January 26, 2015

When you see instances like this you just feel embarrassed for our country. I knew many police officers when I lived in NYC, played Christmas parties for law enforcement and I've met many here and witnessed the fine job they do personally as many of us have, but that doesn't excuse this crap. The officers in this video are by their action, the definition of thugs. I've seen Dave Herman fight on TV, but I have to say how impressed I am with his wife, who in the worst circumstances possible, was as heroic as she could be.


The incident began when the police started following Dave Herman, who happens to be a UFC fighter.

Dave was driving with his wife and child at the time.

Unsure as to why a car began following him, he pulled into a well lit area with cameras to ensure the safety of his family.

He then exited his vehicle, approached the followers and asked, “Do I know you?”

The followers began shouting at him, claiming that they were police.

At that point, Dave can be heard calmly asking them to display identification.

Dave never made any malicious or threatening gestures; he simply asked to see ID.

The police could have showed their ID, but they instead chose to escalate the situation.

One officer can be seen shooting Dave with a Taser gun, causing Dave to collapse to the pavement as the voltage pulsed through his body.

Dave’s wife, Madeleine, was in the vehicle recording the entire incident.

Once the police realized they were being recorded, they displayed their ID in accordance with the law.

It's clear from the video that Herman didn't do anything at all that warranted the extreme measures these officers used on him. Their actions were off the hook and they should be fired immediately. The Hermans should sue the heck out of the precinct and win as big a settlement as possible There is no room for this rogue-ass behavior from any law enforcement officer or agency.

Digby writes:

It's not actually true that police are required to show three pieces of ID (I don't know where she got that idea) but that's not really the point. The point is that the guy asked a question and the police escalated in a matter of seconds, screaming and aiming their guns at him and tasering him when he wasn't being threatening. There was little reason for it. A bit of calm and common sense from the authorities could have avoided all of that.

They subsequently charged him with felonies, one for driving to a well lit spot rather than pulling over on the side of the dark highway (something I thought we were all supposed to do) and for allegedly attacking the police officers which is a charge they can apply to anyone they taser regardless of whether they were actually attacked. (I guess this is another one of those "I felt afraid" deals.)

I believe this is another example of the ongoing militarization of police. Unfortunately most American citizens have not yet been fully indoctrinated in the new reality in which their streets are considered a battleground and where the police are armed, paranoid combat troops who see all citizens as an enemy combatant until proven otherwise. They might even assume that when they put their hazard lights on and police pull them over it's not because they are criminal suspects. They might foolishly walk up and try to talk to them. They might even think it's ok to ask them for ID since the whole situation is kind of weird.

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