Police Officer Punching a Woman at Cultural Parade is Shocking

One of the benefits for citizens today is video on demand.  It was usually a situation where one had no defense except a lawyer if someone had an interaction with a police officer.   In this situation, a woman was attending a Puerto Rican day parade in Philadelphia this past weekend.  Some individuals were throwing water or silly spray in the vicinity of police officers.  Rather than issuing a warning or arresting someone legally, the police officer in question punched a woman in the face hard enough to draw blood.  The woman was actually knocked to the ground by the force of the punch.  I have a hard time believing that this is standard police procedure before arresting someone.

Police Commissioner Ramsey has indicated that he was disturbed by the video.  Another high ranking officer, Richard Ross, indicated that it was shocking.  The officer in question had some brutality complaints lodged against him.  None were substantiated and the city settled on one case.  He was a Daily News sexy single and a member of the Guardian Civic League, an organization for officers of color.  Their President, Rochelle Bilal, issued a statement condemning the actions of the officer.

The Hispanic community is understandably upset.  I am African American and I am upset.  That could have been my wife, daughter, mother or sister at the receiving end of that punch.  It seems like that wasn't the first time that he had done that.  He did it with so much ease.  Subsequently, the woman was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.  She will probably have to go to court and pay a fine for being punched in the face by a ranking police officer.

The power of a recorded video should help this woman though.  Someone in a Daily News commentary indicated that she had a lengthy arrest record.  She also speaks halting English.  I am hoping that neither one of these issues keeps her from receiving justice in this case.  She never hit the officer in the video.  She made no threatening movements toward him.  I wonder why someone was filming.  Maybe police had done something similar in the past.  Whatever the reason, the officer is now on desk duty, and the You Tube video has been viewed by more than 200,000 people.  We will see how this issue plays out. 

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