Case: “Blind man wins excessive force case against Denver police officer”
Philip White’s case in which he sued two Denver officers is a demonstration of how
excessive use of force is common in the police. According to the case, White had attended an
education conference at Vail. It is reported that White is blind and he was part of a team that had
organized for a workshop on how to improve the education of blind students. After the
conference, he went to board a bus in one of the downtown stations. However, one of the
workers at the station informed White that there was no space. Considerably, in trying to find a
solution to the problem, White disagreed with the workers. After the altercation, the workers
decided to call the police with allegations that White had trespassed. The police arrived and
when White tried to ask for their badges one of the police officers shoved him and in the process
White hit his head on the counter. After looking at the events in the case, the jury found out that
the actions of the police were unnecessary and excessive.
Evidently, the decision of the court to fine the police, in this case, was appropriate since
their actions against White violated civil right laws. Firstly, in the case, White did not show any
intentions of resisting arrest. Commonly, when the police are carrying out an arrest, it is
reasonable for them to use violence if the suspect displays signs of being aggressive. However,
in this situation, White is calm to the police officers. In this case, the second concern is that
before the arrest White was trying to contact the police and see if they could help him.
Considerably, this symbolizes that White was law-abiding and he did not use violence against
the security officers at the bus station.
Sensibly, the behavior of the police officers is a clear demonstration of the use of ‘Color
Law’ where a law-enforcement officer decides to use his or her powers to mistreat others. In this
situation, the police officers were dealing with an old man. Further, White was blind, and this
means that he had a limited capacity to become aggressive. Although the police are allowed in
some circumstances to apply force, White's age and his physical ability did not warrant such
degree of violence from the police.
Evidently, there have been various cases regarding how the police misuse their powers to
mistreat persons who are cooperative during an arrest. For instance, on December 7, 1995, three
police officers in Mississippi were found culpable for injuring a drunk and unconscious person.
Reasonably, when arresting a person who is aged, drunk, blind or unconscious, the police do not
have to apply force. In the first place, such an individual is vulnerable and as such the police will
find it easy to arrest him or her.
In White's situation, it would be appropriate for a police officer to treat White properly.
As a police officer, I would take time to evaluate the situation and try to handle White
respectably. Considering that White had not damaged any property, the police would have
looked at ways in which to help him get another bus.
OPINION ESSAY 3
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