SEATTLE — Twenty months after he suffered catastrophic brain damage, the wife and family of a 31-year-old man severely injured during a run-in with police in downtown Seattle will have their day in court. Christopher Harris was walking in Belltown on May 10, 2009, when he found himself caught in the middle of a foot pursuit.
Two King County deputy sheriffs told him to stop and he ran. When he slowed outside the Cinerama cinema, a deputy knocked him into a wall.
He hasn’t been the same since.
Unable to walk, talk or care for himself, his wife and family claim Harris was the victim of excessive force in the early morning incident, which was captured on a theater surveillance camera. Months after the incident, they filed a lawsuit on Harris’ behalf against; a jury trial in the matter is expected to begin Tuesday.
While he was stupid to run, though he may not have known they were police officers, the Police Officer went way to far. Aren't they suppose to tackle a suspect, not throw him, especially at that force?
You are right, they are supposed to tackle down, the man had given up all he needed to do was restrain him which could be anything from tackling or grabbing his arm and pulling him down to restrain him.
He obviously thought there was going to be no evidence he carried out his actions the way he did.
There's been some shit going down around where I live the last year or so. Some background, one the the republican candidates for governor of MI this last election (he lost in the primaries) is notoriously anti-marijuna. He's the sheriff for Oakland county. Now, MI had just passed a law legalizing medicinal pot. So this asshole has made it his personal crusade to fight this stuff. He even campaigned on re-illigalizing the shit. So anyways, along with raiding dispensaries, he's been ordering raids on patients. Last year (forget when exactly), they busted into this guys house and he died of a heart attack. Not only was the guy not breaking a single law, the police refused to even apologize for the incident.
Police can be a great public service, I have had a few bad experiences with them but for the most part they knew I was just a young kid causing a bit of trouble and just told me to go home and not cause them any hassle.
But when they cause proper injustices (aka the shooting of the Brazilian man on the London Underground), they will hide behind a badge and only have other offices to face to, who will let them off on the lightest possible charge and at the most a 6 month paid suspension from the force.
Damn, that kid got knocked the hell out. I'd hate to be defending a case with that video before a jury. (I'm working on one right now with one almost as bad, but it's not police).
Also, I can tell you.
"Christopher Harris has irreversible brain damage, and will never recover," Osborn told the court. "(He) will never walk or talk with his wife and family, or engage in any activities or experiences of daily life."
Harris, he said, will need 24-hour assistance for the foreseeable future.
It depends on exactly what he did for a living, but if you've ever seen the opening to "A Civil Action" with john travolta narrating, THIS IS that case
It's like this. A dead plaintiff is rarely worth as much as a living, severely maimed plaintiff. However, if it's a long agonizing death as opposed to a quick drowning or car wreck, the value can rise considerably. A dead adult in his 20's is generally worth less than one who is middle-aged, a dead woman less than a dead man, a single adult less than one who is married, black less than white, poor less than rich. The perfect victim is a while male professional, 40 years old, at the height of his earning power, struck down in his prime. And the most imperfect? Well, in the calculus of personal injury law, a dead child is worth the least of all...
A 31 year old male, with a wife and kids and presumably some sort of a career, who's going to need around the clock care for the foreseeable future? That's about as big as it gets. If the city's found liable for that? A verdict on the north side of $10m would not be out of the question.
While Im not one to judge how someone reacts in a stressful environment, especially when I have hindsight of the event, after reading the part were the guy slowed down and put his hands out in front of him and said "I dont have anything" I think the cops could have easily slowed down and drawned down on the kid with a tazer and told the kid to get on his knees and proceed with the arrest. However the whole incident couldve been avoided if he just didnt run.
Not all cops are bad though, the other night my roommates were throwing a party (keep in mind nobody here is above 21) and there was tons of alcohol (i myself was not drinking), naturally after making a shit ton of noise the police came and saw the alcohol. One of my roomates and I pretty much went along with what the cop said
It's police like this that give the rest of them bad names.
I've had a few run-ins with police officers, and while the last ones were actually quite horrible (illegal searches, harassment, watching cars follow me, etc.) before I was in that 'element', the police were actually quite pleasant. They've given me a place to stay before when I was at my lowest, let me off for minor offenses, etc. Not all cops are brainless wannabe football players.
I guess my point is is that a lot of this police hatred is simply unwarranted, except for cases like this. This man should have his badge ripped off his chest and thrown in his face. If you're going to plow over somebody who's surrendering, what's the point of stopping in the first place?
I work in a law office and my dad defends cops and worker's compensation. Yes, there are stories of cops being brutal... However, what cops go through, especially in the cities, and what they have to deal with everyday is risking their lives and they run into "regular people" who are brutal to them!
I've recently seen a case of a 25 year old man who was stabbed and SHOT in the face. A year later, his chief officer said he needed to go back to work in the same area of this incident while having headaches and pain in his face constantly. What happens? He gets beat up by some thug who didn't want to listen when he parked in front of a fire hydrant... He has to retire now and cannot work because of this.
All due respect, but that's a part of the job description. Where the brutality gets the ire of the people stoked is when they feel like officers take advantage of their position of power and perceive it as an excuse to do whatever the hell they want. The badge says Protect and Serve (or in some cases "How's My Smile") and that's to the people not the government. When they see police acting as hired thugs to keep protesters from doing what is as American as well-meaning larceny and sabotage apple pie, it's difficult to see the police as in the right.
in reply to Chi_mangetsu, #16: As yes, there are some examples of things such as that, that isn't what I'm saying. That doesn't mean that a police officer isn't a human being who doesn't go through physical and mental trauma like any other person... I'm just saying there are always 2 sides of the story. I get to hear both sides, since I work in an office dealing with issues such as this. The things city cops have to deal with... it'll certainly weigh you down mentally.
In reply to derels, #17: Yes he was a police officer. It's because the city did not care for his rights as a person because he was a "police officer" and his duty was to "protect the people", they dubbed him as fine, it didn't matter about his rights as a person or what physical or mental damage he had already been through...
There have been many cases where police officers were told to do something by the city because they are given certain information and they preform on such information that was given. They are unaware at times of the other information that is left out.
There's another example of a case where officers were told to do a raid and the chief didn't give them information that there were civilians and children inside the building at the time. City turns their backs on these officers and tries to put them in jail to cover their own asses. How were they supposed to know this? I know one man couldn't take the pain being so conflicted about following orders and doing the right thing. He ended up saving some child from the building but with his city turning their backs on him, he ended up going mental and shooting himself. It's very sad.
These may be extreme cases, but they do happen. I agree though, some police officers abuse power, like say the police chief in the example above... so it goes both ways is all I'm saying.
In reply to Mongopwn, #5:[/If If this guy died of a heart attack from having his door kicked in, anything anywhere else could have caused him to have a heart attack. Unless you're saying that police units now have some sort of evil heart attack spell that they just cast on random people during a raid. It's not their fault, anything could have triggered a heart attack for that guy.
I think the point is the guy was a patient which likely means he already wasn't in good health. That could have meant he was more prone to a heart attack and having his door busted down helped cause it.
Here's a Fact for you. Last year, in the UK alone, the police dealt with somewhere in the region of 3 Million Incidents. Three. Million. How Many complaints? 28,000 last year. 11,000 of those were withdrawn by the complainent of the rest, how many do you think are upheld as the police doing something wrong? Around 1,000. Breaking down the makeup of the complaints how many come under the "Serious Assualt" heading that would constitute brutality? Less than 1% So that brings us to 10.
10 cases a year where the police are accuessed of excessive force. Out of 3,000,000
It just happens that the majority of those 2,999,990 cases left don't get the same level of publicity.
The statistics for the UK were Published by the Independant Police Complaints Commision (IPCC) which is set up to investigate any (serious) allegations against the police, and to conduct inquiries into cases that have gone wrong, or where a shooting (by an officer) has occured.
I'd always assumed that there would be a comparitive department to the US goverment. Perhaps one per state. If there isn't then you might have trouble getting numbers.