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I got beat up by a cop


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#1 Prune   Members   -  Reputation: 216

Posted 17 February 2011 - 11:56 PM

Last night I was at Caprice and didn't want to use the ATM inside the club as it has a $4 fee. I went out to the nearby liquor store and got a can of Grolsch and headed to my office building nearby to drink it, planning to return to the club afterwards.

On the corner of my office building I saw a police car come up. I felt like taking off, because it'd be kind of funny--just to see if the police take notice. You can say I was a bit bored and frustrated due to an unpleasant call earlier that day; I had not been drinking yet. I fumbled with the beer can (it was _not_ open) as if to hide it and then started running towards the rear entrance of my building. I heard the police car screech and then I guess the cop jumped out and gave a chase. I don't remember hearing him yelling to stop, but the adrenaline distracts one from paying attention to that when putting all my effort into making it to that door.

I reached the door, swiped my fob and got in. I pushed the door to close it but the cop got there too fast and forced the door open. He punched me quite hard on the side of the cheekbone and jaw, then threw me to the ground and twisted my arm back to handcuff me. Afterwards he took me to his car in front of the building and other cops started showing up. He searched my pockets and got quite frustrated when he didn't find anything but the unopened beer can. I pointed out I had not done anything illegal, and he would just shout me down "what, you studied law or something? If you threw anything along the way we'll find it" In the end he had to let me go, saying "enjoy your beer".

He called me the next day to apologize, but I have to take that with a grain of salt because he didn't apologize the night it happened when he let me go, and now obviously has to cover his ass. He tried to explain that every time someone had run in all his years on the force, they had done something illegal, be it selling drugs or snatching a purse, and that he had only a split second to decide whether to chase someone that took off at the sight of a police car.

I pointed out a couple of things to him. Ultimately the reason I ran and whether it was provocative is irrelevant here. It is perfectly legal in a Western democracy to decide to run at any time I want, regardless of my motivation, as long as it is not to escape arrest for committing a crime. I had done no such thing. Second, I did not resist when he caught up to me and he punched me--an obviously non-threatening skinny geek of 6'1" / 137 lbs dressed in business attire. I couldn't have been further from the look of a street criminal. The way I see it is this: I did a dumb thing by running, but it was perfectly legal. I certainly didn't deserve to get: i) near-bloody scrapes from the handcuffs, ii) bruise from having my arm twisted back, iii) painfully swollen jaw which required a CT scan at VGH that night, and iv) the humiliation of being handcuffed in public (I won't even mention generally ruining my night and the cute Brazilian I left in the club deciding I wasn't coming back and heading home).

The way I see it is I have the following options:
1. Let it go; it's what my boss recommended, and my mother as well (the latter couldn't stop laughing--how's that for family support). The downside of this choice is that this cop is not held accountable for throwing punches first and asking questions later, and the thuggish behavior of Vancouver police really needs more attention (a bouncer once told me that usually when they call the Vancouver police to help remove trouble-making patrons, the cops just take them out in the back alley and beat them; there are also various stories reaching the media about abuse of local homeless people by the police). The upside is I would be being positive (or is that naive) that the cop's apology was sincere and he'll be more careful about assuming guilt.
2. File a police complaint, as most of my friends recommended. The downside of this is that, as my friend pointed out, it's about as useful as pissing in the wind.
3. Seek civil action, as two of my friends suggested a specific lawyer (or I could approach the BC Civil Liberties Association or even the BC Human Rights Tribunal (the latter because I'm clearly Eastern European and the cop maybe had a problem with my ethnicity)). The downside of this is that to an extent things would be my word against his; I've seen no police report of the incident. Also, regardless of the outcome, I would become a marked man in the eyes of the Vancouver police, as the cops defend their own and are generally blind to each others' transgressions.

So what should I do? Please avoid commends such as "you were trolling IRL" as if I was looking for such I would have just posted on 4chan.
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#2 Samith   Members   -  Reputation: 2047

Posted 18 February 2011 - 01:09 AM

Let it go. You got punched and yelled at, but you're not dead or even hurt. And of course it's not illegal to run from the cops, that's why you're not in jail right now. They let you go. They let you go because you didn't do anything illegal. If you don't want the cops arresting you, then don't conspicuously hide something and then run from them. That's an action that communicates something, and it's the cop's job to pick up on it. He's only a human, he's just doing his job, albeit with some inappropriate aggression. And he apologized for the aggressiveness already, so what else are you going to gain?

#3 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2099

Posted 18 February 2011 - 01:13 AM

I for one wouldn't give a shit. He'll get away with it. So? Why should I bother with it for longer probably with no gain at all? Okay, I'm the kind of person who gets into a fist-fight then won't call the police, because beaten up is enough. I don't want to take the effort or trouble for no gain. Of course, if it matters (say I can avoid being beaten up again or I need protection) I would call the police. I like to settle things simply and without getting others into it.

#4 JTippetts   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8160

Posted 18 February 2011 - 01:14 AM

The US Supreme Court, in Illinois v. Wardlow, upheld the contention that a person running at the sight of a police officer constitutes reasonable suspicion to hold that person. Granted, the wording of the decision mentions areas of high rate of crime, and granted you weren't actually in the US, but... the idea behind such a ruling is fairly clear, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are similar legal precedents up ther. In incidents of someone running at the sight of a policeman, a very low percentage are likely of the "I'm just a dumbass" category, and a very high percentage are likely of the "I'm doing bad stuff" category. And your dress attire aside (what, a guy in a suit can't commit a crime?) you hastily entered a building and attempted to shut the door in the cop's face. Blaming his behavior, in this case, on you looking "Eastern European" is just stupid. His behavior is far more readily explained by "This guy saw me coming and took off running in a highly suspicious manner, and attempted to evade apprehension by slamming and locking a door in my face."

Chalk up my vote for letting it go, and trying not to be dumb in the future.

#5 GMuser   Members   -  Reputation: 210

Posted 18 February 2011 - 02:09 AM

What did you expect when you decided to act suspicious? Now you have the nerve to blame the police officer for trying to do his job. Now whenever he sees someone run, he has to think to himself, "is that really a thug running from the law or some dick like the last time?". Maybe the guy he lets go goes on a killing/raping spree. All because of you.

#6 Dancin_Fool   Members   -  Reputation: 581

Posted 18 February 2011 - 02:21 AM

Vancouver cops are out of control. I had a buddy that was in a very similar situation, cops beat him up really bad. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? I would definitely file a complaint as well as look into some kind of civil action. We need to do everything we can to get those kind of people out of positions of power.

#7 Erik Rufelt   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3107

Posted 18 February 2011 - 03:07 AM

Funny as that is, it was very irresponsible and might very well have kept the police from catching a real criminal that night. If he had held you down and beat you with his baton after handcuffing you, then you should have filed a complaint, but for other reasons. It sounds like he punched you to stop you from closing the door, in other words just doing his job. As others have pointed out running is pretty obviously probable cause for a search.

That he called and apologized at all says pretty much about how understanding he is with jackass kids, as it's probably you who should be the one to apologize. Preferably to the girl that was raped in the alley behind the club while all the police were caught up with a joker.

At least now you got a funny story to tell people for years to come, so definitely let it go. =) Stop before someone else gets hurt from your prank.

#8 Obscure   Moderators   -  Reputation: 174

Posted 18 February 2011 - 04:02 AM

The US Supreme Court, in Illinois v. Wardlow, upheld the contention that a person running at the sight of a police officer constitutes reasonable suspicion to hold that person. Granted, the wording of the decision mentions areas of high rate of crime, and granted you weren't actually in the US, but... the idea behind such a ruling is fairly clear, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are similar legal precedents up ther. In incidents of someone running at the sight of a policeman, a very low percentage are likely of the "I'm just a dumbass" category, and a very high percentage are likely of the "I'm doing bad stuff" category. And your dress attire aside (what, a guy in a suit can't commit a crime?) you hastily entered a building and attempted to shut the door in the cop's face. Blaming his behavior, in this case, on you looking "Eastern European" is just stupid. His behavior is far more readily explained by "This guy saw me coming and took off running in a highly suspicious manner, and attempted to evade apprehension by slamming and locking a door in my face."

Chalk up my vote for letting it go, and trying not to be dumb in the future.

+1
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#9 owl   Banned   -  Reputation: 364

Posted 18 February 2011 - 04:15 AM

ahh, nothing like adventure. Police is guys, naked.
I like the Walrus best.

#10 yaustar   Members   -  Reputation: 530

Posted 18 February 2011 - 05:42 AM

You ran from a cop because you were bored. You did not get beaten up (getting hit twice to stop you from escaping is not 'beaten up'). You think you should complain about a cop who was doing his job after he apologised?

Zero sympathy. +1 for letting it go and not doing something like this in the future.

#11 DeafManNoEars   Members   -  Reputation: 459

Posted 18 February 2011 - 07:02 AM

... I felt like taking off, because it'd be kind of funny--just to see if the police take notice. You can say I was a bit bored and frustrated due to an unpleasant call earlier that day; I had not been drinking yet. I fumbled with the beer can (it was _not_ open) as if to hide it and then started running towards the rear entrance of my building. ...


There are better things to do when you are bored. Like pounding that beer and getting back to the club to get with the brazilian!!!

DUMB!

#12 owl   Banned   -  Reputation: 364

Posted 18 February 2011 - 07:05 AM


... I felt like taking off, because it'd be kind of funny--just to see if the police take notice. You can say I was a bit bored and frustrated due to an unpleasant call earlier that day; I had not been drinking yet. I fumbled with the beer can (it was _not_ open) as if to hide it and then started running towards the rear entrance of my building. ...


There are better things to do when you are bored. Like pounding that beer and getting back to the club to get with the brazilian!!!

DUMB!


better is to get beer, pwan the brazzillian and ignore pussay. AND LIVE ANOTHER DAY TO POST IT IN GAEMDAVE.MET.
I like the Walrus best.

#13 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1680

Posted 18 February 2011 - 07:22 AM

I have to go with the line of "Yes, you were an idiot and nothing the police did even deserves a slap on the wrist."

They did their job. They observed suspicious behavior and reacted to it in a suitable manner.

You are lucky that no other crime in the area was reported, otherwise you could be facing charges yourself. You wouldn't have been the first 'innocent' person to run interference on law enforcement to distract them from an 'actual crime'.

You acted like a dumbass and got less than you deserve.
Old Username: Talroth
If your signature on a web forum takes up more space than your average post, then you are doing things wrong.

#14 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2393

Posted 18 February 2011 - 08:24 AM

It is perfectly legal in a Western democracy to decide to run at any time I want

It is also perfectly legal to talk loudly about bombs while at the airport or on an airplane. Even if you talk in something that sounds Arabic.

While you're at it, when you go skiing next time, wear the full outfit. You know, the ski mask and all that. Then, walk to a bank carrying a box of cake. Watch hilarity ensue.

Or perhaps buy a BB gun, walk to police station and point it at one of the officers there.

Second, I did not resist when he caught up to me and he punched me

You ran. That classifies as resisting arrest.

non-threatening skinny geek of 6'1" / 137 lbs dressed in business attire.

Like barely-teens in England, wearing school uniforms while stabbing their peer to death.

I couldn't have been further from the look of a street criminal.

Pimp? Yuppy drug dealer? Car thief? Street criminals have gone with times, some wear suits.

The way I see it is this: I did a dumb thing by running, but it was perfectly legal.

Exactly. Did you learn your lesson?

This is probably the reason airports have a big sign saying: "Bomb jokes are not funny".


But, the system works. You were not charged of anything and you even got an apology. So what's the big deal? There are places where you could have gotten shot. 14 times. Just for warning.

#15 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1680

Posted 18 February 2011 - 08:46 AM


But, the system works. You were not charged of anything and you even got an apology. So what's the big deal? There are places where you could have gotten shot. 14 times. Just for warning.


Wow, fourteen times. You humans sure have mastered the art of overkill. Perhaps there even is a place where he could have gotten shot fifteen times. In that light, he would have been lucky, had he only been shot fourteen times.

God


Two or three soldiers/thugs with automatic weapons and a short burst or two of gun fire from each of them? Yeah, 14 times sounds about right in that case. There are parts of world where you can get killed for less than being a dipstick.
Old Username: Talroth
If your signature on a web forum takes up more space than your average post, then you are doing things wrong.

#16 Mike.Popoloski   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2856

Posted 18 February 2011 - 09:09 AM

So you were a dumbass, and expected the universe to reward you for being a dumbass?

This is why the human race can't have nice things.
Mike Popoloski | Journal | SlimDX

#17 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2099

Posted 18 February 2011 - 09:35 AM

It's about dumbassnass and pussiness in the same time. Okay, I admit that you have to stand up for your rights, but that is taken to an extreme. Guys like the OP are the guys that will burn cars, break windows and throw stones at policemen on a demonstration, then cry for getting a punch in the face or being taken to the police station for 2 hours. Eat what you have cooked (Hungarian saying)

#18 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1856

Posted 18 February 2011 - 09:45 AM

You deserved getting punched, it was what you sought out. On the other hand, if you had realized that you were late for something and ran home and all this happened, I'd have more sympathy for you. As for what should you do, I don't know. It's more likely that if this issue got a lot of publicity that a law like the one JTippetts mentioned gets passed so that what the officer did becomes accepted as standard practice.

#19 mikeman   Members   -  Reputation: 2176

Posted 18 February 2011 - 09:52 AM

You got what you asked for. Move on dude, or else you're giving a bad name to those that actually have endured real unfair police violence.

#20 capn_midnight   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1375

Posted 18 February 2011 - 11:57 AM

I typically don't side with cops on these things, but damn dude, you were asking for it.


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