It’s been a stormy couple of months at the Mesa, Arizona Police Department. It wasn’t a single incident that is fueling concerns about the culture of the PD. Rather, there have been a series of beatings and misconduct on the part of police officers, much of it caught on video, that has the public outraged at the entire department. Here are some of the issues that have been brought to light over the past couple of weeks:
- On June 7, a video was released showing the arrest last month of a 15-year old who was a suspect in an armed robbery and aggravated assault case. The video shows the two cops grabbing the teen’s neck and inflicting pain as they ask him about the location of a gun allegedly used in a crime. The two officers have been placed on administrative leave.
- Earlier last week, a video surfaced showing a May 23 incident in which another man, again unarmed, was brutally beaten by a host of cops, who punched the man in the face and slammed his head into an elevator door. At the time the man’s head was shoved into the elevator door, he was surrounded by cops, and had already been handcuffed and had his feet “zip-tied.” It appears that around five officers have been placed on administrative leave based upon that incident.
The problems go back even further. Just as an illustration, in the summer of 2017, a video captured Mesa police officers punching a man and kneeing him. According to the cops, they were attempting to stop the man from jaywalking.
These are some examples of the conduct (misconduct, we should say) of the sworn officers of the Mesa Police Department. Many people will not be surprised by the incidents, which in some cases have been accompanied by racial slurs by the officers.
During a press conference after the most recent charges of brutality, the Mesa Police Chief said the videos were “disturbing,” and promised a full investigation into the department’s use of force over the past three years. While a county prosecutor has been brought in, the investigation into the most recent brutality charge remains an “internal probe.”
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