Opinion: Police crossed line in high-speed arrest
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect that the May 11 high-speed chase ended in Nashua, not Hudson.
The national trend of highly publicized instances of police brutality have finally struck New Hampshire, with a high-speed chase that traveled sporadically throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire before ending in Nashua the afternoon of May 11.
Opinions are mixed, but many are looking askance at how the situation was handled by the police.
"I think that it’s ridiculous and that the police went overboard," said Livvy Charon, a senior at Nashua High School South. "Even though the man was speeding, the response was unnecessary. Those cops need to be locked up."
Based on the footage alone, the response seems unmerited, with several police from different jurisdictions surrounding the man and repeatedly pummeling him with a series of brutal punches. Behind the main crowd of officers, a K-9 unit is seen barking, intensifying the intimidation tactics deployed during the altercation.
Some feel the police response was justified when taking into account the hazardous events leading up to the arrest.
Within the last two years, dozens of videos, similar to the one captured in Nashua, have depicted police abusing their authority and caught national attention. These include the highly controversial cases of Michael Brown and Freddie Grey.
Unlike the aforementioned cases, the man in Nashua’s race was not a prevalent focal point in the controversy. However, the conduct of the police was an alarming enough issue on its own.
In the end, the incident was a classic case of ends not justifying means. While the man may be guilty of a serious and potentially deadly crime, the police handling of his cooperative surrender was immoral and illegal. While we may treat instances of police brutality as isolated instances of rare occurrence, our perspective shifts when an event such as this unfolds right in Nashua.
All citizens must be aware of the individuals appointed to protect them as law enforcement, and if they are capable of doing so within the bounds of the law. And if not, may they face the same consequences as the general population for the crimes they commit.