The police have issued a statement regarding their recent controversial arrest of a 16-year-old teen boy and his 21-year-old sister, Brenda Hardaway, who claims to be pregnant. The story garnered public notice when a video was released of the sister being arrested with what appears to be an undue amount of violence. In the video, she tells the officer she is pregnant as he attempts to cuff her. Eventually, the officer punches her in the head and moves her forcibly to the ground. The Rochester Police argue this claim, saying that their officers acted with "tremendous restraint."
The reason the officers gave for their arrest tactics? They claim that the pregnant woman had pointed a can of pepper spray at them. However, if that is indeed what took place, it wasn't captured on the video which later made its way to YouTube.
Police officers find themselves in high-risk situations every day. Many have lost their lives as they try to do their job and keep the streets safe. Seen from that perspective, you could argue that the police officer was doing what he saw necessary to prevent harm.
Of course, there are times when forceful methods can and should be used when apprehending suspects. If a woman is pointing a gun at a crowd, would you expect the police to keep their hands off of her simply because she is pregnant? No. You wouldn't.
But watching the video a second time, it's harder to believe that this was an instance where the correct amount of force was used. Even if the woman did threaten him with pepper spray, she was well subdued after the fact. The punching and subsequent behavior just seems like it was driven by panic and anger.
Do you think the officer used too much force in this case?