Wow: Cop Tased Man With A Baby In His Hands! https://t.co/NzPkfFzWwZ— Stan Johnson Jr. (@KeepinItHoodBx1) August 20, 2018
Another egregious act by the police against people of color occurred just outside of Detroit on Friday in Westland when police tased a man as he held his 2-month-old baby.
Westland police officers arrived to a backyard barbecue attended by Kelvin Williams, who recorded the infuriating footage. The police officers claimed to be responding to a complaint about property damage.
The video showed Ray Brown, who is black, standing in front of his residence questioning why the officers were there and what crime had been committed. One officer told the man if he didn’t shut his mouth that he was going to jail as another officer shined a bright light in the man’s face.
The dialogue continued for a few moments as an officer said if Brown didn’t shut up, he would be arrested, When Brown said, “for what,” the officer told him for being drunk, which further upset Brown, who said that they have not done a breathalyzer on him and claimed that he doesn’t drink alcohol. He continued to ask what property had been damaged.
The mother of the baby was also outside holding the infant. After the police told the woman to “get the baby out of here,” Brown took a protective hold of his child and replied to the officer that they had no right to tell them to go inside as they had committed no crime.
The man began to calm down as another officer asked if he could talk to him, to which Brown responded calmly, “Yes, you can, bro. If you talk to me like a human being, bro.”
Brown could be heard saying that he was now listening as the officer told him to shut his mouth again, which escalated the situation as Brown said, “You ain’t got the right to tell me to shut my mouth, n***a. You can tell me to be quiet for a second.”
The officers then said that they were going to arrest Brown for disorderly conduct to which Brown responded “What?! On my own property?”
The officers circled Brown and tried to take the baby from his arms. The mother could be seen grabbing the baby as Brown was tased and fell to the ground. When Williams objected to the officers continuing to tase Brown as he lie on the ground, an officer screamed, “So what?! Get back!”
The Westland Police Department said it is investigating the incident.
The mother of the infant, identified as Nicole Skidmore, said that she caught the infant as his father was tased. The baby was not injured.
"I had to catch the baby," Skidmore told WXYZ News. “I was in the street talking with the cops. I had to come over. The Taser is on this side of him, and the baby is over here. As soon as they start Tasing him, the baby flew out of his hands and I had to grab him, or he would have fell.”
The police have denied her claim.
Oh my God. Police taser an unarmed, non-violent Black man who was not even wanted for a crime WHILE HE IS HOLDING HIS INFANT BABY.— Shaun King (@shaunking) August 20, 2018
This is right outside of Detroit in Westland City. A caller called 911 saying people were loud. The caller was nowhere to be found when police came. pic.twitter.com/PkCgivd089
The officer that fired the taser should be charged with endangering the life of that child. WTF is wrong with these officers? How do they even justify that behavior?— kelly (@kaosgremlin) August 20, 2018
I’ve watched this repeatedly and I just am sick about this. This man was holding an infant. This was a noise complaint. Wtf is wrong with people? Wrong is wrong. Badge or not if you do wrong you should be held accountable. Ugh— Always?? (@amandaactuallyY) August 20, 2018
I'm looking at this appalled and crying. I can't believe the hatred in this country. These cops need to be fired!!!!!!!!! Enough is enough. And the perpetrators of this hatred who call police because they hate people of color need to be arrested just to have it on their record.— Stephanie S (@stephaniephs) August 20, 2018
This is why #NFL players protest— bruce ellers (@bereasonable2) August 20, 2018
I’m literally crying from seeing this. When will action be taken against the police’s brutal disregard for black bodies? It doesn’t even stop at children, it doesn’t even stop at infant babies.— m (@rnarissasa) August 20, 2018
Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik said a report from the officers involved in this incident stated that Brown had been "aggressive" and that they were worried the infant would be hurt due to Brown's tight grasp.
"It's important to remember that due to the man's noncompliance, our officers were faced with a difficult tactical decision," Jedrusik said.
The cops have absolutely no excuse tasing a man holding his infant son for simply asserting his rights on his property.
Some folks suggest Brown escalated the situation by being upset, but his anger is understandable considering the police were supposedly there about property damage yet failed to provide information or evidence to the fact. The footage of this incident is horrifying and indicates there is no limit to how far law enforcement will go in abusing the public.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Reuters/ Mike Blake