The Miami-Dade Police have some explaining to do after a cell phone camera captured officers tackling and strangling an unarmed 14-year old named Tremaine McMillan.
McMillan was indeed carrying something — a six-week old puppy, who was also injured in the attack. Police say this exercise of force was necessary because McMillan was exhibiting a “dehumanizing stare” and other threatening “body language.”
The police proceeded to “neutralize the threat.” Officers reportedly chased McMillan, slamming him to the ground, and putting him in a choke hold. McMillan was then charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
What’s the Big Idea?
Of course, we don’t know whether the police might have merit in what they are saying or not. We don’t know whether to believe McMillan and his family’s side of the events since we weren’t there.
What we do know is this: camera phones are ubiquitous, and that has changed the way that police actions are monitored by civilians, and distribution platforms have changed the way that these images are disseminated to the public.
So who in power is taking notice? Lawyers certainly are. And it is not hard to imagine that a good number of South Florida attorneys are salivating over this image, as well they should be. Because the image above is not an isolated image, but a frame from a video of the incident taken by McMillan’s mother captured on her phone and viewable, in portion, here.
Photo Credit: CBS Miami