New policing in America: Cops just run you over at high speed and call it 'saving your life'
by Daniel Barker
(NaturalNews) In yet another case of a police using excessive force to subdue a suspect, two separate dashboard cameras captured an incident in which an Arizona police officer used his patrol car to run over a subject who was walking down a street carrying a stolen gun.
The videos, one taken from the police car used to ram the suspect, the other shot from another police vehicle on the scene, show the suspect, 36-year-old Mario Valencia, being run down by Marana, Arizona, police officer Michael Rapiejko.
The video has sparked a controversy regarding whether or not Officer Rapiejko used excessive force, partly because of the speed at which the police car was traveling when it hit the suspect and because of the fact that the vehicle was apparently used to not merely knock the man down, but to intentionally run over him.
A video showing both the view from Rapiejko's dashboard camera and from the other patrol car can be viewed below:
(Warning: this video contains graphic footage which some viewers may find disturbing)
It is obvious when watching the video that Officer Rapiejko was using "deadly force" when he ran over Valencia, but miraculously, the suspect survived the incident.
Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema was quick to defend Rapiejko's actions and agreed that it was probably due to "luck" that the victim survived:
Rozema told CNN:
"That very well may be... that it's luck that he is still alive. The fact of the matter remains, though, deadly force was authorized. So if he ends up dying in that situation, (then) he ends up dying, and that's unfortunate, (but) that's not the desire of everybody."
Although the case is still under investigation, it does appear that the suspect was carrying a rifle that he had stolen earlier from a Wal-Mart and reportedly had fired one round into the air prior to the ramming incident.
However, many of those who have seen the videos (including myself) agree that the situation should have been handled differently. In my opinion, the idea of striking the suspect with the police vehicle might have been justified in principle, but the speed at which the suspect was struck and the fact that the officer didn't seem interested in applying the brakes after doing so, make the incident a clear case of the use of excessive force.
What is truly ironic about this case is the fact that the officer was credited with saving the life of the suspect (Valencia was reportedly threatening to shoot himself), even though it truly does seem miraculous that Valencia survived the incident at all.
Since the Marana incident, it has been revealed that Officer Rapiejko was the subject of an earlier lawsuit charging him with excessive force while he served with the New York Police Department from 2003 to 2006.
The excessive force lawsuit was filed in 2005 after Rapiejko allegedly pointed his gun at unarmed suspect Luis Colon, threatened to kill him, yanked him from his car, and handcuffed and choked him. All of this occurred in front of Colon's wife and four children.
Sadly, these types of incidents are not uncommon. Police departments in the United States are becoming increasingly militarized and aggressive toward suspects, whether they are armed or not.
The concept of "Protect and Serve" seems to have been abandoned by law enforcement agencies throughout the country, and many cops have begun to resemble fascist thugs in an authoritarian regime.
There is something seriously amiss in America today. We have allowed our police officers to become renegade vigilantes, replacing those who once served to keep the peace. It is truly a sad reflection on our society when you consider that many of us have become more fearful of the cops than the criminals.
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