Friday May 26, 2017, bystander video captures the actions of two unidentified Springfield, Illinois Police Officers engaged in what appears to be some attempt to apprehend young children, while they are playing on a playground. At Havard Park Elementary, 2501 South 11th Street Springfield, IL 62703.
In the video (no audio) you can see in the foreground a uniformed person attempting to grab some children by their arms and clothing only to trip and fall onto the playground, all the while in the background there is another uniformed person holding a child on the ground throwing punches towards the child upper body and head. We are left wondering what heinous act resulted in this use of force, against children, not that this has proven to stop member of the law enforcement community from acting in this manner.
According to a press release from the Springfield Police Department:
The incident occurred shortly after 7 p.m. Friday when officers responded to multiple calls regarding a large group of juveniles near the school. Some of the juveniles were reportedly involved in alleged criminal activity.
“Upon arrival, officers immediately began to disperse the crowd. The group reconvened on the east side of the school, at which time the officers ag
ain told the juveniles they needed to leave,” the police statement said. “Rather than leaving, two juveniles continued to disobey officers’ commands and became aggressive towards the officers. The juveniles actively resisted the arrest and force was used to take them into custody. One officer suffered minor injuries during the incident.”
And “The Springfield Police Department is aware of a video clip circulating on social media that appears to show an officer striking a juvenile while on the ground. A preliminary review of the officer’s body worn cameras and police reports provide additional information regarding the incident,”
None of which, excuses these officer’s actions, as this escalation to this level of force as is not needed ever when interacting with children or for that matter adults, when there is no crime occurring nor the safety of the public at risk. Once the dust settles and we can get access to the police incident reports, I am sure the creative writing skills of the individuals involved will include, text regarding violent resistance and fear for their safety, because some children were playing in a school yard playground.
For an agency whose motto is “Service, Pride, Dedication” one can clearly see that is clearly not the standard that these individuals operate under.