VIA| Philadelphia Police Department officers responded to 54th and Springfield on Monday for a large group of people fighting. The fighting continued as officers arrived on scene. As one girl was getting in an officer’s face, she was pulled away by another officer. In the video, you can see the girl refusing to obey commands, and grabbing the second officer.
Even after the girl had assaulted the officer, she was not met with any additional force. The camera breaks away for a moment and we miss what happens, but when the camera returns, you can see the officer taking the girl to the ground. This use of force would have been completely justified based on the girl’s actions prior to the camera breaking away, but it’s safe to say that because the officer didn’t react at that time, the girl must have done something even more to escalate.
When on the ground, the girl can clearly be seen punching the officer, and the officer responded with the same level of force. Law enforcement officers are allowed to use more force than the suspect in order to get them under control. By responding with the same level of force, there’s no reasonable way that the officer’s strikes could be considered excessive.
Viewers must also take into account that officers were outnumbered by a large group who continued to fight, and the officer was in a vulnerable position on the ground while surrounded by hostile people. This officer didn’t have time to play games.
The video generated complaints and cries of brutality on social media, and the Internal Affairs Unit is now investigating the unidentified officer.
The video evidence makes it clear: Any complaint about this hero’s use of force is unfounded. Good job, hero.