Jerry Maynard is reported to have been assaulted by a responding officer after calling paramedics. Maynard had called the paramedics after experiencing some chest pains while consuming liquor. The responding paramedics checked him over and determined that he was fine, so they left. A short time later the chest pains returned to Maynard causing him to call for a second dispatch of paramedics. This time, two county sheriffs accompanied the ambulance. The two deputies proceeded to yell at Maynard telling him that if he called again, they were going to kill him. One of the deputies then is seen by a neighbor’s surveillance camera shoving Maynard onto to the ground. The officer was put on administrative leave while the incident was investigated, but there has been no comment on whether actions or reprimands will be taken against him. Although Maynard has been previously charged with numerous things having to do with intoxication, there stands to be a question on whether there was a wrong done here. There have been several popular and not so popular news stories lately that have accused police and other law enforcement officers of brutality and other forms of assault. Many of these acts have gone unpunished and basically brushed under the rug. When a law officer is actually punished, the actions taken all seem to be a slap on the wrist or maybe a suspension. It seems that the officers of law are above the law these days.
Travis Gettys, “West Virginia man calls 911 for chest pains, and deputy shoves him to ground.” November 2014
“Oklahoma police officer charged with rape & soliciting prostitution,” JohnTV.com, March 15,
Lucy Buckland, “Justin Bieber DUI charges dropped after ‘finally agreeing plea bargain with judge,” Mirror, August 13, 2014.
Pema Levy, “How Strong Is the Legal Case Against Darren Wilson?” Newsweek, August 19, 2014.
Student Researcher: Kayla Diefendorf, Indian River State College
Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., Indian River State College
A man calls with a serious claim of chest pain and is reprimanded for it? Any person, according to law is able to get the medical and other things provided by the government. For a person to have to face brutality from the same people that are supposed to protect him is uncalled for.
Although what this man experienced is awful and most likely traumatizing, it is not the first time that something like this has happened. There seems to be a growing trend in the United States recently connecting with police brutality. There have been several reports of assault and even murder of innocent people by police or sheriff’s departments. The only thing that seems to be happening with all of these cases is administrative leave or a slap on the wrist. That seems to be pretty hypocritical as to when someone does the same and ends up in prison for years at a time.
So when does a person become above the law? It seems to be that anyone with a government position or a high social status is able to jump through hoops and loops to receive minimal punishment for any sort of crime. However, when it comes to a regular civilian, the grandest punishments are thrown their way. Should that be the case? Police and even higher officials are able to basically get away with murder in the name of self-defense, while a person can’t even protest or call for an ambulance without being brutally attacked.
There is no such thing as punishment for the greater good that a single officer has the right to administer. This should always be decided upon by a fair trial or at least some sort of judicial system in order to rule upon someone’s guilt or innocence before any punishment can be decided and meted out. It seems unethical to allow someone to play both roles. According to the current job description of officers of the law, they are supposed to serve and protect.
This also raises the question of, “is violence the answer?” For years there have been large amounts of violence surrounding almost every subject matter known to mankind. There has been violence since before history was even recorded, but it’s never been asked if it is ethical. Is it for the greater good to beat or even murder someone in any circumstance? Is it for the greater good for a police officer to assault civilians even if they are causing a miniscule ruckus? This is the 21st century, and violence needs to be one of those old things that have become outdated.
Brutality is not the only assault that has been reported these days. There have also been several cases that have accused on-duty officers of using their status to commit rape and other sexual acts against detained subjects. It has been reported that these officers have bargained with prostitutes and others to act in sexual ways with them in order to lessen or even drop charges. If one was to refuse this, it has been said that the officers would resort to other means including forcing themselves on the victims. It is unfortunate that many of these cases go unpublished or underreported by the corporate media simply because the victim is a prostitute verse an officer.