This one wasn’t subtle.
Last Friday in Alabama, after forty people chanted “No justice, no peace,” and “I can’t breathe” on the side of the road and then marched through a Walmart parking lot and into the store, they were met outside by a platoon of police officers waiting to pounce. Officers from the Homewood PD, Mountain Brook PD, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and Alabama State Troopers confronted the protestors in the parking lot with threats of criminal trespass charges.
When Mercutio Terrell Southall asked to see an officer’s name on his badge, he was summarily arrested for criminal trespassing. When Southall stood with his hands in his pockets, refusing to comply with his arrest, he was surrounded by officers who drove him to the ground, piled on top of him and repeatedly tasered him.
His friend, Randall Anderson, who was recording the tasering in the parking lot, was the next person to be threatened with arrest. Not wanting to be arrested, Anderson walked towards his car. Within five feet of his vehicle, he was grabbed by an officer and pushed up against the hood. After minutes of incredulously asking what he was being arrested for, Anderson was eventually told, “You’re going to jail for disobeying a police officer.”
“I was going to my car,” replied Anderson.
“He gave you a command and you didn’t go fast enough.”
Southall and Anderson were both taken to the Homewood jail and charged with criminal trespass despite being given very little opportunity to actually leave the property. Anderson was additionally charged with resisting arrest and possession of marijuana.
The video, posted below, shows Southall calmly asking to see the officer’s name, which he is generally required to provide by departmental policy. Instead, the officer immediately orders Southall’s arrest.
On a personal note, elements of the arrest reminded me of an another arrest I recall, as a man was tasered while seven police officers stand over him, while one of the officers clearly smiled as he physically abused a man who had committed no harm.
Personally, I am sickened by the police in this video, who apparently showed with an agenda, and clearly chose to arrest two men not for criminal trespass, but for daring to question them and not bend instantly to their will. Lawyer up guys.