Target: Phoenix Police Officer Patrick Larrison
Goal: Condemn Larrison for calling his punishment “too harsh” after he was suspended for five days for violently tackling a 15-year-old girl.
A video of a Phoenix police officer tackling a teenage girl gained notoriety when it made national headlines two years ago. The young woman in question was a high school student who had arrived at school intoxicated and had gotten into an argument with a teacher. The 15-year-old girl was walking away from her teacher when Officer Patrick Larrison ran up behind her and slammed into her with his full body weight. The girl struck the exposed-brick wall headfirst and then collapsed to the concrete.
The video that captured the event made headlines, and launched a fierce debate about excessive force. While the police officer and his peers insisted that the amount of force used was within reason. Still, the video caused a yearlong investigation into Larrison ‘s action. The investigation did not deny that police policy allows the use of force when necessary. They did, however, suggest that the amount of force that may be used varies on a case by case basis. The girl Larrison tackled was inebriated, had her back turned, and weighed about 120 lbs. Although she had been arguing with her teacher, she had shown no sign of physical aggression. Larrison’s tackle was apparently unprovoked and unrequired.
Larrison has been given a five-day suspension for the incident – a punishment he feels is too harsh. He is already appealing the decision. Sign the petition to condemn this officer for displaying his indifference to the investigation, and for continually insisting that he acted within reason when dealing with a 15-year-old teenager.
Dear Officer Larrison,
Recently, Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia handed down a five-day suspension for you, following a yearlong investigation into an event that was caught on video two years ago. The video shows you tackling a teenage girl whose back is turned and who appears to be walking in. The girl was apparently inebriated and had gotten into an argument with a teacher. She was walking away when you ran up behind her and tackled her with such force that she slammed into the brick wall before collapsing to the concrete.
Over the course of the investigation you have insisted that you acted within reason when dealing with the drunken young woman. However, considering that the girl was inebriated, had shown no signs of physical violence, had her back turned, and weighed about 120 lbs, your definition of “within reason” is debatable. I am writing to condemn you for appealing the lenient five-day suspension that you received following an internal investigation. You could have caused severe injury to a minor, but instead of accepting a mere five-day suspension, your response is to show your indifference by appealing against the decision. This is extremely disappointing behavior.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes via Flickr.