According to the CNN, on September 21 a group of police officers responded to transport a man identified as Anthony Jackson whom witnesses described as being “extremely intoxicated”. The footage shows Jackson in a room sitting in a wheelchair trying to take off his coat. He stands up, trying to remove his jacket, when the police officer, Richard Jouppi, comes up and pins Jackson`s arm behind his head, pushing him back.
Although charges against Jouppi have been dropped, Shawn Reed, the independent counsel looking into the case, decided Thursday to press charges against the officer. The scandal has provoked mixed reaction. Police justify Jouppi relying on the video showing the detained man pawing at the officer`s face.
One should mention, however, that Jackson attempted to reach the officer`s face after Jouppi had pinned the man`s arm behind his head. Human right activists insist that was a case of power abuse. Jouppi`s colleagues admit that the officer had already had similar episodes in his career.
The incident in Minnesota has again drawn public attention to the abuse of police powers. And the scandal at a detox center actually is not the gravest misdemeanor on record. In late September a Houston police officer fatally shot in the head a schizophrenic, wheelchair-bound double amputee threatening people with a pen at a group home for the mentally ill after police said the man advanced on the officer`s partner.
Another horrifying incident took place earlier in July, when a police officer in California shot an unarmed man dead, which stirred public outrage and forced people to stage a protest at the shooting scene.
Many cases of power abuse by policemen were reported during the Occupy campaigns, when thousands of people took to the streets across the US to express their protests against the government`s handling of financial difficulties. A report by the New York University and Fordham shows that the police deployed unnecessarily aggressive force, obstructed press freedoms and made arbitrary and baseless arrests.
Journalists were often targeted during the Occupy campaigns. Popular bloggers and independent photo reporters were persecuted by the police during a campaign timed to a NATO summit in Chicago.
Turning a blind eye to the cases of the abuse of powers by police is not the right thing for US authorities to proceed with as ordinary citizens have demonstrated it quite well that such violations won`t prevent them from protesting. Justifying police officers who show disorderly conduct will only lead to an increase in social tensions and a complete lack of trust between ordinary people and the authorities.