Target: Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey
Goal: Demand resignation of the officers who repeatedly beat a black 18-year-old after a traffic violation.
Four Philadelphia police officers brutally and repeatedly beat Marcus Warryton, a black 18-year-old, after he allegedly ran a stop sign and resisted arrest. The arrest and subsequent beating were captured on a witness’s cell phone video, and it is plain to see that the police officers on the scene used excessive force.
First, two officers beat him, bringing him to the ground, where they continued to beat him even though he was clearly not resisting at that point. Two more officers then arrived, and when Warryton, dazed and in pain, did not immediately respond to the command to roll over onto his stomach, all four officers proceeded to beat him again. By the end of the beating, a puddle of blood was clearly visible on the street.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said of the incident, ‘I think the video clearly shows he was resisting arrest… Our officers have the ability and the right to use force to overcome that. The question is always how much is too much.’ It is shocking that anyone would consider the level of force used against Warryton in this incident appropriate after viewing the cell phone video. If the efforts of four armed officers against one teenager, who continue the beating even after he is clearly subdued and injured, do not constitute excessive force, it is hard to imagine what does.
Currently, the four officers responsible for the incident are on ‘desk duty,’ but have yet to receive any sort of public reprimand or consequence. By signing the petition below, you ask Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey to require these officers to resign.
Dear Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey,
The recent arrest of 18-year-old Marcus Warryton, which resulted in a violent beating at the hands of four Philadelphia police officers, represents an obvious use of excessive force, and therefore an abuse of power. These officers outnumbered Warryton four to one and had him completely subdued on the ground due to injury, and yet they continued to beat him until a visible pool of the teenager’s blood formed on the pavement.
Resisting arrest is certainly not easy to deal with, and your comments about the use of appropriate force to make arrests, if necessary, make sense. However, the cell phone video makes it clear that Warryton’s resistance was trivial compared to the level of force used against him.
In order for the public to trust the police force that aims to protect them, this level of brutality cannot continue. Please ask the four officers responsible for this incident to resign.
[Your Name Here]