I know you might be concerned about Russia, Donald Trump, Syrian chemicals, Underground, Pepsi commercials, the new Kendrick Lamar album or how much of an asshat Tyrese turned out to be. But just in case the schizophrenic news cycle made you forget about the prevalence and urgency of police brutality, this clip of Columbus, Ohio, cop Zachary Rosen is the perfect wake-up call.
The video shows Rosen stomping on the head of Demarco Anderson while Anderson is already handcuffed and under control. Anderson is visibly restrained and does not appear to be agitated or resisting when Rosen charges from the left side of the frame and pounds his foot into the back of the suspect’s head with a force reminiscent of the skinhead sidewalk scene in American History X, or the recurring dream I have about catching a certain orange-colored commander in chief (whom I will not name) in a dark alley.
Anderson’s head hits the pavement so forcefully that it bounces back up. One can only surmise that at this point Rosen is dissatisfied with either the restrained man’s consciousness or ability to still breathe, because the police officer proceeds to kneel onto the hog-tied victim’s neck. Four other police officers do not seem disturbed by Officer Rosen’s actions, and make no effort to stop him.
After viewing the video, the Columbus Police Department issued a statement, saying, “Officer Zachary Rosen is under investigation for his actions that took place involving a suspect under arrest on Saturday, April 8, 2017. Officer Rosen has been reassigned to a non-patrol duty indefinitely.” It continued:
Based on what we’ve [seen] in the video taken on Saturday April 8, 2017, the action taken by one of our officers does not meet the standards by the Columbus Division of Police. [...]
We’ll learn more as the investigation continues and take appropriate actions based on the facts gathered.
The Police Department statement offered no insight into how it would handle the four officers who stood idly by and watched an assault and battery.