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Letter: An amusing arrest

I just watched, with great amusement, the video of the high school student being taken down by Aspen Police Department officers Friday afternoon for smoking a joint near the school.

One could argue that perhaps a conversation with the teen and his parents may have been a better solution than an arrest, but I’ll give the officer the benefit of the doubt on that, because I wasn’t there. I don’t think anyone should ever be arrested for simply having or smoking a joint, but it is against the law for a child to possess pot in Colorado, plain and simple. If he’d been drinking a beer, the result would likely have been the same.

Others argue that the video shows police brutality, which only proves how sheltered we are here in Aspen. It depicts nothing more than three officers using standard arrest procedures to take a child who is resisting arrest into custody. In the video I watched, the child was not punched, tasered, beaten with a baton or shot. Resisting to the level that he did could have gotten him killed in places like New York, Chicago or Cleveland. But here in Aspen, he was simply arrested.

One of the things I love about living in Aspen is our local law enforcement, including the Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office. I can’t remember a single credible incident of our local officers being accused of brutality, and this certainly doesn’t rise to that level, either. It’s an affront to common sense to claim this video depicts “police brutality” or an overuse of force. The officers used as much force as was necessary considering his behavior.

The only problem I see with the video is a spoiled brat who thinks he’s important enough to refuse to follow the orders of a police officer. From the first moment of the video, where the kid is pinned by the officers in what appears to be a bus shelter, he’s screaming like a 5-year-old girl, incensed that they would dare to arrest him for, you know, breaking the law. The arrest takes about a minute, and he screams and wails the entire time.

I’m certain that if he’d complied with the officers’ commands, they would not have needed to use force. And knowing what I know about our law enforcement officers, I suspect he may not even have been arrested if he’d acted like a decent human being when confronted by the officer. The only thing wrong with this video is an arrogant, entitled teenager whose parents have apparently never held him accountable for anything in his entire life.

Doug Allen

Aspen


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