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In this article, Rene Stutzman states that the Orlando Police Department are having some issues with police brutality. Their latest allegation, filed by June Walker Scott, comes with a $4.5 million federal lawsuit. Scott claims that she was trying to escape from her ex-boyfriend when police showed up, arrested her, and then threw her to the ground, causing her leg to break. Being 5-foot-4, only 110 pounds, and locked in handcuffs, she claims that she posed no threat to the officers. However, in the officers’ report, Scott’s ex-boyfriend was the one being attacked by her. The ex-boyfriend called for help when Scott grabbed a knife and began threatening him with it. The officer also included that they did not recover a knife at the time of arrest and while arresting Scott, did what they had to do to subdue her because she was resisting. Along with the suit against the officers, is a suit against the city that accuses them of turning a blind eye to police brutality incidents. Stutzman states that Scott has a long arrest record and a history of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and domestic violence. The prosecutors dropped the aggravated assault case against her. Stutzman also includes the recent excessive force complaints filed against other members of the Orlando Police Department, which contain: firing an assault rifle 23 times at a suspect, twice hitting a suspect, punching and kicking a former military police officer, and kneeing an inmate causing the man’s spleen to rupture.
When dealing with a police brutality allegation, it is the officer’s word against the victim’s word, and we may not always get the full story. In this case, however, I think Stutzman does a great job of pointing out that there is something more going on within the Orlando Police Department. She covered the most recent allegation, involving Scott, but also included four more excessive-force incidents that are also currently getting resolved. She also stated that according to the lawsuit, the city had paid $3.3 million since 2012 to victims of excessive-force by an officer. These numbers don’t lie, and it is beginning to appear as though some Orlando police officers may be getting a little power-happy and taking their badge for granted. Allegations like these five are why police officers all across the country are getting a bad name. It takes people like Stutzman to give notice and spread the word to the rest of the community so that hopefully someone will do something about police brutality.