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Attorney easily confused by video of police brutality

Mark Maher, after the assault
Mark Maher, after the assault
Enfield Police Department

An attorney in Connecticut rejected an application for an arrest warrant because she couldn’t understand the police report, reported Reason Magazine yesterday. It seems a simple chronology of the events that led fellow officers to attempt the arrest was too much for state attorney Gail Hardy.

The report included a video of the assault, which Hardy claimed was hard to follow because the video "depicts many moving parts where it is extremely difficult to keep up with everything that is going on with all parties." She didn’t specify whether or not she couldn’t figure out that the video could be rewound and paused to rewatch it, looking at different things each time.

The easily-distracted attorney highlights a major problem in the United States right now of police overstepping their authority knowing they will have little to no consequence for doing so. Hardly a week goes by without new cases of cops going well beyond their boundaries, as was the case last week when cops in New York choked a man to death. In that case, the police were using a chokehold, which has been disallowed by their department for two decades.

In Newark, a federal probe found that some 75 percent of police interactions with the public were unconstitutional, with racism, excessive force theft and unwarranted stops. It’s not just in the New England states either, where people are more willing to hand over their rights to authority figures. A lawsuit was filed Monday in Austin against a cop who was called out to a domestic dispute case and decided to attack a neighbor for watching the incident.

The main issue is that cops who are accused are investigated by their own, so it’s difficult to find statistics and to prove anything. There has always been a “protect our own” mentality among police, and that seems unlikely to change. As long as people know their rights and continue to film these incidents, maybe we’ll have fewer cops pulling guns on Boy Scouts for taking pictures.

That’s of little comfort to people like Mark Maher, the man who was brutalized while defenseless by police Lieutenant Lawrence Curtis. He will receive no justice for his assault.