Below, we’ve outlined 15 videos that show police behaving badly. We live in a time where everybody has a quality camera on them that can capture video at a moment’s notice. We also live in a time where the militarization of, and aggression from, police is at an all-time high. That makes for poor public relations and mistrust between the populace and the supposed peacekeepers.
We hope that this sample of videos serves as a reminder to citizens to be careful when dealing with potentially volatile men with guns as well as a reminder to police that everyone is watching you and expect you to protect and serve rather than suspect and harass.
Stay tuned next month for videos of Good Guy Cops!
Florida Cop Allows K-9 Unit to Maul a Bicyclist
This story was reported just this month as the victim has filed suit, but the original incident happened in October 2015.
A dash cam captures a video in Punta Gorda, Florida, where Officer Lee Cole attempts to pull over a bicyclist for riding without a light on his bicycle. When the cyclist didn’t stop, the officer verbally ordered him to stop or he’d send his K-9 unit out.
The cyclist, Richard Schumacher, stopped and complied with orders to dismount his bicycle with his hands up, then apparently to get on his knees, but balked at an order to lay chest-down on the black top. The officer then released the K-9 unit, which was allowed to continually maul Schumacher while the officer attempted to restrain him.
The officer repeatedly ordered Schumacher to “stop resisting” as he was writhing and screaming in pain due to the continuing attack by the K-9 unit as he was on the ground with the officer’s knee in his back.
Schumacher is suing the Punta Gorda, Florida Police Department for the attack. Schumacher’s lawyer believes that the officer had no reason to release the dog to attach his client, stating:
“It seems pretty harsh to start sending a dog on somebody riding a bicycle by a gas station.”
Interestingly, the dog, Spirit, has been suspended and Officer Cole has not. Though Spirit was just following the orders of police behaving badly.
We hope Spirit has learned his lesson.
Officer Draws Gun on a Man for Filming
On July 29, 2015, Officer David Rodriguez drew a gun on Don McComas for filming him as he drove slowly through McComas’s neighborhood in Rohnert Park, California.
Upon noticing McComas recording his actions, Officer Rodriguez appears to take a few photos of McComas then exits his patrol vehicle and approaches McComas at his residence.
The officer instructs McComas to take his hand out of his pocket and pulls his pistol. When asked, Rodriguez states that he doesn’t suspect McComas of a crime or “he would arrest him.”
Officer Rodriguez continues to hold the unholstered gun while walking around and apparently antagonizing McComas for no reason.
Officer Rodriguez was placed on temporary paid leave while an investigation was conducted. Remember, police behaving badly often get paid vacations while being investigated.
Now, the man is suing the City of Rohnert Park for unspecified damages, claiming breaches of his constitutional rights.
Officer Driving Drunk
This isn’t so much a news story as a standalone video of a police officer driving erratically. Swerving across the lines and using his break repeatedly, the officer seems to be either driving under the influence or possibly texting or otherwise using his phone while operating a motor vehicle.
Officers that behave badly often think the law doesn’t apply to them (and they’re often effectively correct, unfortunately). Even with allowances for police using their cellphones in an official capacity while driving, driving this dangerously and erratically has no excuse.
A wake-up call to the boys in blue: everyone has a camera now. Be on your best behavior. No more police behaving badly.
Officers Assault Teen for Filming, Attempt Cover-up
The video above shows three Pomona Police officers attacking a 16 year-old boy at the Los Angeles County Fair, hitting hit legs with a baton, and threatening to use a taser on him
What was young Christian Aguilar doing to warrant such a harsh reaction?
Filming the police. Police behaving badly, that is.
The man who recorded the video of the beating above, Robert Hanson, was also arrested.
Christian Aguilar was filming the arrest of his father and cousin being arrested for public intoxication. Christian’s brother (a junior officer himself at the time) was also tackled for protesting his father’s and cousin’s arrest.
16-year-old Christian was kept with the adult population while he was held, despite his status as a minor. He was also denied his request to see a lawyer.
The cover-up part comes from the Pomona Police’s actions after the events. They maliciously sued everyone involved, edited the video captured by Hanson and turned the edited video over to the DA’s office, along with lying in their official statements.
It’s up to a Federal Court to hand out justice against these thugs in uniform. Let’s hope they do the right thing.
Harassing a Citizen Journalist and Activist While Walking
Here you can watch Joshua McKnight, a police accountability activist in Florida, being stopped by two officers for “walking in the middle of the road.”
McKnight briefly steps onto the shoulder of the road to avoid some debris in the sidewalk. He offers to show the officers the debris and one responds “I can see it from here.”
The two cops shown here are Officer Vasquez and Officer Zarillo, who is being trained to be another police behaving badly.
It’s interesting to note that Mr. McKnight has had a run-in with Officer Vasquez in the past, when Vazquez arrested McKnight on false drug charges while he stood on his mother’s front step, knocking on the door. With no actual evidence, charges were dropped, but not before Joshua McKnight served 67 days in jail awaiting a trial.
McKnight says that he’s a target due to his appearance on review panels and having previously filed complaints with the police.
In this instance, he was given a $113 ticket for walking in the street.
Detroit School Cop Maces, Beats Teenage Girl Over Expired Elevator Pass
The video above shows a female high school student being manhandled, maced, beaten, and thrown around by Detroit school police officer Charles Braziel. Braziel is a great example of police behaving badly.
Cass Technical School student Destiny Heard, 15, was running late and used a school elevator to reach the 6th floor. A teacher inside the elevator asked for her pass. Seeing the elevator pass was expired, the teacher ordered her out. When she lingered near the door, the teacher accused her of trying to sneak back on and called a security officer to handle the situation.
The dean of students arrived to dress her down for “insubordination” but left her with Officer Braziel when she put her earbuds in to ignore him.
According to Ms. Heard, the officer demanded she give him her phone and pushed her to the ground when she refused. He demanded she get up, and physically lifted her up when she refused to comply with that order, too, asking for medical attention.
The video starts just after that account.
In addition to being injured and pepper sprayed, Destiny was suspended from school for a month for allegedly kicking Officer Braziel.
SC Cops Perform Roadside Cavity Check
The Washington Post recounts a story of police in Aiken, SC who stopped and searched an African-American couple which culminated in the roadside cavity search of the man’s rectum.
The driver, Lakeya Hicks, was originally pulled over by Officer Chris Medlin for having temporary tags on her car, which are perfectly legal in South Carolina so long as they haven’t expired.
Officer Medlin then asked the passenger, Elijah Pontoon, for identification. Since he was the passenger, he was not required by law to provide identification, but he complies anyway.
After running the information, Officer Medlin announces that the tags are fine but has called in dogs due to Pontoon’s history, stating “You’re gonna pay for this one, boy.”
The search of the car came up empty.
With backup having arrived, a female officer searched Hicks, allegedly exposing her breasts on the side of the road, with male officers in view.
When that search fails, they ask Pontoon to exit the vehicle, pat him down, cuff him, and proceed to perform a cavity check on the side of the road. Again, finding nothing.
A lawsuit has been filed for police misconduct. According to the Washington Post, the City of Aiken is denying any wrongdoing and is “vigorously defending” the lawsuit against these police behaving badly.
Nebraska Cops Fired After Chasing a Man, Entering Home to Confiscate His Camera
During what looks like a fairly brutal take-down and arrest, a video was filmed carefully through a window upstairs. As you’ll see, the secret filming was a good choice.
While arresting Octavius Johnson, his brother Jauquez filmed the police on his phone, documenting their aggressive tactics, including throwing Octavius to the ground by his neck and punching him while on the pavement.
Extra officers arrive on the scene and chase Juaquez into his home to retrieve his phone, allegedly throwing Sharon Johnson from her wheelchair and stepping over her to get to Juaquez.
Luckily, their neighbor filmed the whole scene, as Juaquez’s video has never surfaced, and no mention of the phone being returned has been made.
In a follow-up, four Nebraska police officers have been fired over the incident, three more were placed on leave, and one was reassigned. Sometimes, police behaving badly get what they deserve.
Officer Rear-Ends, Runs Over, and Kicks Motorcyclist
This story was received with much concern by the public, especially among motorcyclists. It shows a rider, Justin Wilkins passing an unmarked car driven by Lieutenant Rob Edwards of the Oregon State Patrol at a high rate of speed.
While chasing Wilkins, Lt. Edward’s dashboard camera shows the rider weaving around cars in a no-passing zone on a curvy road. While dangerous, it’s even more dangerous to do so in a wider vehicle, such as Lt. Edward’s own Camaro, which he is show doing while pursuing Wilkins.
The outrage comes at the next traffic light, at roughly three and a half minutes into the video. There, the officer slows down and then rear-ends Wilkins on his motorcycle, knocking him over. Edwards proceeds to creep forward, running over Wilkins.
The rider climbs to his feet while Lieutenant Edwards exits his vehicle, pistol drawn. Wilkins has his hands up, but Edwards kicks him in the chest and orders him to the ground.
Later, Lieutenant Edwards would claim that the hit was caused by “brake fade,” which is unlikely in modern braking systems, especially those in a high-performance sports car like Edward’s Camaro. He would also claim that his leg “has a mind of its own,” though we’re unsure what that’s supposed to mean.
Edwards was never suspended or reprimanded and, instead, was promoted to Captain after this incident so he can help other police behaving badly.
Justin Wilkins sued over the mistreatment and was awarded $180,000 by a jury.
Cop Pepper Sprays Passing Group of Motorcyclists
For a choice selection of police behaving badly, look to Fort Worth, Texas, where this video surfaced showing a cop identified as “Officer Figueroa” stepping out of his patrol car after having initiated the traffic stop of a pickup truck. As he exits his vehicle, Figueroa brandishes his pepper spray and sprays it directly at a group of passing motorcyclists.
The motorcyclists in question are traveling at highway speeds in heavy traffic, making Figueroa’s actions, regardless of whatever reasons he may concoct later, truly reckless and dangerous. He could have caused a serious accident and injuries – or death – among the bikers and surrounding vehicles.
The Fort Worth Police Department placed Figueroa on administrative leave (presumably with pay) while they investigated the matter. Followups to the story have included Officer Figueroa’s side, indicating that he felt “unsafe” and wanted to clear the lane next to his patrol car.
This sounds like some weak justification for risking lives. Besides, the main recipients of the pepper spray were the passengers in the bed of the truck.
Officer Brake-Checks a Driver
A few months ago, YouTube user Omar B uploaded a video showing an officer in a patrol car slamming on his breaks to try to get Omar to hit him due to Omar supposedly following too closely, causing the officer to be concerned that Omar might hit him.
Omar, having actually left enough room to stop safely, stopped without incident.
The driver of the patrol car, Officer, Velez of the Clifton, NJ Police Department, got out of his car to reprimand Omar, leaving his car in the middle of the road and creating a hazard for drivers, stating, “They can go around.” Hopefully no accidents occur from this example of police behaving badly.
Omar was eventually ticketed for tailgating, improper display of his license plates, and for having tinted windows.
The officer didn’t see the irony in the concept of brake-checking a citizen driving behind him as a reaction to concern over the possibility of being hit from behind. His unsafe actions may have made his worries a reality and landed Omar in much more trouble.
Luckily, it was all caught on film and Omar is taking the case to its conclusion.
Cop Slams a Handcuffed Man for Not Sitting on Command Like a Dog
The video you’ll see above is pretty self explanatory, but the context flies by pretty quickly in the video.
The video starts with a Philadelphia, PA SEPTA officer threatening the man filming with arrest. The officer turns back to the man in handcuffs, who he admits is handcuffs for simply failing to provide identification quickly enough when asked. The man states he had headphones in and couldn’t hear the request for ID.
The officer yells to indicate that he’s not yelling, and orders the man in cuffs to sit. Having nowhere to sit, the man declines and states that he wasn’t bothering anyone. The officer again barks an order to sit down, but the man in cuffs isn’t having it.
Finally, the officer sweeps the man’s legs and slams him into the ground, pinning him on his back and yelling “sit!”
This is a prime example of police behaving badly.
Trooper Body Slams an Intoxicated Patron
A visitor from Illinois to New Orleans, being asked to leave an establishment by Louisiana State Trooper, Col. Mike Edmondson, was instead lifted bodily and thrown to the floor.
Michael Hoffman, 39, had apparently been asked to vacate multiple times by Col. Edmondson and, according to a police spokesperson, was resisting arrest by failing to provide his hands for handcuffs.
According to witnesses, the confrontation escalated rapidly and culminated in a move fit for WWE as Col. Edmondson body-slammed Hoffman to the floor.
Louisiana Officials are standing by the Colonel, backing up one of their own police behaving badly.
Maybe Col. Edmondson missed his calling as a wrestler, or maybe he prefers real fights and abuse of authority.
SC Officer Fires 7 Shots at a Fleeing Teenager’s Car
Officer Robert Cooper was responding to a late-night call regarding loud music on a dead-end street outside of Columbia, South Carolina. He called dispatch to state that a fleeing suspect, Antwon Gallmon, 17, had tried to hit the officer while fleeing in his car.
This turned out to be an attempt at a cover-up of Officer Cooper’s actions, as his own dash cam later revealed that the teen never approached Cooper with the car, instead trying to flee from the cop.
Gallmon was trying to get away from Officer Cooper, who had his gun drawn, Cooper yelled “Stop! Stop Stop! Do not make me shoot you!” and proceeded to fire 7 rounds into the teen’s car, hitting him once and injuring him.
Though Antwon Gallmon was later found to have two pistols in his front seat and was charged with driving a stolen vehicle and without a license, Officer Cooper had no way of knowing any of that at the time of the incident; he only knew he was attempting to shoot a teenager in the back as he drove away, which identifies him among the ranks of police behaving badly.
Austin Punches a Man in the Back of the Head for Touching a Police Horse
A drunken reveler in Austin, Texas reached out to pet a police horse. He was reprimanded but, being drunk, proceeded to touch the horse briefly, anyway.
You’ll see him being swarmed by a handful of officers after his transgression, and start to be taken down to street level for arrest him for “interference with a police service animal.”
While the man is held, a large officer and the Police Union’s President, Ken Casaday, step in and deliver a powerful sucker-punch to the back of the man’s head.
You can also see a self-satisfied look on his face as he walks away from having delivered an obviously unnecessary punch to the skull of a man already totally incapacitated and in custody.
It’s important to note that Casaday speaks out against Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo when he disciplines violent officers and stands against violent department policies. In other words, he fights for the rights of police behaving badly.
Casaday has also stated that YouTube videos of officers use of force erodes relations between officers and the public. He apparently does not like the public to know just how forceful he, and other Austin cops, like to be.