Scrutiny of police tactics has been at an all time high following the deaths of Eric Harris and veteran Walter Scott. Now, an incident involving an Arizona police officer running over a suspect has many questioning if his actions were necessary.
Marana police officer Michael Rapiejko used his patrol car to stop Mario Valencia from fleeing from law enforcement by running him over, reports the Huffington Post. The incident happened Feb. 19 after Valencia ran from a local Walmart with a stolen gun. Valencia was already a wanted man following suspicion of his involvement in multiple robberies in the area.
Police claim Valencia ran for a few miles before attempting to commit suicide. They also claim that Rapiejko saved his life by running him over. The suspect’s attorney however, believes Rapiejko’s actions were excessive.
“Everything in the video seems to point towards an obvious excessive use of force. It is miraculous that my client isn’t dead,” said attorney Michelle Cohen-Metzger.
Valencia was treated at the University of Arizona Medical Center for two days before he was taken to jail. Tucson Police Sgt. Pete Dugan says Valencia is behind at least three robberies in the local area, including the robbery of a 7-Eleven and a home burglary.
Rapiejko, who has worked in the Tucson and New York police forces, hasn’t yet faced any punishment over the incident.
SOURCE: Huffington Post | VIDEO CREDIT: NDN