masses as to what there rights are.  

  19. The thing that made me the saddest at first glance was that that poor lady dropped her ice cream… :(

    I want to buy her a new one and give her a hug (if she’d let me, of course).

    What happened to gentleness and caring and all that good stuff? It makes me want to cry, thinking about it…

  20. Dudes… I fuckin’ get scared whenever I see the pigs. And I’m white middleclass male hetero straight-laced-as-fuck.THAT’S HOW BAD YOU’RE SUCKING RIGHT NOW, POLICE. YOU ARE EVEN ALIENATING THE ONE DEMOGRAPHIC YOU HAVEN’T SYSTEMATICALLY VICTIMIZED. GodDAMN.

  21. for me (writing from GER) this is unbelievable.absurd, even.here, a single ocurrence like those mentioned in the article wouldraise a media shitstorm the likes of which you couldn’t begin to imagine,ending (likelihood 99.9%) with suspension-for-life for the officer and instantwhaddayacall revocation/revo/re-whatever: they would strip him of all retirement benefits,give him “convicted felon” status and a 2-3 year parole term during which even loud sneezingwould be ill advised.oh, and guess what:i like our system better than yours.:|

  22. Hello Local Media : this is what should be reported on the 5 pm news and repeated till the 11 pm news slot , this is what should be passed on and highlighted – our civil liberties being taken hostage by corrupt police officers way overstepping the bounds of the laws they are sworn to serve. The American Gestapo- how many more civilians need to be accosted by the blind eyes of the law ?
    Being a police officer is a privilege and when the trust in that privilege is broken so should the contract between the officer and the city, township or,community they work for.Yeah that’s right WORK FOR Until that time the GORILLAS will run wild. So step up , protest ,be heard or this type of behavior will continue to fester if we allow it to continue to occur. In any other occupation if you screw up you are fired ! period!  no desk duty, or two week paid leave “vacation” why do we continue to allow this ???

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