Police and the Citizen
The arresting of a peaceful drunk took eight men, two
squad cars, a fire engine and ambulance.
I guess all through history, there has been a bit of a battle between the
police and the citizens.
The police seem to feel everyone they come into contact with is a
dangerous, vicious and an armed criminal.
The truth is most of the people they come into contact with are not criminals
I would venture to guess that 95 percent of the arrests are not of “criminals,”
just ordinary citizens who messed up. They aren’t killing, robbing or harming,
but none the less, they were breaking laws.
In the past 30 years, I have seen several police activities personally. They
were all similar. The police appeared to have been using excessive force. Of
course this is just my opinion and I’m sure some of these small citizens could
have been dangerous to the overwhelming number of huge well armed
Today, I saw another example of this.
A Public Drunk
As I walked to get my lunch time coffee, two burley officers thundered by me
and tackled a man walking away. They both collided with him and he hit the
sidewalk without warning.
Just a fraction of a second behind them were two more officers, plain
clothes, in hot pursuit. The tackling officers told the plain cloth officers it was
He was handcuffed on the spot.
As I walked on a security officer asked if there was some resistance, I told
him “No, there was a tackle.”
I came back that way with my coffee and asked the security guard, “What
did he do?” The guard explained he was drunk and had been arrested 4
times before for this.
As I walked on, sure enough, he was drunk or at least appeared to be under
the influence of something. He was still on the sidewalk handcuffed.
I walked on. The officers told him not to get up. The handcuffed man did
As I crossed the street and wondered about all this, I heard sirens. First a
fire truck from one direction and then the paramedics from another.
I stopped about half a block away. Sure enough, the fire department showed
up for this event. By now there were at least four officers there as well as
the four firemen.
I recall watching an old television show where the drunk as invited to sleep
it off and go home. What happened to helping citizens? I do know it still
EXCESSIVE AND UNNECESSARY FORCE
But this was a blindside tackling on concrete and there was no
communication that I heard such as halt or stop.
The man must have been injured, why else call in the fire department and
I see this as an unnecessary application of excessive police force and a
huge waste of money. The man was not resisting. At the worst, he was
I’m not saying it’s okay to be drunk in a public area especially where there
are families and lots of public at lunch. I personally don’t appreciate the
bums and derelicts that collect in many areas. I find them offensive. But I
don’t expect them to be violently handled!
The police action did not give me a "friendly city" impression.
I’d like to see officers realize not everyone is a violent criminal. Learn to
observe the difference!
At the same time, do watch for the person who is not cooperating and be
ready to apply all the force needed!
Just realize only an extremely small fraction of the public are really
I’d say from my observations half of the dangerous ones are criminals and
the other half are police officers who are not observing who they are dealing
Hopefully, the officers involved never connect this with me and find a reason
to take me down for “resisting arrest” when there was little if anything to
tackle me for and absolutely nothing to arrest me for besides observing and
"Commenting On the Times."
See related articles Comment on The Times “The Police and the Citizen,
Fourth of July, 2008” and “The Police and the Citizen Second Edition” and
“The Citizen and the Police, Good News.”
©2008 Carl Watts www.carlwattsartist.com 3/16/08. Incident viewed 3/14/08. Modified 3/29/08, 7/4/08, 9/15/08, 11/8/08 011015