Santa Clara Police Attack Fan At Pac-12 Championship Game

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Here is a good example of how to not to police people, as seen at Friday's Pac-12 championship game. According to the video uploader, this confrontation started when the man in white walked down the wrong pathway. The situation then quickly escalated, for no clear reason. A lieutenant from the Santa Clara Police Department confirmed through email that the officers involved worked for the department.

Watch for yourself, but over the course of the video, an officer:

• quickly brandishes a taser, according to the person recording

• hits the man with a baton

• wraps his arm around the man's neck

• tries to take the man down in a headlock

• continues to hit the man with a broken baton

The man in white became uncooperative at a certain point (as is reasonable, if not necessarily prudent, when people armed with deadly weapons start swarming you at a sports event for walking the wrong way), but only in a country that has become inured to such scenes would anyone think the officers' approach is the least bit justified. When the video starts, the man in white doesn't appear to have a weapon, or to be an imminent threat to anyone around him. Why is a taser—a lethal weapon whose use has mystifyingly become a commonplace in stadiums—already out? Why did it have to devolve into a swarm of officers piling onto this guy? This is the garbage that infuriates people. Even if the man in white is in the wrong, why did it have to turn into that?


Update (Dec. 9, 11:02 a.m.): The Santa Clara Police Department has released its account of what occurred, along with the man in white's name:

On December 5, 2014, at about 8:00 P.M., Mark Lydon, a 44 year-old resident of Eugene, Oregon, was arrested for two-counts of assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest during half-time at the PAC-12 Championship held at Levi's® Stadium.

Accounts show that during the game the suspect was intoxicated and belligerent, causing officers to respond.

The suspect repeatedly disobeyed officers' requests to calm down and he refused to cooperate with stadium staff. He continued to resist after he was told he was being ejected from the stadium and he assaulted an officer. He then forced himself on to the concourse. It is at this point that the widely-disseminated video begins.

The suspect refused to stop, but was eventually detained on the concourse by Officers. Officers attempted to arrest the suspect, but he was uncooperative, resistant and assaultive. The suspect was eventually taken into custody with the help of other Officers. The suspect had minor injuries from the arrest.

The suspect was transported to Santa Clara County Jail and booked on the above charges. He has been released pending arraignment. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Santa Clara County Superior Court on January 20, 2015.


H/t to Mike