A group called “Black Lives Matter” shared a shocking video of a Meridian police officer beating a suspect who was lying on the ground.
Colt James Seward, the suspect, tries to cover his face, but the cop keeps punching him, pushing his head into the ground, and holding him down. The first officer hits Seward again in the face while the second officer holds Seward’s right hand behind his back.
Seward’s right eye is swollen shut in his mugshot, and he has blood on his face and cuts on his scalp.
It was a show of power that was too much and not needed, and everyone could see it.
Still, Meridian Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea said that the officer who punched Seward did so “within policy,” adding that “these incidents don’t happen if the suspect cooperates.”
This is not meant to support Seward, who is being charged with driving under the influence. Police say he was found passed out behind the wheel of his car “in traffic” with the engine running, the car in gear, and his foot on the brake. That is clearly not okay.
Police say that after Seward failed a sobriety test and was taken into custody, he put his handcuffed hands under his legs and in front of his body. This led to the fight that was caught on video when police tried to arrest him again.
The tweet below explains the opinion:
Meridian police officer was acting “within policy” when he struck a suspect multiple times. https://t.co/AnzsIom7gJ
— Idaho Statesman (@IdahoStatesman) June 3, 2023
At the start of the video, police officers can be seen pushing Seward to the ground. When Seward trips and falls forward, he rolls over, throwing Heida backward. That seemed to make Heida angry, and it looks like he loses his temper as he hits Seward in the head.
The anger over what happened here and the lack of accountability has nothing to do with cutting police funds, supporting the blue, Blue Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, or any of those other things. No one is saying that all cops are violent, either.
It has to do with the idea that the police should follow the same rules as everyone else. If anyone else did what Heida did, they would get into a lot of problems.
It wasn’t a way to defend yourself. It wasn’t good police work. It wasn’t even close to being kind.
We know and agree that being a police officer is hard and dangerous, and we also know that most cops try to do the right thing.
But it should be the good cops who are upset that Heida doesn’t get in trouble.
Many people in the community think that police act like they are above the law, that they cover up for bad behavior by other officers, and that there is a thin blue line.
When there are no consequences, decisions like this only prove what they already think.
Telling the public that it is “within policy” for the Meridian Police Department to punch a downed suspect who is pinned to the ground several times in the face sends a bad message.
Good police officers who know better should be asking for a different result. The city of Meridian should want to know who is responsible.
If you are interested in learning more about this subject, I suggest checking out the following links:
- Tragic Standoff in Brandon Neighborhood Leaves 1 Officer De@d, 1 Wounded
- A Man Was Detained After Robbing A Store With A Spray-painted Nintendo Game Gun
If not, this will make people think that all cops are bad, which will hurt trust in the department and in law enforcement in general.
Editorials in the Idaho Statesman are the written thoughts of the paper’s editorial board. Scott McIntosh is the opinion editor, Bryan Clark is an opinion writer, Chadd Cripe is the editor, Dana Oland and Jim Keyser work in the office, and Mary Rohlfing lives in the area.
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