A criminal investigation is being considered against a retired police officer after a violent Salt Lake City police body cam video surfaced showing him striking a mother, Michelle S. Anderson, while her daughter watches. The little girl watching the officer curse at and attack her mother was 9-years-old, KUTV reported. Michelle Anderson is now called Michelle Siguenza in some reports.
The officer broke Michelle’s nose and damaged her teeth, the New York Times said, quoting Tessa Hansen, an attorney with the Salt Lake Legal Defenders Association. The video shows the officer using expletives, including calling Anderson the “C-word.” Meanwhile, video frames show the child’s doll and toy.
The body cam video was recorded in 2014 but came to light in July 2016 when the woman’s 22-year-old daughter, Jasmine Anderson, posted the video on YouTube. Jasmine Anderson wrote on YouTube:
I received video footage this morning of my mother getting abused by an officer- The officer hits my mom in the face first and then the back of the head repeatedly while verbally degrading her. All this, while my younger sister watches in the background.
A shorter version of the video can be seen here:
KSL quoted the officer as saying: “You go spitting on somebody, you deserve to have your (expletive) kicked. It’s what you deserved.” Anderson then says she can’t breathe, to which the officer responds, “Shut your hole,” KSL reported.
Jasmine, whose Facebook page says she is a dental assistant student originally from Oslo, Norway, later posted a lengthy Facebook post about the video, saying, “I cannot put into words the horror I felt seeing that video.”
Anderson, now 43, was being arrested for public intoxication when the more than 8-minute long body cam video captures the officer hitting her in the face and using expletives in front of her child, in an incident that Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Brown called “abhorrent,” CBS says.
Officers had gone to her home after neighbors reported hearing her screaming and crying, the Times said. KSL said the officer accosting Michelle retired in 2015, and the other is still on the force; the chief said “possibly” a criminal investigation would ensue.
The incident started when Anderson spit in the face of one of the officers at the scene, KUTV said. The television station said the video then shows the officer “appear to punch the woman in the face and throw her to the ground. He then proceeds to call her derogatory and vulgar names.” The officer is heard saying on the video:
You little bi—- f—ing spit on me. If you go spitting on somebody you deserve to have you’re akicked
The chief said he was concerned he didn’t know about the attack before Jasmine Anderson posted the video on YouTube.
The New York Times says District Attorney Sam Gill is considering whether to bring charges against the officer. Gill called the video “terrible.”
Gill admitted that his prosecutor’s office knew about the video when Anderson’s case was being considered but didn’t tell police because of a “communication breakdown,” the New York Times said. The former prosecutor on the case, Michelle L. Diamond, told the Associated Press she was “sickened by the video and “asked her supervisors to let police know. She doesn’t know what happened after that,” the Times said.
Jasmine Anderson posted a lengthy statement on Facebook. It reads:
I woke up yesterday morning with a feeling of unease. I was excited for the fun and celebration July fourth usually brings but something didn’t feel quite right.
I logged into my email account and quickly discovered what the unease was all about.
I received an email that contained video footage of my mother being punched in the face and back of the head multiple times by an officer of the Salt Lake City Police Department. She is verbally degraded and abused, all in front of my younger sister.
I cannot put into words the horror I felt seeing that video.
Everyone is responsible for their own actions; I believe that with all of my heart. I believe that the officers in this video were not right in their actions. They were wrong to resort to violence when it was unnecessary. They were wrong to hit a mother, my mother, in front of a child. They SHOULD be held responsible. I hope they will.
After I viewed this video for the first time yesterday evening I immediately began trying to think of a solution to this problem, like most people do. I realized that when you look at the bigger picture in all of these police brutality cases, having the officers that do wrong held responsible for their actions is only a temporary fix. It does not stop these horrible things from happening to others. It helps, but ultimately what it does is add fuel to the fire. It adds to the feelings and views that are so passionate against police officers when they are merely the face of a much bigger systematic issue.
If you have studied psychology in any way then you are familiar with the study Stanley Milgram led in which he shed light on humans and their obedience to authority. The results of the study are that 65% of humans followed authority’s rule and inflicted pain to another human, just because they were told to do so.
I feel if we were able to get a valid study on police corruption and brutality, we would find that same number in the study translated into what we are seeing more and more today.
Not every officer uses violence. Not all of them feel the need to use their power against the people they have sworn to protect.
So rather then hating all police officers, we need to focus our energies on finding the corrupt and power hungry and remove them from their place of power.
Because whether they are good or bad- they are humans just like us. They are acting upon instructions from a higher authority- they believe they are doing what they are told.
Saying that the Police are not the root of the problem doesn’t really sit right when you see videos such as the one with my mom, or even worse videos that are popping up more and more. When you are hit so close to home with an act of Police Brutality everything in you wants to hate them- fight back, burn them to the ground.
But what will that do? What is the end result of fighting back against others in our community, getting revenge, starting chaos in return???
I’ll tell you what- it’s a civil war. Humans eliminating other humans. Hate only breeds hate.
That is NOT what we need. The police are NOT the enemy.
The SYSTEM is.
The system that causes human beings to turn against each other for their own worldly gain.
I know this isn’t positive. But it is real. Some of you might read this and roll your eyes. I know not all of you will agree with me. But you never think something will happen to you until it does.
It is happening in our neighborhoods and it will continue until we do something to change and break this cycle of hate and hurt- It’s in these times that rather then divide, we need to come together. By doing that we utilize our greatest strength and our only hope at a better world.