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Video: Arrest of Man in Wheelchair Raises Concerns

Video: Arrest of Man in Wheelchair Raises Concerns


Washington Post | Associated Press

May 23, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – A video posted on the YouTube Web site of an apparent physical encounter between Metro Transit Police and a man in a wheelchair was shown Sunday on Washington television stations, and Metro said it is looking into the matter.

The video begins with the man in the chair, two officers alongside. A few seconds later, all three have pitched forward and are prone. Still later, the officers are standing while the man remains on the ground, with off-camera voices appearing to express dismay.

Metro issued a statement Sunday saying that the man, whom police have not identified, had resisted arrest, “which resulted in him falling out of his wheelchair.”

In the statement, Metro said transit police on routine patrol at the U Street Metrorail station in Northwest Washington on Thursday spotted the man in a wheelchair “drinking an alcoholic beverage.”

When asked to leave, the man refused, Metro said. The officers tried to issue a citation, but he “refused to comply.” The officers then told him that he would be placed under arrest, and he resisted, the statement said.

It said he was arrested in connection with an assault on an officer and drinking in public. He was taken to a hospital with a minor injury, the statement said.

It said transit police “are following up on this report.”

It was not clear who posted the video, which lasts for about two minutes. Voices are heard in the background, one asking “What is going on?” and another expressing concern about the man’s apparent injury. Another exclaims, “That man’s in a wheelchair!”

Watch the Video >>

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Ah, the sounds of crickets from east tennesse is lovely!

  • Prince_hall_max50


    over 3 years ago



    2 days ago

    Just because a person is in a wheelchair doesn’t mean they are above the law or should be handled with kid gloves. When u do & say big boy things be prepared for big boy responses. A person in a wheelchair will hurt you just like a person walking upright. When will we cops stop second guessing one another? We weren’t there and I’m sure the taping begins when the cops have to arrest the defendant.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    East-TN-Patriot I just read your comment and i do not comment on peoples comments but i hope you are not still in law enforcment because your the kind that get officers hurt or killed. That was just stupid. you probley were a departments nightmare if i guess correctly, you were run off or asked to resign. wow i would hope your not working with that thought process. Sorry for that guys but he really rubbed me the wrong way. anyway if you'll watch, the guys legs were moving before they got out of the wheelchair and he took a step before he was taken to the ground, he was fighting with the officers so force had to be used and it was stopped once he was under control.

  • Thinker_max50


    over 3 years ago


    People in wheelchairs develop extreme upper body strength, and I would not want to arm wrestle someone in a wheelchair. If you need to arrest someone in a wheelchair and they resist being handcuffed while in the chair, what does someone expect an officer to do? Not handcuff? A video can be interpreted in many ways and does not always tell the whole story...

  • Img_0103_max50


    over 3 years ago


    "HUGE BUMP..!!"...Robocop33..!!

    And not to whip a dead dog..,,,But..!!!@##*&^%$!!!!!!!!!!!! East_TN_Patriot, you sir are a bit bias in your anti LEO approach to this subject. As you can see, most of us who have had the opportunity to deal with suspects in wheelchairs, do realize that a waepon or even the ability to grab and hold onto yours is a high probability. I know from daily experience in dealing with wheelchair bound Veterans, that most of them have developed their upper bodies through the constant use of their hand and arms. And once they get hold of you, you had better brace yourself, because you may be in for a fall.

    I'm not saying that all are like this, but as my brother in blue, Robo pointed out, just because a wheelchair is involved, should'nt give reason for a more relaxed approach. Wheelchair or not, the object here is to go home at the end of the shift. And as far as the liberal bias media is concerned, any and all excuse to ridicule and point the finger to expose so called "Exccessive Force" by Police, has always been their agenda. So please Sir...Try to keep yourelf from such finger pointing. And premature judging.

  • 582602_3283682777720_334551836_n_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Didn't watch the video, but have heard many accounts of people in wheelchairs concealing weapons, and working inconjuction with Drug Dealers. I'll go further to say some might have been involved in something such as gang activity that got them shot and put them in the wheelchair to begin with. Now you have someone possibly drug dealing, Definately collecting from the state, and probably using government money to buy them a Piece. The Public can be very naive at times.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Dear East -Tn-Patriot.I'm wondering if you're reading from some Liberal handboojk as you post.I too,like my brothers, am wondering how many pay checks you were a cop as opposed to how much time you have dwelled on criticizing them?You get on the case of officers responding to this specific case as making assumptiions,then turn around and make the assumption that none of us has seen the video---WHAT??---There is an old addage which comes to mind at this point."If you can't dazzle them with brilliance,then baffle them with Bull sh-t."I believe that particular shoe fits.

  • 100_1019_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Hell Yes Robocop33!!!! You took the words right out of my mouth!!!!!

  • Me2_max50


    over 3 years ago


    bump Robocop33. you are awesome.

  • Respect_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Bump Robocop33....I smell a troll.

  • 2011_range_day_2-19-10_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Bump Dark Blue and oldtime322.
    Twice in my career, I've locked up crack dealers in wheelchairs. . . and sitting on loaded guns.

  • 1979_max50


    over 3 years ago


    East Tn Patriot, seems that you are the one making a lot of assumptions, the main one being that Officers were not justified in taking him to the ground just because you see a wheelchair in the picture. Maybe that is why you are an EX-cop. Really, why ex-cop? Did they can you, were they about to can you or were you just not able to handle the job? Don't hand me any high and mighty garbage that your fellow Officers were just brutal thugs abusing their powers and you could not stand seeing all this injustice either. Your bias against LEOs shines rather brightly guy.

  • Ralphie_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Let me tell u i had to arrest a mutt that was in wheelchair that was a local dealer and swore he would shoot the next cop that goes near him. So we went after him and he had a fuly loded 9mm. and a 380. on him. So i see nothing wrong what they did. His legs looked good after they stood him up. Good job boys, The mutt that wanted to ask questions would have gone also.

  • Pug_max600_max50


    over 3 years ago


    The assumption when you see a wheelchair that the person is disabled. In this case, it is a long time panhandler who according to some counts is able to walk on his own. Did anyone notice that the victim appears to strike the officer on the left in the first seconds of the video? Let's see where this goes.

  • Cert_max600_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I'm going to BUMP snhadley's the public, he's just a guy in a wheel chair. They don't see the big picture, they see what's right in front of them, so their perception of us is also their reality. It's what we have to deal with each and every day.

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