New footage obtained by ABC15 appears to show three Phoenix police officers saying they should “stomp out” Black Lives Matter protesters.
The footage, which was recorded by the officer’s bodycam seems to be accidental, but it runs for a whole 16 minutes. It’s a scathing indictment of the brute force used by law enforcement to crack down on protestors.
The footage is also sure to generate a lot of backlash. One officer is heard saying in the video “Dude, I’m so sick of this sh…, the public is so sick of it too”. The officer agrees, adding that "they (protesters) are a bunch of a-hole kids too.” The third officer, however, comes in with a chilling suggestion.
He’s heard on the footage asking his colleagues “why didn’t we just stomp on them when we were leaving, stomp on them right away.”
There was an immediate reaction to this footage from the Phoenix chief of police Jerry Williams. In a statement released by his office, the chief admits that any “unprofessional, inappropriate, and disrespectful conduct by one of our officers” tarnishes the efforts of other cops trying to do well.
The chief also noted that such behavior also hurts the “communities we have sworn to protect.” Williams further went on to pledge that the actions of the three officers won’t be tolerated, promising swift and decisive disciplinary action. The footage was recorded during BLM protests that rocked the city on October 17 last year.
It was part of wide nationwide protests on racial justice that rocked major cities in the US. The protests were by large triggered by the brutal killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was choked to death by a cop’s knee on his neck. 18 protesters were arrested in Phoenix that day.
An investigative report by ABC15 into the arrests made that day also shows that the cops lied about the nature of protestors, with some even associating innocent civilians to violent gangs. The BLM protests became an emblematic movement in late last year.
Tens of thousands of people marched into the streets demanding racial and social justice, something that sparked brutal police retaliation. In videos widely circulated on social media, police officers can be seen unloading pepper spray, tear gas, and water cannons on unarmed peaceful protestors.
There were even videos showing officers brutally beating up people in the street, including one incident in New York where a police cruiser appeared to ram into a crowd of peaceful protestors that had blocked the road.
But more famously, former US President Donald Trump was accused of using force to clear out protesters at Lafayette Square in DC for a photo-op with members of his administration.
Trump, in what he hoped would be a show of force and a boost to his election campaign, failed to acknowledge the social issues that had sparked the protests last year. Instead, he tried to link BLM protests to leftist extremist groups like ANTIFA. But as shown from the Phoenix footage, it’s clear that the cops were willing to use extreme force to quell the unrest.