Capetown Police Brutality Captured on Video

A woman named Nicole Peterson Speelman in Capetown, South Africa recorded this two minute video clip yesterday and posted it to her Facebook page. A man is pulled out of his car, stripped naked, and then for no apparent reason, kicked and beaten by police, before being put in a van. Truly disgraceful police conduct. (Click on the "full screen" button for a much better view.)

At the end of the video you can hear Ms. Speelman, who apparently took the video from her office nearby, screaming at the cops, asking why they were beating the man. One cop starts to walk in the direction of her voice, and the video ends. A FB friend asked her whether the officer came after her. Her reply:

Yes he came upstairs banged on our door he came to arrest me for sreaming out the window but all of us asked him why did he do that to the man so he said he was just trying to get him in the van and he arrested my collogue for police interference and the charges was later dropped. [More...]

From the comments on Ms. Speelman's FB feed in response. "These officers should be named and shamed." "Gangsters in uniforms."

As a result of her post, someone got the video to CapeTalk Radio where it has been getting attention. It's also now posted on You Tube. I hope it goes viral.

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    Cops all around the world (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:57:33 AM EST
    just like most people, know who is responsible for them getting paid, and those people make the rules.

    I suggest there are at least two types of police brutality, the psycho's, and those following orders from above to administer street justice.

    There's another common type (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 12:34:12 PM EST
    of brutality maintained by common agreement between cops in many cities: if a person resists arrest, particularly if they attempt to flee, all bets are off, cops having come to the conclusion that many of us will "understand" (and I'm thinking of a couple of regular posters here) if they believe a suspect resisting gives them license to react like a pack of hungry wolves.

    I've seen it first hand (none / 0) (#11)
    by Mikado Cat on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:49:31 AM EST
    and suspect it is true of most cops, resist arrest and expect a beat down. This is street justice, cops know that in most cases 'nothing' happens to someone who resists, plants a knee to their groin, or elbow someplace, so on the spot the cop or cops dispense some pain.

    Cops see this as protecting other cops, putting out a strong message, don't resist, don't even think about striking a cop.

    I don't like brutality, but it is the tool cops have right now to prevent injury to themselves or another cop. If something material and immediate doesn't happen to a person that strikes a cop doing his duty, its open season. Most people that interact with cops KNOW what is going to happen if you resist, and there are still lots of incidents. Cops are not going to stop the beat downs until they think the beat downs are not needed to protect themselves.

    Don't take this as me approving of the action, I don't. I just don't see it changing until the average cop thinks the system is going to adequately punish a person that means them harm.


    Welcome to South Africa. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:13:01 AM EST
    Like us, they also have a ways to go. I hope this goes viral, too.

    (And a slight correction: The correct name of the city is actually two words, "Cape Town," and not one as in the title.)


    Sickening. (none / 0) (#2)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:23:25 AM EST

    No coverage (none / 0) (#3)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:11:47 PM EST
    by much of any but local media it looks like. From what I read police brutality is a common problem in South Africa.

    You can see the spot on Google maps, and street view its downtown, and from the video lots of people were around with a couple of cars briefly stopping, how can the cops think it won't be news?

    Makes me wonder who really is running South Africa.

    Police brutality and corruption ... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:26:39 PM EST
    ... is indeed as much a problem there, as it is anywhere else. South Africans are trying to work through their problems with racial and ethnic assimilation, after several centuries of white minority rule.

    Cape Town is actually a very modern and well-run city of some 3.7 million residents, with a physical infrastructure that's highly developed and actually superior to that found in quite a few of our own cities. The city and the Western Cape province are the only parts of the country that are not controlled politically by the African National Congress (ANC).

    When I was there in November 2010, the Democratic Alliance won 60% of the seats in Cape Town's 221-member city council. Its mayor, Patricia De Lille, is of white and Indian descent, and is recognized as one of the leading voices of political opposition to ANC rule.

    From what I saw while in South Africa, Cape Town appeared much more diverse and assimilated than the rest of the country. Its population is 20% white, about double the percentage found in the rest of the country. And as the seat of the South African Parliament, it is the country's legislative capital. (Pretoria, about 800 miles NE near Johannesburg, is South Africa's administrative capital, and Bloemfontein in the former Orange Free State is the seat of the country's Supreme Court.)

    Cape Town's a gorgeous place, situated as it is at the foot of 4,000 ft. Table Mountain in one of the most physically striking settings of any major city in the world. I'd certainly love to go back there to visit again.



    But perhaps not (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:19:33 PM EST
    if you run afoul of the police.

    The same applies to L.A. and SoCal, ... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:03:55 PM EST
    ... where I'm originally from. Sheriff Lee Baca recently resigned his office in the face of a brutality scandal at L.A. County Jail.

    And Pasadena police are presently on the hook in civil court for having apparently shot an unarmed and innocent black teenager, after another person pleaded guilty in circuit court to having filed a false criminal complaint with them only minutes earlier.

    We're no different from South Africa. Aloha.


    One of my best friends (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:22:32 PM EST
    has intermittently lived in and worked in SA, doing HIV/AIDS work. She loves it there, but in one of her emailed diaries to us she lamented the violence still so pervasive there--in particular, the violence perpetrated against women and girls. And in many cases, the police are absolutely no help.

    SA has come a long way since the apartheid years, but it still has a ways to go.

    What happened yesterday in Cape Town is appalling.


    Who is running LA? Chicago? (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:27:52 PM EST
    Palm Beach? Denver? Seattle? Police brutality is rampant in America.

    rampant.. (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 12:45:40 PM EST
    I give you those porcine thugs in Fullerton whose confidence in the admiration and compliance of the citizenry was such that they could beat a schizophrenic homeless man to death right under the surveillance cameras.

    A dangerous violent (none / 0) (#12)
    by Mikado Cat on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:59:28 AM EST
    schizophrenic man with a local family that left him on the street for others to take care of.

    Police really screwed up, some will end up in jail, and it should have been handled very differently. Unfortunately we have to live in the real world populated by flawed human beings that make mistakes, get angry, and do stupid things.

    Somebody higher up the chain told the cops on the street to deal with this person, they should share a good portion of the blame for what happened. This was not a job for police to have been doing, not without training in how to keep it from escalating, and how the crazy guy might react to normal police procedures.


    Dangerous and violent (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by jondee on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 06:43:43 PM EST
    to who? We're talking about an unarmed, malnourished, schizophrenic who weighed 150 lbs soaking wet up against three strapping, well-armed officers. To refresh your memory, they easily subdued him, held him flat on his back as he screamed for help and left him with no face.

    That "dangerous and violent" spiel, under the circumstances, is particularly pathetic attempt at p.r damage control on the part of the police and little more.


    Three strapping cops (none / 0) (#15)
    by Mikado Cat on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 11:45:13 PM EST
    subdued him after a 10 minute long struggle, this isn't easily.

    Whats with the crazy idea 150 lbs person isn't dangerous if unarmed?


    Subdued him.. (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by jondee on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:09:49 AM EST
    They killed him. And seemed to take their sweet time getting their jollies while doing it.

    I've worked with the severely mentally ill, it's very rare that two UNARMED men in good physical shape need any kind of help physically controlling someone that size. Of course we were generally concerned with keeping someone still, or moving them from one place location to another, not with sadistically beating them to an unrecognizable pulp.

    I can't wrap my mind around the fact that you seem to be falling over yourself trying to make excuses for what those cops did.


    Try using an open mind (none / 0) (#17)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:10:33 PM EST
    without presumptions on what I am saying.

    I've been in locked wards, not as a patient, and yes I am certain the people I met working there would have no trouble subduing just about anybody. They were both trained in how to handle a crazy person, and physically able to over power most.

    OTOH they can be fairly certain the person is not armed, and cops on the street absolutely cannot.

    Do I think those cops doing the beating should have been cops, no I don't, and agree with them being prosecuted.

    Do I think plenty of other cops are just like them and might have done the same thing, yes I do, and place some of the blame all the way up the chain of command to whoever appointed the chief of police.