Say his name: DeMarco Anderson.
By saying DeMarco’s and others’ impacted by police brutality, names, you remind yourself and those who deny that racism and police brutality are co-occurring issues, that racism is real. You remind people that DeMarco and others are people who are supposed to fit into the concept of the highly disrespectful, culturally insensitive, implicitly biased, and micro-aggression filled notion of All Lives Matter. If you believe that a subset of your culture is that people with brown skin are somehow deserving of brutal treatment, especially at the hands of law enforcement, then you’re not culturally insensitive, you’re racist.
While DeMarco survived and didn’t join the ranks of Oscar Grant, Sandra Bland et al, he was unarmed, in the process of being handcuffed, and stomped while he laid face down on the pavement. The officer, Zachary Rosen, who drilled Anderson’s head into the pavement, isn’t new to termination-worthy, questionable, and highly controversial uses of force; in 2016 he killed 23 year-old Henry Green.
The grand jury didn’t indict Rosen, but witnesses and police gave stories so conflicting that Columbus, OH became divided almost straight down the lines of skin color, over the shooting. Now, just two weeks after Rosen literally got away with murder, he is back in the hot seat.
In the recorded footage, Anderson is seen lying on the ground and having his hands cuffed behind his back. He is neither resisting nor combative. Rosen runs up and kicks him in his head. In chilling fashion, before being kicked, Anderson asks Rosen:
‘Why are you being aggressive, sir? Are you serious? I got cuffs on, sir.’
Anderson didn’t just have on handcuffs; he was also being restrained and subdued by the officer who already had his knee in Anderson’s back. After kicking Anderson, Rosen aggressively put his knee in Anderson’s neck.
Some will immediately call to question Anderson’s reason for being taken into police custody. He is accused of having fired shots into a home close to where he was arrested. If guilty of the crime and he wasn’t legitimately defending himself, then Anderson deserved to be arrested using proper protocol and force, only if he aggressed officers.
Anderson didn’t pose a threat, though. Furthermore, the officer who was placing the handcuffs on had Anderson under control and was moving forward with a calm and relatively normal arrest.
In a move that may feel too little, too late given Rosen’s propensity to inflict harm on people with brown skin, Columbus police have taken Rosen off patrol duty, indefinitely, pending further investigation. He will still get paid and receive the full benefits that his civil service position allows.
In their statement, Columbus police said:
‘Based on what we’ve [seen] in the video taken on Saturday April 8, 2017, the action taken by one of our officers does not meet the standards by the Columbus Division of Police. It appears to be inconsistent with the values and training we instill in our officers. The officer self-reported a kick to the suspect while the suspect was in custody. We’ll learn more as the investigation continues and take appropriate actions based on the facts gathered.’
The sad irony: Rosen will get due process and continue to get paid/represent the police department while his department decides Rosen’s fate “based on the facts gathered.” DeMarcus Anderson wasn’t extended that same right. That’s white privilege and a reminder that “all lives” don’t matter.
The video of Officer Zachary Rosen stomping DeMarcus Anderson’s head in the pavement while a subdued Anderson was being handcuffed, may be viewed below:
Featured Image screengrab via Uptown Magazine.
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