The police punish a man because they mistakenly attacked him.
Are there good cops?
Of course there are! But if there are good cops in Missouri City, Texas, what are they learning from what happened to Chad Chadwick?
I’m basing my information on two stories from Houston’s Fox affiliate, here and here. Chad Chadwick had no criminal record at all, but a friend of his was naïve enough to call the police because Chadwick had been depressed and drinking. He had not made a threat to take his own life or anyone else’s, but when the police dug up information that Chadwick owned one shotgun, they decided to give him the full SWAT treatment.
According to Chadwick, they told a judge that he had hostages in order to get their warrant. Then they kicked in his door and launched a stun grenade into his bathroom. Chadwick had been sleeping in the bathtub. He stood up, naked, with his hands raised. They shot him with a non-lethal bullet and then threw another stun grenade at him. As he reeled five cops with a shield charged him, pushed him against the wall, and beat on him. At some point they tasered him in the back of the head at point blank range.
“They claimed I drew down with a shampoo bottle and a body wash bottle,” said Chadwick.
And it wasn’t over.
“They grabbed me by the one hand that was out of the shower and grabbed me by my testicles slammed me on my face on the floor and proceeded to beat me more,” said Chadwick.
Chadwick, who hadn’t broken a single law when SWAT burst through his door, was taken to the Ft. Bend County Jail with a fractured nose, bruised ribs and what’s proven to be permanent hearing loss.
He was held in an isolation cell for two full days.
“Instead of apologizing to this man and asking let us see what we can do to help you to make you whole again, they concocted criminal charges against this man, one after another, after another,” said Quanell X who believes the prosecution of Chadwick was designed to fend off civil liability.
Some wellness check.
The prosecutor tried three strategies to jail Chadwick or at least taint his record. First, he attempted to charge him with felonies for assaulting officers. When that failed he attempted with resisting arrest. Finally, the most recent vindication (though Chadwick is bankrupted now) was a jury finding him not guilty of interfering with police.
So what about the good cops? What have they learned from this?
They have learned that a city prosecutor—with the cooperation of the rest of the city government, presumably—will completely back a group of criminal cops. They have learned that he will use all the resources at his disposal to jail an innocent man in order to cover up a crime.
They have learned that if they ever betray these men that they too will be targeted.
Blind slogans of “support the police” only end up supporting the worst police at the expense of the best. If you want to support good police then you need to work hard to make sure people know that not all police are equal. Some need to be stripped of the badges. Others need to be put in prison.
If that doesn’t happen, then they end up in power and the good police are the ones who get fired, framed, or murdered. People who would do this to some innocent man are capable of anything.
And perhaps these good cops already know all this because they have already seen men or women go to prison on such a false basis. Chadwick said that if it happened to him it could happen to anyone. The only reason he survived as much as he did was because his employer refused to believe what was said about him and took it as a “family obligation” to support Chadwick through the whole ordeal.
What about someone who didn’t have such support? The odds are not only that, if it happened to him it can happen to us, but also that if it happened to him it has probably happened to many others who we have never heard of. They are doing time and no one believes them.
And finally, amid all the calls for gun registration and mental health checks, don’t forget that—as far as we can tell—these cops decided on an assault simply because they knew this law-abiding citizen legally owned a shotgun.