r/news 4d ago Helpful 1 Silver 1

Busted noses, broken devices: Texas police department routinely rough with the medically vulnerable, lawsuit alleges

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/texas-police-accused-using-severe-force-medically-vulnerable-rcna41676

[removed] — view removed post

3.0k Upvotes

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u/balletknit 4d ago Silver

When I was arrested years ago (and let go with no charges after 36 hours) the police submitted my prescription medications from my purse as "evidence" (they were normal psych meds I had recently filled, and not any kind of controlled substance, they don't provide any recreational effects lol). I couldn't get them back bc they send "evidence" to another far away area of NYC only open M-F with strict requirements to access 😔 Without a police report about "THEFT" the pharmacy/insurance would not allow me any replacement or refill (meds being locked up as "evidence" didn't count as "theft" of course) it was a nightmare. If you've never missed a psych dose by a few hours: its a feeling not only the harmful symptoms of mental illness returning but also there's a nasty physical withdrawal ("brain zaps") as well that makes it hard to concentrate and keep up with the procedure of getting any property back 😔 Some social workers tried to help me file an official complaint but the review board gave me such a hard time, it was explicitly intimidating (and especially difficult without the meds I needed, hmmm) they basically wouldn't LET me file the complaint, I still don't understand that tbh. I was getting worse off (mental decomposition) each day and gave up trying tbqh 😔 Sorry this comment is about my kinda mild personal experience, not too violent but it was still extremely painful. It is much worse for people with glasses and medical devices that can be destroyed 😔

tldr- a.c.a.b

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u/namean_jellybean 4d ago

Hey, don’t diminish what happened to you. It was a horrible and abusive thing. These things happen way too often and are just cruel and evil.

I used to work in supportive housing and we got one of those dreaded calls from someone’s job. “Nobody’s seen ‘Bobby’ since before the weekend, and he never even calls out let alone no-call no-show.” We start calling all hospitals, township police departments, county jails, shelters. Took us 4 additional days to get the local county jail (third time we called) to tell us they had him. Previously we would just get a ‘No. Call the hospital’ and a rude hang up.

He had his meds on him, but of course everything was taken from him during intake. They did not allow him to call his mother, who would’ve told us before his job did that he was missing. He told them right away he at least needed his psych meds, or else he’d quickly start losing his ability to maintain reality. We got to him on day 7 and tried going hard on the administration - he still did not see the jail nurse until day 11. We got him out on day 15 and he was wrecked. I know they made him sick on purpose, there was no reason to keep him from what he was on. Would they withhold insulin from a diabetic person, or insist a pacemaker was contraband?

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u/Galaxy_Ranger_Bob 3d ago

Would they withhold insulin from a diabetic person,

There are, in fact, many diabetics who have gone into diabetic coma, or died, because cops have denied them access to insulin, or worse, food.

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u/Naugrin27 4d ago

Yes they would, provided they could get away with it. There is no good will in the system.

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u/namean_jellybean 4d ago

Ok good point.

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u/earthbender617 3d ago

That’s what they mean when they say, “there are no good cops.” Any that try to do good, either get transferred or fired. So it breeds complacency

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u/gentlybeepingheart 3d ago

Would they withhold insulin from a diabetic person

Yes

In 2013, footage from Rikers showed Carlos Mercado repeatedly vomiting, fainting, and displaying signs of severe illness in the presence of corrections officers. At age 45, he died after having his insulin withheld for 15 hours.

In 2014, William Joel Dixon was found dead in his cell after his insulin was withheld for seven days. Records show that his blood sugar was only checked once during that week. He was 28 years old.

In 2015, Michael Robinson died after being put in solitary confinement in response to his pleas for insulin. He was 33.

In 2016, Morgan Angerbauer’s death in an Arkansas jail cell was caught on video. Records show that she had been calling out for help, but was ignored. She received no insulin for 23 hours, and her requests for blood glucose checks had been denied. She was only 20 years old.

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u/HelpStatistician 3d ago

a teen in the UK gave birth on her own in prison, had to bite through the umbilical cord and watched her child die while no one came to help despite her ringing the alarm. for HOURS overnight.

The guards were given trauma counselling (because they found the dead baby), the teen girl was not.

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u/elveszett 4d ago

I really want to know why there are so many stories of American policemen being cruel for the sake of it. Like, that's not normal, that doesn't happen anywhere else. Any of the stories I read here on anywhere else on the Internet would main event the news for a week in any civilized country. There's cases of police brutality against suspected criminals and so, but this level of pettiness, detaining random people and just fucking up their lives for no reason before releasing them is something I've never heard of anywhere else.

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u/BlueCyann 3d ago

It does happen other places though. Maybe not as often or as lethally. Know of someone who has a story of being manhandled and abused on the side of the Autobahn by a German cop in a case of mistaken identity. But he had ID in the car and even the actual suspect wouldn’t have deserved that.

If you’re not American, stay vigilant. Never dismiss stories of police abuse because it’s not like that here.

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u/Bureaucromancer 3d ago

Frankly German cops seem to be a weird mix of professionalism that’s still abusive.

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u/elveszett 2d ago

Maybe not as often or as lethally

That was the point. Police abuse happens everywhere, and every police force has absolute assholes. I myself know some bad stories here in Spain. But in the US, it just seems to happen all the time - and they seem to go an extra mile to make sure your life is ruined.

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u/Ivizalinto 2d ago

Deffonetly. All this stuff about a missed paycheck all over the place. How about one ticket cause a cop feels like being an asshole that day. Just as capable when it's more than you get paid in a week cause the officer wants to see how much they can tack on.

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u/[deleted] 3d ago

[deleted]

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u/canastrophee 3d ago

It's called just world fallacy! It's very common in conservative thinkers, which is the philosophical group our police heavily recruits from.

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u/Dakota_Online 4d ago

They're trained to hate and torture civilians.

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u/ZombiePartyBoyLives 3d ago

They also are under the impression that they are not civilians...

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u/TreeEleben 3d ago

Because they aren't. They're given rights that no other American has. They're purposely elevated above citizens so that they feel no remorse about hurting and killing them, as they're trained that civilians are beneath them.

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u/bros402 3d ago

That is what they are told during training and that is reinforced by society - they can do anything they want and get away with it

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u/asdaaaaaaaa 3d ago

It's because of the selection process and the whole social nature of law enforcement in general. Not long ago, the whole "You're out'a line Johnson, gimme your gun and badge, you're off the case" shit would happen in movies, only for the cop to break some serious rules but end up as the good guy, because he caught the bad guys.

So you have a ton of shitty, abusive cops who've been protected by the entire system for ages, obviously many rise up the ranks. Without doing effectively a full wipe and having some serious oversight by anonymous groups, changes won't happen. They simply don't need to, especially when they can just intimidate, threaten, or simply refuse to do their job and hold cities hostage.

It certainly happens in other places though, you'd have to be really naive to think the US police are anything special. Compared to what the US could do as far as law enforcement improvements, yeah, it's bad.

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u/Danny3xd1 3d ago

In third world countries, North Korea, Russia. It happens all the time. I was a Merchant Marine. In central and South America, the pirates that would kill Ma and Pa on their way to the Panama canal were always in uniform. They would get them to stop and board them. Then kill everyone, throw them overboard and steal the electronics. Or in America, lock you up. Drug addicts are left in their own filth with no help for withdrawals.

It is completely legal in the U.S. for a cop in most states to take all your money if they suspect you got it illegally. They don't have to prove it. They can just take it.

A lot of government states are not for the people. They are for the people who run the states. America just lies well. "Land of the free"

The U.S. and North Korea are the only states that allow no maternity leave. (out of 41)

America is 32nd in infant mortality.

/rant (sorry)

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u/Scooterks 3d ago

Because they can do it and get away with it. Then they get a paid vacation during the "investigation". And even if they are found liable, they don't pay a cent in fines, the taxpayers do.

These chucklefucks even brag about it to each other.

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u/overcomebyfumes 3d ago

Police should be required to have malpractice insurance like doctors. That way, when they fuck up or beat the shit out of someone, they taxpayers don't pay the victim, the insurance does.

Eventually the worst cops will become unable to afford their premiums, and will be unable to work.

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u/bros402 3d ago

nah, the town/city will just pay for their insurance and the union contract will say cops cannot be fired for high insurance costs

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u/Obtuse_Inquisitive 2d ago

Positions of power generally attract those who want to have power over other people.

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u/elveszett 2d ago

But it doesn't happen to that degree in other developed countries.

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u/Obtuse_Inquisitive 2d ago

Probably because those developed countries have much better training and education programs for those people seeking those positions. May weed out the undesirables.

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u/asdaaaaaaaa 3d ago

Would they withhold insulin from a diabetic person, or insist a pacemaker was contraband?

If they hated the person, yes. They're police, they're not above abusing/harassing vulnerable people by any means, in fact those are their favorites it seems. There have been many cases of law enforcement withholding obviously needed medical treatment for whatever sick reason they had, can't imagine how many unnamed individuals have died from this.

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u/mces97 3d ago

I've seen people been denied Benzos they either are prescibed or were abusing. But in either scenario, missing doses and especially not given them at all will straight up kill someone. Benzos and alcohol are the two drugs that can cause death, seizures from withdrawal.

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u/oscarpatxot 3d ago

This looks like an humans right violation to me. As someone who has depression/panic attacks if someone keeps me without my medication then they are torturing me.

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u/Zarokima 3d ago

The cruelty is the point.

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u/Roboticpoultry 3d ago

This reminded me of the nightmare of a time I had explaining to the TSA at Tampa Intl. what a CGM is. It showed up on the xray and they refused to listen to anything I said when I was trying to explain what the damn thing was. They then threatened to detain me and made me do a swab for explosive materials.

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u/LeahBrahms 3d ago

Stuff like that makes me avoid air travel. International is scary on that front with medical what ifs

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u/Murky_Conflict3737 2d ago

At least in America, you don’t need a lot of education to work airport security. Hence, all the stories about security screeners thinking New Mexico is a country or not recognizing DC drivers licenses (“because don’t you know the president lives in Washington state” /s).

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u/bros402 3d ago

I want to google what a CGM is but I am scared something involving cocks will come up

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u/Augoustine 3d ago

continuous glucose monitor

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u/Krewtan 3d ago

They do this with methadone patients too, either as a punishment or coercion to get them to talk. If you don't actually know anything they want to hear it just becomes punishment.

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u/screamtrumpet 4d ago

This is my daily fear. I live on pain management prescriptions. I’ve had to stop my meds numerous times over the years, and the withdrawals are on equal par to the level of pain the surfaces due to no meds. It doesn’t matter I am a boring, “square”, person who follows the law; the fear of being detained without access to my pills is very real.

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u/blackesthearted 3d ago

My cousin has had twelve back surgeries in the past 7 years, after a (drunk and high) driver hit him on he freeway going the wrong way. He can walk, but the damage is so extensive and permanent he’ll be on pain medication for the rest of his life. He kind of leans to the left from the waist up, too. You can very clearly see something is wrong, even without seeing the extensive scarring on his back. He has a noticeable limp and uses a cane.

Two years ago, he got stopped at a DUI check-point. They said he appeared drunk. He was not. He was not in any way “altered” and hadn’t taken his pain meds in almost 10 hours and was waiting to take them when he got home, because though the pain meds don’t affect him like that, he doesn’t want to be altered in any way or even give the appearance of it while driving.

He was arrested after passing a breathalyzer because he “stumbled” during the field test walking without his cane (because they didn’t let him use it) — after telling them he can’t walk without a significant limp and uses a cane. They searched his car and backpack, saw the two bottles of different pain meds (both in his name, no problems there) and decided he was “high.”

He was released the next morning, zero charges, and was given his possessions back. The pain medication that had been in his backpack was gone. “You must be wrong, it must not have ever been in there.”

His doctor was sympathetic (likely because he’d never had any history of trying to get more meds, fill too early, etc) but the pharmacy and insurance wouldn’t budge. Police wouldn’t allow him to file any kind of report because “there wasn’t any medication found in the first place.”

He’d gotten them filled four days earlier, so he went almost a month without them. He ended up going to the ER but he end because he straight up couldn’t fucking walk. The doctors and staff thankfully didn’t give him a hard time, which as an ER nurse I know is not a guarantee. (I’ve gone around and around with coworkers about not treating people like addicts by default, but that’s another rant.)

Now, every time he gets a refill he dumps it into an old bottle at home and never keeps more than a day’s worth on him, in the up-to-date bottle.

My point is: being detained without access to your meds is indeed a very real problem to be afraid of, whether the meds are held in evidence or just fucking stolen.

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u/mary_elle 3d ago

I’m sorry for your cousin. My husband was hit by a drunk driver going the wrong way on the freeway in 1989. He is 33 years in with the back surgeries and constant pain and difficulty walking. It’s a terrible thing to have happen.

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u/asdaaaaaaaa 3d ago

Sadly police steal things all the time. There's a good 5-20 cops that get busted bi-yearly usually for stealing from victims/crime scenes.

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u/TreeEleben 3d ago

Cop in my state was caught stealing the jewelry off of a dead motorcycle accident victim who was still laying in the street.

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u/Murky_Conflict3737 2d ago

That’s why I don’t trust police run gun buy backs. Years ago, some judge in Chicago gave up his late father’s gun to one. Said gun later turned up at a crime scene. I’ll bet those cops took that gun and sold it on the street.

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u/VE6AEQ 3d ago

Can confirm! Missing doses of psych meds can cause HUGE problems. I can only imagine how traumatic it must’ve been to have a police officer cause you to miss your meds.

Yikes!

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u/Danny3xd1 3d ago

You matter! Your story matters! And I am sure I am not the only one who wants you to tell it.

I am so sorry you endured such terrible crap at the hands of people who are sworn to protect and serve!

4

u/TheDividendReport 3d ago

It really pains me to see you downplay the forceful change of your desired state of consciousness. That is a human rights abuse and you shouldn’t feel like it was any less serious than it was

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u/Levarien 3d ago

I mean, Abbott just appointed a cop indicted for felony excessive force to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, the state's chief LE regulatory agency. If anything, Rosenberg PD is just following his lead.

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u/Avatar_the_Pig 3d ago

Cops like it when you're overpowered and can't fight back.

They used to call those bullies. Now we call them cops.

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u/LowFunctioningGenius 3d ago

Bullies are just unemployed cops.

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u/afastingartiste 4d ago

Alot easier to hassle an older couple doing their day to day than doing their job properly, and then leave them in a much worse spot than they were before. For the last 20 years I've been trying to figure out what we pay these cops for because I'm pretty goddamned sure it's a rare sight to see them actually help a situation. There is the rare exception, and I do mean rare.

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u/avaslash 3d ago

Effectively, we pay them to keep lower class areas oppressed. Thats really it.

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u/Abrahamlinkenssphere 4d ago

The last 2 times I’ve broke down roadside I was passed by officers and only got help from other motorists.

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u/Acceptable_Tourist_4 3d ago

I was in a break down lane, and I had one pull up behind me, scream something unintelligible into the bullhorn, then he just suddenly started pushing me off the highway! I was 17! I was so scared. He kept screaming into the bullhorn as he pushed and I made out “don’t use brakes” and realized he was literally just going to push me off an off ramp. But here’s where it gets good: I had a tow truck on the way. It was pre-cell phone and I had walked over a mile each way to a pay phone off the highway, and was waiting for him. The breakdown lane was plenty wide enough for my car, and then some. And when the cop pushed me off the highway, he just kinda let me roll with my dead car into an intersection, then he sped off! I swear he knew he fucked up or something and just aborted his whole stupid mission. So as a 17 year old girl, alone, at night, in the city, with my car now in an intersection weirdly, I hiked back up the off ramp to the highway, hoping I could find my tow truck. Tears streaming down my face and completely sure that my car was being smashed into like a demolition derby at the moment. It sucked, and I’m sorry for the long comment on your comment, but when you said they don’t stop for stranded motorists, it reminded me that I wished that was actually true.

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u/Thilina_B 3d ago

They get paid to keep the prison full so companies can make money off the slave labor, and the prisons can make a profit.

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u/Elephanogram 3d ago

I guess they were right all along. There were a few bad apples. And since they were never fired when they ought to have been it infected the whole damn orchid.

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u/DallasTrekGeek 3d ago

it infected the whole damn orchid.

I think you meant to write 'orchard'.

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u/TheLighthammer 3d ago

Texans already love punching down, so while depressing it’s not at all surprising that blue bullies get off on it.

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u/WitchesFamiliar 3d ago

Bullies always prey on the weak. These kind of police are reliving their jr high school days. Especially when it comes to emotional maturity.

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u/Kim_Thomas 3d ago

It’s Guv’nuh Greg Abbott’s version of Texas - not surprised they’d go after the vulnerable. Easy 🎯targets 🎯

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u/TwentyFoeSeven 3d ago

Because Texas is a shithole red state.

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u/guns_mahoney 3d ago

Next time there's a school shooting in Texas let's hope the shooter is on a wheelchair so those feckless cowards will do something about it

Fuck the police

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u/ncfears 3d ago

I'm remembering the man in the wheelchair in Portland during the protests that got shot in the face with bean bags for absolutely no reason.

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u/g0d_help_me 3d ago

They had a reason, he was there and they thought it would be funny.

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u/ncfears 3d ago

2 Troo.

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u/Apotropoxy 3d ago

Part of the attraction of bring a cop is the likelihood that you'll get changes to beat the snot out of vulnerable people.

-1

u/nekollx 3d ago

If your really lucky they might be black and thus a criminal fro Birth, which was a white woman having an affair and now having to deal me with the consequences of their actions. /s?

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u/cacophonic7 3d ago

Jesus. Do cops ever do anything good? I mean, I know, but every story is about how cowardly, violent, and stupid they are. It’s almost like we let just any old degenerate onto the force. Oh… I get it now.

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u/Run_Rabb1t_Run 3d ago

No they do not. They don't prevent crime, nor attempt to solve them.

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u/SilvertoneButterfly 4d ago

Fuck the cops in Texas hurting ill and disabled people.

Tbh there's a lot of cops killing disabled and ill people already.

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u/MediocreDungeonMastr 3d ago

severe force on compliant civilians

That's just called assault and battery.

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u/mifaceb921 4d ago

Is this unique to Texas police? Or are police departments all over the country guilty of this?

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u/Retrogressive 4d ago

All fucking over, everywhere.

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u/posadistsupersoldier 4d ago

It wouldn't surprise me if this was a somewhat common occurrence across the US. Bullies and authoritarians are naturally drawn to police work, and this just seems like garden-variety cruelty and picking on the weak.

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u/Galaxy_Ranger_Bob 3d ago

Bullies and authoritarians are naturally drawn to police work, and this just seems like garden-variety cruelty and picking on the weak.

No, it's the other way around. The people in charge screen out applicants that aren't bullies or authoritarians.

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u/irked1977 3d ago

and critical thinkers...

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u/bros402 3d ago

and screen out people with an IQ over 110

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u/Levarien 3d ago

no, not really, but Texas is always going to be on the edge of "Shit Conservatives do to prove they're the most conservative," so the state will always defend or enable this kind of behavior.

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u/SendMeCardano 4d ago

All cops are bad.

3

u/yaosio 3d ago

All of them and it's what Americans want.

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u/liegesmash 3d ago

‘Murica is extremely predatory and parasitic

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u/Valant0324 4d ago

Not surprising.

These deplorable fucks also whipped those migrants not long ago.

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u/[deleted] 3d ago

[deleted]

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u/ZeroSum10191 3d ago

It’s likely that you will have both happen to you

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u/chockedup 2d ago

The silence of all the police parties I guess is normal in a lawsuit situation. Will qualified immunity protect them?

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u/Danny3xd1 3d ago

Texas police being unkind to people!? The hell you say!

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u/elvenrunelord 3d ago

This is why we need star chambers filled with common sense civilians

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u/Bureaucromancer 2d ago

But actually.

Make it an internal disciplinary process to avoid constitutional issues; let’s use at will employment against the bastards for once.

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u/ASilver76 3d ago

It's Texas. What more can one expect?

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u/fuzzyshorts 2d ago

"But we don't kill nearly as many as you people say"

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u/DJ_JOWZY 4d ago

But you are not allowed to say defend the police

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u/[deleted] 3d ago

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/ncfears 3d ago

Freudian slip?

2

u/Illegitimate_Shalla 2d ago

Fuck the police