The colors of this violent gang appear mainly grey, but you might be inclined to think of them as blue.
The victim was a fleeing thief. He deserved some kind of punishment.
What he got was an instant punishment on the ground at the hands of a violent gang. At one point he was surrounded by eleven assailants. Journalists watching from helicopter said they saw the man subdued and brought to the ground from the horse he stole. After being subdued, the violent gang spent two minutes working him over. Observers analyzing the video said it appeared the victim was kicked seventeen times and punched 37 times. He was clubbed four times. Thirteen of the blows seemed to target his head. He was seemingly kneed in the groin at least once.
Then he didn’t move for forty-five minutes. And no one has reported seeing him since then. The NBC Los Angeles News 4 reporters claim they have confirmed that he is alive (which shows you that they wondered), but his mother has yet to see him. Thursday night she still had no idea where he is. Last night’s report didn’t give us any new information on that aspect of this story.
Here’s some of the video footage and reporting:
Obviously, the violent gang consists of sheriff’s deputies.
You know quite well that if this man had stolen a horse from someone who had chased him down, with ten friends, and if they spent two minutes bludgeoning him after already bringing him down with a taser, that they would spend the night in jail and have to make bail.
Thanks to this video, the sheriffs are on leave and are being investigated. Better than nothing, but hardly equality before the law.
Don’t give me excuses. If the owner of the horse and a gang of his friends had beaten up the man, their behavior would have been more excusable than the behavior of this violent gang of deputies. A man pursuing someone who is stealing from him has never been trained. And he is caught totally unprepared. Furthermore, the chase itself is robbing the man of his time and money which can only anger him further.
But these deputies were supposedly trained for this, right? In fact, they are told to expect this kind of thing. Furthermore, they are given a lot of expensive toys at the expense of San Bernardino County taxpayers precisely so they have options other than using fists and feet and bludgeons. What is more, this criminal is the reason why these deputies get a paycheck. He is their meal ticket. He is why they are employed to do the jobs they do. Their behavior is more inexcusable in every way than similar behavior would be from a person who was not a law enforcement officer.
But they get softer punishments, and rarely that. And if they hadn’t been caught on video, they would have never been questioned no matter how badly the man was damaged. Their story would have meant automatic exoneration.
When I went to junior high, it was the era of super-8, reel-to-reel, educational movies. I remember one vaguely that I think was black and white. It was set in “the West” and was about a vigilante group that caught a suspect who had committed a crime. Perhaps murder or maybe just horse theft. They lynched him on the spot. Then the Sheriff found them and explained they had just killed the wrong man. They were not under arrest for murder.
The point we were supposed to learn from that little story was obvious: mob justice is really injustice. They are merely violent gangs. We must trust sworn law enforcement officers to enforce the law properly.
That was thirty-five years ago. We now have streaming web videos rather than film on reel-to-reel. So go watch that violent beat-down and tell me…
What lesson should we learn?