*Note: Polling has been closed and the results of our 2010 Worst Police Misconduct Videos of 2010 Reader’s Poll have been published here.
Once again it’s time for our annual “Worst Police Misconduct Videos of the Year” reader’s poll. Here we post some of the more egregious, but not all, of the videos that were released in 2010 in association with claims of police misconduct. Of course, some of the incidents tied to these videos did not occur in 2010, but the videos for those reports weren’t released to the public until this year so they are included.
Each video is associated with a number and are listed in no specific order. At the end of the post is a poll where each visitor may select up to three of the videos that they consider the worst examples of police misconduct caught on video for the year. At the end of the voting period, midnight on New Years Eve of 2010, we will begin tallying the votes and present the five worst videos of the year on New Years Day.
(Note: Our list of the worst police misconduct videos of 2009 as selected by our readers is here.)
So, without further ado, here are the candidates…
VIDEO 1 – 47 votes
November 11, 2009:
A Texas State trooper was caught on dashcam slamming a female motorist face-first into a concrete barrier while arresting her on suspicion of drunk driving after she called police to report an accident. Prior to slamming her into the wall the dashcam recorded him telling the woman “You’re fixing to get hurt, don’t make me put you on the ground, you understand?” The woman was never charged and the now-former trooper was sentenced to probation after convicted on a misdemeanor assault charge.
VIDEO 2 – 12 votes
October 29, 2010:
A Fond du Lac Wisconsin police officer was caught on surveillance camera inside a jail holding area slamming a handcuffed mentally-ill detainee face-first into a table so hard it lifted the man’s legs off the ground and resulted in a gash that required stitches in his head. While the officer was suspended without pay for three days over the incident the man’s family claims that he suffered worse injuries than are being described and hasn’t been the same since the incident, describing him as a “walking vegetable”.
VIDEO 3 – 15 votes
October 18, 2010:
An undercover Seattle Washington police officer is currently under investigation after a surveillance camera inside a convenience store captured him kick a 17-year-old boy in the crotch then repeatedly kick him in the face while it appeared as though he was attempting to cooperate. The officer claimed the boy was just involved in a drug buy bust that went wrong when the undercover officers were robbed by the suspects they tried to buy drugs from. However, as you watch the video, note how the two kids look surprised by the commotion outside and go out to see what’s happening… would someone who just ran from a botched robbery do that? Oddly, the police apparently didn’t suspend the officer pending investigation until they found out the video was going to air on the news.
VIDEO 4 – 14 votes
October 18, 2010
The same Seattle Washington police officer shown kicking a compliant teenager in Video 3 then allegedly went outside and punched a man who was attempting to videotape what was happening. However, aside from a single report in the press, there was no other word on any investigation taking place regarding this incident. In fact, officials refused to even view the video which was sent to the press.
VIDEO 5 – 14 votes
April 17, 2010:
Two Seattle Washington police officers are still the subject of an internal investigation after both county prosecutors and the city attorney refused to press charges against them for their roles in this video captured by a freelance photojournalist where a gang officer can be heard telling what turned out to be an innocent man that he would “beat the Mexican piss” out of him before grazing his face while stomping on his hand. Later a female officer can be seen stomping on the man’s leg. Officers later released the man but didn’t offer him medical treatment even though he seemed unsteady on his feet. A second investigation began on allegations that one local TV station, which refused to air the story, colluded with officers to keep misconduct reports out of the news. One of the officers was also implicated in another incident a week after this video came out where he’s accused of choking a handcuffed suspect in the back of his cruiser. No video of that exists since the officer failed to activate his in-cruiser dashcam as required by policy.
VIDEO 6 – 9 votes
October 30, 2010
Two Miami Florida police officers are still suspended while under investigation over a cellphone video that made it’s way on YouTube showing an officer strike a man in or near his head while being held down by several other officers. That man, a youth services worker, was allegedly picked out of a crowd for now apparent reason and prosecutors were going to drop charges against him until the video went public. Then prosecutors moved ahead anyway and charged him with a stand-alone count of resisting arrest without violence for, according to his lawyer, trying to cover his head during the beating until he lost consciousness.
VIDEO 7 – 26 votes
August 5, 2010:
A Kershaw County South Carolina deputy has been indicted on a federal civil rights charge over his use of excessive force when he was caught on jail surveillance cameras repeatedly beating a handcuffed detainee with a metal baton while another deputy watched and shoved the man back when he tried to get away from the blows. The man suffered a broken leg in the attack and the other deputy seen in the video was fired over the incident as well but no word on charges against him.
VIDEO 8 – 7 votes
November 27, 2010:
Four Springfield Massachusetts police officers have been disciplined over their roles in a videotaped beating incident where officers held down an unarmed man while another repeatedly beat him with a flashlight on video captured by a nearby homeowner. One officer, who has been charged over the incident, has been fired while two others were suspended for 45 days and the fourth was suspended for 15. 
VIDEO 9 – 8 votes
September 21, 2010:
A Summit County Ohio deputy has been suspended for 30 days over a videotaped incident where he slammed a handcuffed detainee against a wall then sent him head-first into an opposite wall before kicking him in the jail’s intake room. The deputy claims the man tried to headbutt him though the video seems to show a head movement that appears more incidental due to the man being pushed than something intentional. The sheriff attributed this incident, and others this year, to stress over recent layoffs. 
VIDEO 10 – 17 votes
The police chief of Wister Oklahoma was caught on video slamming a 50-year-old woman into a wall then using a leg-sweep takedown on her, slamming her face onto the floor. The rough treatment left the woman with a black eye, bruised her ribs, and dislocated her knee. The incident apparently stemmed from the woman swearing at the chief when she went to complain about how the department was handling an investigation into an unspecified resident’s death. The chief charged her with using profanity in public and resisting arrest but no word on any adverse action suffered by the chief.
VIDEO 11 – 9 votes
September 5, 2010:
Six Dallas Texas police officers were involved in this video showing officers chasing a man for riding his motorcycle on a sidewalk then beating him after forcing him off his bike with their police cruiser. One officer was charged with assault for striking the man 5 times with a baton and another for striking him with his fists and knee. A third officer was also charged with evidence tampering for turning his dashcam away from what was happening. One officer was heard on radio during the chase telling them to get in close and that he was going to beat this guy.
VIDEO 12 – 31 votes
March 16, 2010:
Two Denver police officers are under investigation over a videotaped incident in March of 2010 where they detained a man who was walking his dog because he told a motorist that the officers had pulled over that he would testify on his behalf since he witnessed the driver stop when officers were citing him for failing to stop. However, once the man started to use his cell phone to take pictures officers took him to the ground and began to punch him while attempting to take his cell phone, all of which was caught on another bystander’s video recording.
VIDEO 13 – 19 votes
April 4, 2009:
Two Denver Colorado police officers are still under investigation over a year after an incident that was caught on the police department’s own “HALO” cameras which showed officers take down and beat a man who was simply standing on a street corner and calling his father, a Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputy, asking him what to do while police were roughly arresting his friend. The video contradicted police reports filed by the officers which tried to justify the beating and arrest but, a year later, department officials decided to only suspend the officers for a couple of days for lying on the report which sparked outrage and the eventual resignation of the Dept of Public Safety director.
VIDEO 14 – 31 votes
June 29, 2010:
Two Marin County California deputies are the subject of a lawsuit filed by a 64-year-old man who was tasered three times in an incident captured on the taser’s built-in camera as shown above. The suit alleges that deputies barged into the man’s home after paramedics had already treated the man for a leg injury when he hurt himself in a fall. Cops were called because paramedics heard the man exclaim that he was in so much pain he would have shot himself if he had a gun and officers wanted to have him committed for being suicidal. He was charged with resisting arrest but those charges were dismissed later by a judge.
VIDEO 15 – 13 votes
February 24, 2010:
Two Columbia Missouri police officers are being sued by a man who was tasered on dashcam video, shown above, about 30 seconds into what appears to be a typical traffic stop after he asked why he was being pulled over. He claims that officers then began to beat him off-camera before arresting him on resisting arrest charges that were later dismissed when the prosecutor couldn’t show how the man could have known why he was being arrested in the first place.
VIDEO 16 – 11 votes
A New York NY police officer shown in this video footage brutally beating an Iraq war vet with a baton in the apartment building where the vet was staying with his mother was later acquitted of charges against him because the man he beat was too terrified to testify and could not be found before the trial. The video was kept from the public eye since 2008 until right before the trial this year.
VIDEO 17 – 60 votes
February 11, 2010:
A Columbia Missouri SWAT team videotaped their raid in on a family’s home that was based on questionable information they received from a paid informant. That raid resulted in a family’s corgi and bull terrier being shot while a 7-year-old was nearby inside the home. The cops say they did the evening raid because they expected this guy to be some big dealer but all they found was a pipe with resin and a grinder. The couple was charged with simple possession and child endangerment but the raid sparked a civil rights lawsuit that is still pending as well as promised reforms from the department itself.
VIDEO 18 – 44 votes
March 3, 2010:
At least four Prince George’s County Maryland police officers and two police commanders are the subject of ongoing federal and internal investigations into their actions in the above video and subsequent actions during the investigation into it. The video contradicted officer’s claims in reports that a student they beat during celebrations after a college basketball game had attacked a police horse. The video clearly showed he did nothing to provoke the attack and his subsequent arrest as well.
VIDEO 19 – 13 votes
March 28, 2010:
A Streamwood Illinois police officer has been charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct for beating a motorist with his baton at least 15 times after he had tasered the man’s passenger and it was all caught on dashcam. The men he tasered and beat were unarmed and didn’t present a threat to the officer who is now on paid leave and may eventually face even more charges in this case.
VIDEO 20 – 6 votes
November 5, 2010:
A South Bend Indiana police officer was suspended for 30 days without pay over what happened in this video. The officer was found to have violated departmental policies when he intentionally hit a suspect with his police cruiser, shattering his knee, while the man was fleeing on foot. The officer claimed he turned into the grass to avoid hitting the suspect but the video was found to have contradicted that claim.
VIDEO 21 – 6 votes
March 24, 2010:
A Newark New Jersey police officer was suspended without pay and indicted for using excessive force and falsifying reports to cover it up after this video surveillance tape captured him assaulting a teenager at an apartment complex without justification. Three other officers present during the incident were reassigned while under investigation but no updates were available in regards to their status. Charges against the 15-year-old boy were dismissed.
VIDEO 22 – 24 votes
February 29, 2009
A Carrollton Texas police officer is the subject of a federal civil rights lawsuit over a 2009 incident caught on dashcam video that shows him slamming a man against a car and then to the ground after the man informed him that he had a concealed weapon permit but wasn’t given a chance to show it to officers at the scene. He wasn’t arrested that day because he didn’t do anything wrong… the officers were investigating him on suspicion of stealing license plates but he was just a car salesman putting temp tags on a sold car.
However, when the victim went to file a complaint three weeks later he was arrested and charged with resisting arrest after an officer asked him if he really wanted to pursue this. Since then he claims cops have been intimidating him by parking at his home at night and giving him tickets for parking on the street.
VIDEO 23 – 8 votes
July 18, 2009:
A West Valley Utah police officer is the subject of a lawsuit filed by a man claiming he was picked up and thrown to the ground face-first by the officer who stopped him for allegedly running a stop sign. Apparently the officer tailed him without pulling him over until he got to his girlfriend’s house and then, when he got out of his truck, the officer turned on his lights. The officer then walked up to his truck, shoved him inside of it, then dragged him back out to shoulder-toss him face-first into the pavement while holding his arms behind him so he couldn’t break the fall.
VIDEO 24 – 18 votes
December 11, 2010:
Kenton Ohio police are investigating how the man shown in this video, arrested on drunk and disorderly charges, ended up on life support in the hospital after his family started asking how it happened. This video appears to show one of the officers handling him in a processing area performing a leg sweep on him while he was handcuffed. The thing to remember here is that when someone is handcuffed they are extremely susceptible to severe head injuries since they have no way to brace themselves when thrown down like this and, often, their head takes the full brunt of the impact.
VIDEO 25 – 122 votes
August 30, 2010:
A Seattle Washington police officer is still the subject of an investigation for fatally shooting a Native American woodcarver when he tried to stop him for carrying a block of wood and a legal knife. The man was apparently partially deaf and was wearing earphones so, according to witnesses, it didn’t appear as though he even heard the officer’s commands before that officer opened fire, striking him in the back and the side. Initial press releases from the police stated that the officer fired when the man rushed towards him with the knife but that was withdrawn in the face of contradictory witness statements. Subsequently, it appears as though his knife may not have even been open as it was found closed on the ground near his body. This, and several other cases in the last two years, has sparked calls for a federal investigation into the department.
VIDEO 26 – 11 votes
January 16, 2010:
Phoenix Arizona police officers were accused of indiscriminate use of pepper spray which doused women and children during an anti-Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio protest in that city. While police and some groups in that protest blamed anarchists for provoking police by throwing bottles and hitting a police horse with flagpoles, others claim that protesters were trying to push a mounted officer back when the horse appeared close to trampling protesters as it pushed its way into the mass of protesters, at which point video captures the discharge of pepper spray from that mounted officer. Others also claim that Phoenix PD officers had infiltrated the protesting group of anarchists as provocateurs and began to arrest protesters when the pepper spray was released. This video was a late entry requested for inclusion by a CopBlock reader on Facebook.
VIDEO 27 – 9 votes
A number of Boston Massachusetts police officers are under investigation after videos taken by students at Roxbury Community College showed officers punching and using knee strikes on a 16-year-old who was wanted after escaping custody while held on assault and possession of marijuana charges. While officers claimed that the teen assaulted them, witnesses say he complied with every command given and that the arresting officers never showed their badges. This video was a late entry requested for inclusion by a CopBlock reader on Facebook.
Sorry, the poll has closed.
Please only vote for three entries. Voting ends at Midnight, December 31, 2010.
NOTE: If there’s a video that you think we missed that could be worse than the ones listed here let us know and we’ll add it as a late entry if it qualifies. Late entries are added along with a number of votes that is equal to the median number of votes for all entries at the time of inclusion.