Last week, Arizona police officers continued to embarrass their state – racially profiling an innocent man, and then beating him so badly that he was hospitalized.
Arthur Velazquez was simply riding his bike home, when notoriously racist Arizona cops rolled up and claimed he “fit the description” of a criminal. They offered no details, but said that being on a bicycle and wearing a hoodie was “probable cause” enough.
For many Latinos in Arizona, this act by the police is all too common. The “description” they are looking for is “Mexican” and making claims like this – about “fitting the description” – is simply a way to run a background check and “fish” for undocumented immigrants.
While Velazquez was being detained, he took out his cell phone to call his sister and let her know something very bad was happening to him.
“I’m thinking about my own safety,” Velazquez explained. “I had a feeling that with these two officers something bad was going to happen; that’s why I called my sister.”
When the officers saw this, they claimed that they “feared for their lives.”
“You have additional people coming to the scene, and you are in fear,” Detective Steve Berry said. Berry is with the Mesa Police Department. He seemed to think beating an innocent man for calling his sister was perfectly acceptable because that sister “might be armed, and showing up to assist,” in a criminal manner.
The incident was not captured on Velazquez’s cell phone, however, it was recorded on police body cameras.
That video shows officers assaulting Velazquez, trying to pull the phone away from him, and then slamming him on the ground.
No sooner than Velazquez hits the ground, officers begin punching him repeatedly.
“Taking five minutes and complying and calling your sister when you got done, would have gone a long way,” Berry claimed. “He could have moved on for the evening.”
Do you think the police are right? Should Velazquez have just dealt with the racial harassment and not called his sister to document the police harassment and abuse?
Can we call this a police state yet?
Watch the video below and let us know what you think…
(Article by M. David and Jackson Marciana)