There have been a disturbing number of cases of cops ‘face planting’ people who resist arrest. Megan Sheehan, a professional model, is extending her lawsuit against San Francisco transit police to include an Oakland cop, after they used excessive force while booking her on St. Patrick’s Day last year. Sheehan was slammed face-first into the ground by an Oakland police officer, which left her with four facial fractures and several broken teeth in a pool of her own blood.
Megan Sheehan acknowledges she was intoxicated and belligerent when she was apprehended at a Bay Area Rapid Transit station, but says officers left her with permanent physical damage after taking her to the nearby jail to charge her.
I should have never gotten that drunk, but also there are ways to detain someone and not break their face,
she told ABC station KGO-TV.
ABC News 7 obtained video from several angles showing Sheehan being booked at the Santa Rita jail. When she continued her disorderly conduct, the Bay Area Rapid Transit officer attending to her, lost it, face-planting her into the solid concrete floor.
Because Sheehan was handcuffed, there was no way she could break her own fall. She was instantly knocked unconscious and left with a broken face.
“I should have never gotten that drunk, but also there are ways to detain someone and not break their face…I don’t believe that they should have broken four bones in my face and knocked out some of my teeth,”
The police report states that Sheehan was “violently punching” the officer before being “guided to the ground.”
Here is where things aren’t looking good for the cops involved. In official court documents, the attorneys for BART denied any wrongdoing, saying Sheehan had tried to punch Pianta. They cited Pianta’s police report, in which he wrote that he had used an “arm bar takedown” and “guided her to the ground.”
That description is at odds with the video footage.
The video shows Sheehan, a smaller woman obviously incapable of harming the much bigger officer, was merely flailing around. She was “guided” to ground in the same way a hammer is “guided” onto a nail.
They knew by throwing her to the ground without having her hands available to break the fall, that she was going to suffer serious head injuries,
Sheehan’s attorney, John Scott said.
Sheehan has filed an excessive force lawsuit against BART and the Oakland Police Department. The case is just one among many recent disturbing incidents of police officers brutally taking people down, face-planting them into the ground.
It is clear that cops are being trained to deal with subjects in this manner. Numerous police chiefs have confirmed this type of police takedown as training protocol.
However, what is more troublesome is that this type of takedown move is often used when the suspect is already detained in handcuffs, leaving nothing but the subject’s face and head to break the fall. Many handcuffed victims of this police “protocol” are seriously injured, paralyzed or even killed.
Warning: Graphic Video
Featured image via ABC Video Screen Capture