Cellblock Video Shows Former Lynn Police Officer Allegedly Assaulting Man in Custody

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Title

Cellblock Video Shows Former Lynn Police Officer Allegedly Assaulting Man in Custody

Catalog Entry

What took place in the video of the two officers assaulting an unarmed POC was something that this country should be ashamed of. What is seen there is not just excessive force and police brutality but it also represents something bigger than that. It represents the years of oppression that POC have gone through. Two of the Lynn police officers brutality beat a person down in a holding cell because the person allegedly tried to hit the white police officer. Now when society starts talking about what to do and what not to do as an officer something like this surely does qualify as something not to do and I don’t see why anybody would justify what happened in that video. As a resident of Lynn, Ma I do see that the police are sometimes biased towards “Minorities” in the city. The crime rate is usually high and there are certain situations that kids shouldn't see or go through that have happened in this city. 

I picked this artifact because this is my home city and seeing this type of behavior by a police officer in 2021 really blows my mind. I grew up in this city, my parents migrated from Guatemala and came to start a new life here and they landed in Lynn. After college I want to be a police officer and I’m sure that there are many more hispanic young kids in Lynn that aspire to be police officers one day as well. But when I see a video like this it makes me upset that in such a diverse community, a police officer has the courage to beat up a hispanic male in a holding cell when there are two officers and only one person being held in the cell. That is why this artifact stands out so much to me because how can an officer with a racist mentality work in a place that is full of rich diversity and so many cultures. 

This artifact is significant not just because it is close to home but because after the many incidents that have occured where a POC is beaten or even killed by the police, the police still don’t learn that using brute force against a person with no weapon is not the answer nor the solution. That officer didn’t have to beat that man up. There’s no need for that type of behavior from that officer. The other officer that is standing right next to him just watching should be just as guilty as the first officer is because he is doing nothing to stop him. He is just watching his fellow officer beat an unarmed man in a holding cell. After the recent major police brutality case which happened in Minneapolis with the George Floyd case, the police should know that doing something like this isn’t right. The officer in the video that is beating the man resigned shortly after the video surfaced and didn’t speak to the news. The people that don’t see what is wrong in this video are people that are also a part of the problem. People who also try to justify what happened there are also people that are a part of the problem. This video is so significant because it shows what people have been saying about some of the members in police departments throughout this country. That the power that they hold gets to their head and they act like they can do whatever they want with no repercussions because they are the police. That video fully backs up that statement and that is something that we should be ashamed of. The police have to be held more accountable for their actions. Recently on December 31, 2020 governor Baker passed a police reform bill. Some of the changes that were put in the bill were certain police maneuvers. On the mass.gov website it stated, “The new law identifies the general circumstances

under which police officers can use physical force, and specifically bans the use of chokeholds” (Baker). Then a couple weeks later this incident happens in Lynn where the officer not only beats up a person in a holding cell but also puts him in a maneuver that seems like a chokehold. A law was placed for use of force and how to properly use it and this officer just steps all over that law by doing what he did. The other officer had a duty to intervene and he did not act upon it. He knew that what his partner was doing was not right and if he didn’t know then he shouldn’t be a police officer. 

Some questions that could be thought about in this incident is why these officers aren’t wearing their masks because of covid and why they both teamed up against the person that was being held in that cell. The following question would be why is that person in that cell and what was the crime that he committed. The reasons and motives to why this person is in the cell plays a big role in this video but it still doesn’t justify why those officers did that to that person. 

On the DOJ official website it stated, “Broadly speaking, the use of force by law enforcement officers becomes necessary and is permitted under specific circumstances, such as in self-defense or in defense of another individual or group.” Those officers in that video were not under any harm from the person that is being held in that cell. That being said, they do not need to use any self-defense techniques or moves in order to control the situation. Both officers could have easily used verbal commands to control the situation. 

This connects to my Mini-Exhibition because my theme is police brutality/excessive force and that is something that is seen in this video. Police brutality doesn’t always have to end in death and these officers should be held responsible for their actions.

Catalog Entry Author(s)

Anthony De Leon, Student, Fitchburg State University

ALFA Mentor

Bill Ayadi

Citation

“Cellblock Video Shows Former Lynn Police Officer Allegedly Assaulting Man in Custody,” Cultural Heritage through Image, accessed October 7, 2022, https://culturalheritagethroughimage.omeka.net/items/show/190.

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