Police Violence — Should You Use Common Sense And Just Comply?

This police violence story takes place in Corpus Christie, Texas in 2014. A young lady named Lanessa Espinosa happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time when a fight broke out in a gas station parking lot. As she tried to leave, the police arrived and prevented her from doing so. The young lady gets out of her car and starts recording her interaction with police officers.

The first officer requests that Espinosa present identification. She refuses, citing? state law which states that she does not have to show identification unless she’s being formally charged with a crime. The first?officer calls over a senior officer to assist, telling him:

“This one right here, jail house lawyer refusing to show I.D”

At this point another officer comes over and more forcefully demands that Espinosa show identification or be arrested for obstructing an investigation; remember they are investigating a fight that broke out in the parking lot. Espinosa still refuses to show her identification, because she knows that she’s on the right side of the law.

The officer then moves in to arrest her and at the very end of the video we see what appears to be police violence, with the officer with his arm around her neck trying to take her down. Now this is a clear case of police violence and brutality, without a doubt.

police violence corpus christi
Image via Lanessa Espinosa

The former district attorney for that county, Carlos Valdez, said in a statement to KRIS 6 news that Espinosa?”Did nothing wrong.”

It was also reported that an officer tried to get Espinosa to erase the video, which she only pretended to do. Later that officer was “disciplined” for asking her to do that.

Once again this isn’t a new story. However it does raise an interesting question. When is it better to cooperate with the police to avoid police violence and when is it better to stand up for your rights? Many reading this may?think this is a dumb question; we should always stand up for our rights. But when it comes to something so seemingly small, like producing identification, is it a good idea to risk police violence and/or go to jail instead of complying with the officer?

The offending officer in this case later resigned.

In this video, the hosts of The Young Turks debate this very issue. Personally I think she did the right thing — there is never an excuse for police violence. Watch the video?below.