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05/26/2009 05:56 PM ID: 78896 Permalink   

Man in Coma After Police Misidentify Him


Police officials in Seattle have released a video showing an officer slamming a man’s head into a wall which put him into a coma.

29 year old Christopher Harris is now at Harborview Medical Center in critical condition, after police misidentified him as an assault suspect.

Harris apparently tried to get away and police say Office Matthew Paul followed procedure in the pursuit. A lawyer representing the Harris family claims the video and witnesses will show excessive forced was used by the police.

    WebReporter: slavefortheman Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
How in the hell can this be justified? Apparently the man was fleeing, not using any kind of force against the police. Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? This man is paying for a crime that he didn't commit because some turd that works for the sheriff's department decided to play god, and decide for himself if the guy was guilty. Part of this deputy's punishment should be to have to go to the man's hospital room every day and issue a formal and sincere apology to him, until he wakes up. It is said that people in comas can hear those around them.
  by: TheIdiotUpstairs   05/26/2009 07:09 PM     
  They just need to bring Mr. T in  
  by: slavefortheman     05/26/2009 07:26 PM     
For the past 8 years our police officers have been encouraged by the powers that be to act like the Gestapo in order to ‘protect America’ from the evil terrorists. Now everyone they see not wearing a uniform is a terrorist. “We the People” have become ‘the enemy’. There will be no quarter given, there will be trial if they can arrange it. Charge that cop with attempted murder and raise it to murder if he dies.

Here’s the video

  by: Valkyrie123     05/26/2009 07:52 PM     
I personally think it started during the Clinton years. With the huge increases to federal money given to local police forces, the only thing local governments could figure out what to do with all the new cops was to give them some car keys and a radar gun and tell them not to come back till they made their monthly quota...

It just got progressively worse under Bush and will probably to continue under Obama. Instead of dealing with actual problems that are the roots of drug trades, gang warfare, etc. The politicians decided the best method to deal with the problem with to literally throw money at it and hope these problems solved themselves.

If anything things are now worse. People despise the police en mass because of their heavy handedness and add the that the fact that there are tons more traffic cops that are basically handing out fines to just about any minute violation they can find just to ensure their budgets dont get cut.

I believe that one of the biggest problems with our nation is education. If we were to fix this, it would probably resolve a lot of the crime by itself.

I also believe that we have way to many cops. We could probably eliminate 50% of the traffic police and dedicate that same funding towards detectives, drug programs and rehabilitation, etc.

Also I think another major problem with police is that so many are ex military. This in itself is not a problem but I know examples of guys that literally just months before becoming a police officer were stationed in Baghdad.

I think a cooling off period should be required for all former active duty military members before joining the police force. At least a 12 month period.

Those are just some of my observations.
  by: slavefortheman     05/26/2009 08:32 PM     
  And on top of this...  
that revolting pig of a man defending his actions, the law is a ass there too.
  by: captainJane     05/26/2009 09:24 PM     
  I must have missed it but  
I did not see the guy try to flee. It just seemed that he was reacting to a cop running toward him.
  by: John E Angel     05/26/2009 10:48 PM     
Taht was a hell of a tackle. That police officer had no intention to grab him, he rushed like a bull.

The guy is so far away from the wall, no way a normal push could get him smashed like that.

I wish the worst to this cop, he doesn't deserve any mercy.
  by: jhax   05/26/2009 10:57 PM     
  @cop in article  
One thing I thought police were supposed to do. I thought that police were to only use violence if they thought they were in danger or if the suspect was not cooperating in a friendly manner. But John E Angel is correct from the videos appearance. He looked like he is just showing a regular surprised attitude that any normal person would show if a cop was running straight towards them.

It appeared this cop simply bull dozed the guy as hard as possible without trying to apprehend him in a normal manner. I guess we will see what a jury says.

If I had to make a bet, I would bet that he remains a cop and will face no punishment whatsoever... However I do think the family will win in a civil suit against him or the department.
  by: slavefortheman     05/26/2009 11:01 PM     
  Man in Coma After Police Brutalise Him  
Whether or not they got his identity correct isn't important.
  by: jamesmc   05/26/2009 11:44 PM     
should get a mug shot of the creep and let the public deal with him if the law does not.
  by: captainJane     05/26/2009 11:51 PM     
  the problem  
The real problem behind why there are so many cases like this is because of the lack of police training. You can tell my that officers gorilla charge tactic that his main concern is his own safety. These cops are so scared of a confrontation that they are willing to basically "sucker punch" a guy anyway they can. This was completely unnecessary and this guy, along with about 80% of the rest of the US police force doesn't belong with this kind of power. I have to seriously consider going out and buying a gun just to protect myself from the police. I can't imagine that The People will get much further without constant rioting nationwide.
  by: teh_epic     05/27/2009 12:24 AM     
Ta for that URL.Got alod of ADS...F*** u too...
  by: steve2045     05/27/2009 01:22 AM     
  And @CJ  
Mind Games Find The Ghost.HEHEHEHEHE.
  by: steve2045     05/27/2009 01:24 AM     
  One More comment  
Life's a bitch,then you die...!!!
  by: steve2045     05/27/2009 01:27 AM     
  if you run  
you must be guilty of something and brought to justice!
as if instances like these aren't enough to want to run when you see a cop. i especially like the way he handled the man's body after slamming him into the wall, very professional. thbt!
  by: calilac     05/27/2009 01:46 AM     
steves rear end, take that!
But really get his face plastered all over the city see how big he is then.
  by: captainJane     05/27/2009 01:50 AM     
  It seems very obvious that this man  
was surprised at finding himself being charged by another person, whether that person was a cop or not. What happened to him is disturbing enough but the way his limp body was handled and the claims made that the cop followed procedure are incredibly disturbing.

Law enforcement officials are public servants and as such, should treat citizens with respect, not disrespect. That goes for suspects as well because they are to be assumed innocent until convicted. Sadly, we don't have that level of respect from our public servants today, in almost any capacity. Our law enforcement has migrated from "protect and serve" to "suspect and control" as have our federal and state governments.

In my opinion, the problem here cannot be corrected by simply bringing this officer to justice. The real problem is that this man felt justified in his actions, as did his superiors and if we don't kill that cancer, it will only continue to grow.

  by: bbeljefe     05/27/2009 02:37 AM     
  Stand up..  
to applaud BBs speech.

Now this should kick them into rethinking how they handle the public, this guy was not even armed and did not approach him in a threatening manner.

If someone wears the badge, they should respect who they serve not attack them
  by: captainJane     05/27/2009 03:11 AM     
  And they want to arm these animals...  
If you look at the guy, the cop was way heavier than the stick of a man.
  by: redstain   05/27/2009 03:40 AM     
A leading cause of comas. ;)
  by: Lurker     05/27/2009 06:29 PM     
  Not Running?  
For those saying they don't see the man running I beg you to look at the start of the video again. He is merely slowing down. I would assume to give up which doesn't make the actions of the officer any better. It would also appear that another officer was a little ahead of the "suspect" which would give the appearance that they might have had some other options.

The cop was obviously trying to shove the "suspect" over to the wall. I have seen this a few times before were a good hard shove will make a person stumble towards a wall and make the apprehension better. However, this cop clearly didn't account for the fact that rather than from the side he hit this man from the front taking the stumble out of the equation. Additionally when I referred to a hard shove this is far above that.

This cop should be given the benefit of the doubt that he is not a monster and was trying to implement what training he had. He, however, should man up and take responsibility for his actions and do what he can to ease the situation for the mans family. Be that help with medical expense or offer to resign from the force as a gesture of good will.

I have several friends that are officers one of which is a police chief. All of them tell stories of the type of officer most of you are referring to. The ones to abuse power and feel above the law. Unfortunately when you don't have enough of a pool to select from you have to take some bad apples in. Some cities are worse than others as their pool of officers is worse.

Not sure how I feel about this whole thing but feel that a man who is to serve and protect should be at the forefront of this situation asking what he can do not hiding behind a lawyer.

my 2 cents
  by: aerodym   05/27/2009 06:52 PM     
why would the guy be running if he was innocent? One man sees a branch on the ground. Another man sees a snake.
  by: John E Angel     05/27/2009 07:00 PM     
"Unfortunately when you don't have enough of a pool to select from you have to take some bad apples in."

Seriously? So I can't find good people so let's accept the bad ones? This is from an industry that fails people because they are too good at the entrance exams...
  by: jendres     05/27/2009 07:44 PM     
I watched that several times. It looked to me like someone reacting to a big guy barreling towards them, it freaked him out at first and he started trying to move out of his way, and as you said - he actually stopped and started to put his hand up like "WTF are you doing!?!?!?" If he was stopping anyway why did the cop hafta slam him into the wall like that? What ever happened to running up and yelling "Down on the ground! Down on the ground!!" The cop purposefully rocketed towards the guy and shoved him into the wall full force, he made no attempt to actually apprehend him peacefully or ask for compliance - it was just a straight up conscious act of violence for no reason and now the innocent victim is in a coma. Disgusting.
  by: spiggy   05/27/2009 08:58 PM     
  If you didnt know  
the story of this poor man who was nearly killed you would think he just killed a toddler or stole a woman's purse or something alike...

The chubby disgrace of a cop was racing towards the man for what reason? What was this creep trying to do? Hurt the man and bring him to the ground in a rough manor cause he has a shiny plate on his chest and blue cloth on his back. /Who cares if I haven't ID'd the guy yet, he be a guy looking at me funny, he in the area where the perp is, i must show him IM the one in charge round these paarrts, and hecck maybe even catch the real man\.

Yea he fights cheap, like a nun in distress. this germ would be the one to kick you in the balls and run like a bitch.

Great job
  by: pineal420   05/28/2009 03:54 AM     
Of course you're allowed to use such force when you feel threatened and to tell you the truth nothing makes me feel more threatend than somene running away from me...
  by: konfucius   05/28/2009 05:28 AM     
There a wrongful death case going on in my area right now where some kid ran from a cop. The cop says the kid turned and had a gun, so he shot him. The parents of the kid say the cop planted the gun. So here it is in general...

If an unfamiliar dog is snarling at you, do not run away.
If a bear has you in its sights, do not run away.
If a cop is doing anything at all in your general direction, do not run away.

Don't move at all, or if you just can't help yourself, just fall to the ground. Even the slightest twitch could make a cop think a potentially fatal action will be coming. No matter what action you do as an innocent, a hundred criminals have done the same thing to try and trick the cops. Try looking at yourself through the eyes of someone who doesn't know you're innocent.

Beyond that, the linked video only shows the end of the event, we do not know what happened earlier. Also, when I read the summary, I pictured a cop pinning a guy against a wall, grabbing his head, and repeatedly bouncing it off a wall. This was not the case. The cop shoved the guy and it so happened that he fell and hit his head. So saying "an officer slamm[ed] a man’s head into a wall" is a bit of a misrepresentation.
  by: nicohlis     05/28/2009 06:01 AM     
How bout this: An officer's incorrect, angry and mis-directed action caused a man's head to be slammed against a wall.

Does that change the outcome of the attack levied upon an innocent citizen by a public servant? Does it change the future if this man's life or the lives of his family members?

When an innocent citizen stands in eyeshot of a public servant who is charged with upholding the laws of our country, that citizen should feel comforted, not endangered.

  by: bbeljefe     05/28/2009 07:03 AM     
Can you take into account the distance there is between the guy and the wall? a Normal shove would never get some1 to reach the wall.

Also the speed of the "shove" is not that of a shove, the cop intentionally charged foward at full speed aiming at his waist so the guy would fall and hit the wall.

The only regret that the cop has right now is that it was cop on tape, otherwise he would be telling this story to all the cop rookies as if he was a hero.
  by: jhax   05/28/2009 07:23 AM     

"How 'bout this..."
- How about: An officer's actions resulted in a head injury leaving a man in a coma. Why do you have to dress it up like the officer didn't get his morning doughnut and just felt like killing the first person he saw? Does it change anything for the guy or his family? No. Does it change the tone in which the police are discussed such that another innocent person might not run for no reason? Maybe.

"...citizen should feel comforted, not endangered."
- Sure. But, you blame the police for this not being true. I put the blame where it belongs, on the criminals that look just like me and have proven themselves to be dangerous threats. If I get pulled over for a traffic violation, I know that the police are wondering if I have a gun. So I do them a solid and keep my hands on the wheel, announce any movements I'm going to make, and follow their instructions.


"...the cop intentionally charged foward..."
- Yeah. Cops bring runners down quick and hard. Sometimes it goes bad. Again, don't run and there's no problem. I just watched an episode of Cops where a woman was swinging a kitchen knife at police officers. So a cop tackled her from behind. Hard. And she fell on her own knife. Do I blame the cops? Not one bit.
  by: nicohlis     05/28/2009 08:22 AM     
"I just watched an episode of Cops where a woman was swinging a kitchen knife at police officers. So a cop tackled her from behind. Hard. And she fell on her own knife. Do I blame the cops? Not one bit."

Not sure where you were trying to go with that statement. You basically contradicted your own argument as well as invalidated it with this point.

The woman was threatening the police with this knife thus creating the need for the police to take her down.

In this case the police took this person down without just cause. This man may have ran but did he try to hurt the officer? Did he try to stab or shoot him? Did he in any way endanger that officer?

I hope you see my point. This officer was at no time in any danger yet felt the need to use violence when the situation never called for it.
  by: slavefortheman     05/28/2009 01:40 PM     
I'm not saying that the police accept the absolute worst, but when you have a pool of people that can pass test after test but really have that "bad ass cop" mentality it is going to be harder and harder to weed them out.

I worked as a manager for X big retail chain and can tell you that we did our best to hire people that were of quality but it is hard to know what someone is going to do when a customer yells (stress situation). We had a girl, who I would have highly recommended up until this point, cuss out a customer over what I would have considered a minor inconvenience.

I'm not saying this cop was in a stressful situation as much as his adrenaline got going, as he thought he had found this guy and he made some poor judgments (Something that isn't easy to spot during training). He still should have some sort of punishment, but it seems like everyone wants to crucify this guy and all police just because. He is human and made a huge mistake one he should pay for, but personally I think he should be given the opportunity to defend himself.

However, if he gives a I'm a cop doing what I was trained to do speech without offering something up as "self inflicted punishment" to show remorse then by all means take it to the fullest extent of the law.
  by: aerodym   05/28/2009 02:41 PM     
The point of my argument is that the cop had NO REASON to tackle this guy the way he did.
And no, slighty joggin away does not count as running.

If you see the video you can tell the guy is kinda jogging to dodge the tackle from the cop (which is human nature, if you try to hit me I will instintly try to dodge it, it's called reflexes).
You can see the guy at the end stops and puts his hands up in hopes that the cop would not hit him...unfortunately the cop thought he was god.

And your example of the lady with the knife is completely irrelevant because it can't be compared to this case; the guy had no weapons and was in no way threatening an officer.
  by: jhax   05/28/2009 04:48 PM     
  @slavefortheman, @jhax  
The point was only that sometimes bad things happen when you get tackled hard. I don't blame the cops for the results of being tackled, I blame the person that inspired the cops to justifiably tackle them.

As far as justification, the police were told that this kid was a perpetrator of a beating and stabbing. When the police initially shouted at him to stop, he put up his hood and took off on a 2 1/2 block race. The police repeatedly shouted at him to stop. Then when the kid is running out of gas he stops and turns toward the officers. What the hell are the cops supposed to think? The kid basically broadcasted that he was guilty of assault with a deadly weapon and avoiding arrest. They're going to assume he's probably armed and dangerous and they're not just going to invite him to the Police Station for tea.

Besides the justification the police did have, death hinges on inches and chance in situations like this. Any number of miniscule alterations to this event would've totally changed the outcome. If he would've stopped running a single foot sooner, or not turned toward the cop, he might've been completely fine. Let's not act like this was the only possible outcome of these events.
  by: nicohlis     05/28/2009 04:55 PM     
Yes that is one possible argument one could raise. I guess we wont be able to say until a jury says something though. Until then we can go back and forth.
  by: slavefortheman     05/28/2009 05:04 PM     
By the look of your arguments you are probably a cop, and if you are then you are one of the bad apples.

"When the police initially shouted at him to stop, he put up his hood and took off on a 2 1/2 block race"
Can you provide a link to an article that shows this? I did not find in the source that the kid ran 2 1/2 block race. And I actually find it hard to believe considering that the cop that tackle him is to fat to keep up on a 2 1/2 bloack race.

"the police were told that this kid was a perpetrator of a beating and stabbing"
I can see you on the street and tell a cop you have a gun and you are planning to rob the store; the cops are trained on the fact that they can't somnlely rely on what ppl tell them, they need to verify the threath by themselves.
It is unacceptable to harm a civilian based on gossip.

"Let's not act like this was the only possible outcome of these events."
That's precisely why we are arguing, the kid DID NOT HAVE TO END UP IN A COMA BECAUSE OF A GOD COMPLEX POLICE OFFICER.
Sadly, ases of police brutality are only investigued when the victim dies (or suffers a permanent dissability) at the hands of a cop. Otherwise they don't care if the cop beats the crap out of him as long as he can recover.

"They're going to assume he's probably armed and dangerous and they're not just going to invite him to the Police Station for tea."
If they really thought he was armed and dangerous they would have shot him or tasered him. The cop decided to tackle him because he didn't have a weapon.
This cop ain't no brave hero to go barehanded against an armed person.
  by: jhax   05/28/2009 05:30 PM     
  What did the guy throw down?  
He threw something down before he was tackled. Something fishy here. Maybe more to the story. Article very vague. Only says he was incorrectly identified by a witness.

Whatever was in his hand, he threw it down quickly and far away from him. Just curious.
  by: JStern   05/28/2009 05:34 PM     
BB's turning Human..LMAO...


@ CJ...heheheheeheehe

Ive got you on My space now..FOMCL..hahahaha..
  by: steve2045     05/28/2009 05:54 PM     
" are probably a cop..."
- It is unbelievably pathetic of you to assume I must be a police officer because I am defending one. I am not a cop. I don't even know any cops. I'm just realistic. Your rhetorical presumption of innocence is only for inside the courtroom. Cops on the street die if they presume everyone is innocent.

"...Can you provide a link..."
- Here's one ( It says, "The crucial videotape shows the end of the chase as moviegoers are exiting from the Cinerama theater, about 2 1/2 blocks from where the chase began." Here's another one ( It has a map of the footchase so you don't have to think too much.

"...I can see you on the street and tell a cop you have a gun..."
- Yes, you can. And if they tell me to stop and get on the ground, I damn well would. I wouldn't run to show them how innocent I am.

"...It is unacceptable to harm a civilian based on gossip..."
- That's right, good thing this didn't happen. They only wanted to talk to him based on "gossip". They harmed him because he ran like someone guilty of assault with a deadly weapon trying to avoid arrest.

"...If they really thought he was armed and dangerous they would have shot him or tasered him..."
- No. That's not how it works. They'll only shoot you if they are under immediate lethal threat. They will tase you if they cannot restrain you by their own physical abilities.

"...That's precisely why we are arguing..."
- No. You miss the point. Everything could've happened exactly the same, same shove, same force, same everything. But by chance an inch one way and he'd be awake suing the cops himself. An inch the other way and he'd have just been dead.

Are there "bad apples"? Absolutely. Did this cop have a "God complex"? No. Was this an accident? Looks like it to me. But... and here's the only thing that really matters... we don't have enough information to know what really happened. The video is not enough and the news articles do not have enough detail.

One thing's for sure, spouting off that the cops are nothing better than the Gestapo, are drunk on power, and have God complexes only furthers the problem and will probably only convince another innocent person to run from the cops for no reason. Then we'll be right back here having the same discussion.
  by: nicohlis     05/28/2009 07:16 PM     
"Cops on the street die if they presume everyone is innocent."

I just had to point this out with this one statement...

If we go by that logic then if you flipped it around, regular people are dying on the street just because a cop thinks everyone is guilty! And this seems to be the rule in todays police. All suspects are guilty period or else why would they be suspects.

But I did want to add that where I live (ATL), I have never met a nice cop... Even the ones I knew personally were total d!ck heads on a powertrip. They would even admit it! They would tell me stories of how they would literally goad people into being arrested. Try to purposely piss people off so they would snap and then they could make an arrest.
  by: slavefortheman     05/28/2009 07:33 PM     
"It is unbelievably pathetic of you to assume I must be a police officer because I am defending one."
It isn't. It ain't normal for a person to defend police brutality, specially as passionate as you are doing it.

"A link"
Good job finding that. It does shd more light into the case. But It still do not justify the actions of the cop.
The guy was not agressive, therefore there was no need for the excessive force from the cop.
If I was the defending lawyer I woudl put as a case that the cop intentionally harmed him just because he was mad he had to exercise.

"They harmed him because he ran like someone guilty of assault with a deadly weapon trying to avoid arrest."
Like I said, running does not justify excessive force.

"- No. You miss the point. Everything could've happened exactly the same, same shove, same force, same everything. But by chance an inch one way and he'd be awake suing the cops himself. An inch the other way and he'd have just been dead."
The cop should have NEVER EVER tackle him the way it did. Even if the kid didn't suffer a coma it was still wrong of the cop to use excessive force.
I said on my preivous statement that police only bother to check brutality cases when the victims suffers a permanent damage; you are basically defending their position by saying "It would have been ok if the kid didn't go into coma".

"- No. That's not how it works. They'll only shoot you if they are under immediate lethal threat. They will tase you if they cannot restrain you by their own physical abilities."
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH R U FRIGGIN KIDDING ME? are you really gonna come here and tell me cops NEVER shoot or tase any1 who isn't armed?
What about the brazilian guy who was shot in the back of the head while being handcuffed on the ground?
What about the guy who was tasered while holding his newborn baby?
You are living in a fairy tale world if you think cops don't use weapons on unarmed civilians.
  by: jhax   05/28/2009 09:07 PM     
Good Cop Example:

If this is an example of how you want your police working then have at it. Personally I feel the need to complain like hell!
  by: slavefortheman     05/28/2009 09:31 PM     
"...It ain't normal for a person to defend police brutality..."
- Good thing I don't measured my normality against your opinions. The guy ran. He was shoved. He fell bad. It happens. Sometimes people die from a single punch. It happens.

"...The guy was not aggressive..."
- It doesn't matter. He ran. Do not run from the cops. There is a BIG difference between your fantasy Utopia magicland and the real world. The cops have rules including that if you run, they catch you, possibly by knocking your ass to the ground. I suppose you think it's police "brutality" and "excessive force" to send in a K9 unit that bites a suspect? Me thinks you need to watch a few episodes of Cops, Street Patrol, Jail, Lockup,... Hell, you'd probably even benefit from watching some Reno 911. Possibly read something.

"...excessive force... excessive force... excessive force..."
- Again, your opinion. You're entitled to it, but don't preach as if it's fact. What I'm saying is my opinion. Oh yeah, do not run from cops.

"...cops never shoot or tase anyone who isn't armed..."
- No, I would never say anything never happens. What I meant was only their guidelines for using deadly force (which this shove was not). That's for guns. Tasers have different guidelines. Obviously every rule is breakable. One that should probably not be broken is: DO NOT RUN FROM COPS. See, I can use my Caps Lock key too. Yeah me.
  by: nicohlis     05/29/2009 01:34 AM     
  I dunno...  
I keep going over in my head whether or not the officer's actions were a force attack, or restraint. Since he is shoving a man into a wall, ie. pushing him away. A shove would constitute force, almost the same way as a punch would be. The question here is, did the use of force constitute excessive force? I would say, at the very least this should be debated in court. There have been too many instances of police use of excessive force lately. The parents of Harris are calling this excessive and the Sheriff's dept to which Officer Paul belongs are calling this a "tragic accident". In the end, this is what remains: An innocent man is in a coma and Officer Paul put him there. I believe that if the officer was truly trying to detain Harris, he would have grabbed him and wrestled him to the ground, then cuffed him. I realize that Harris had been running several blocks before the officer caught up with him. But, if you look at the video, Harris was taken completely by surprise. The officer had this element on his side. The officer weighs 266 lbs (or 19 stone, from a British news report). Judging by Harris's size, the officer should have been able to easily restrain him. This, in conjuction with the element of surprise, this situation might have turned out better if the officer had used better judgment.
  by: groovedaddy   05/29/2009 08:04 PM     
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