Jul 2

Excessive Use of Force – Father Arrested on SEPTA with Baby Daughter

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Father being arrested on SEPTA platform

Child being taken from father on SEPTA platform

On June 26, 2015, a video was recorded and uploaded to Facebook of a Philadelphia father being arrested on SEPTA by excessive use of force.

According to SEPTA police: the father was being arrested for allegedly not paying the EI fare ($2.25) for his 18 month old baby daughter.

SEPTA rules state that children ages 4 and under are free to ride with a fare-paying adult.

The video posted of the incident now has over 1,500,000 views on Facebook! It displays multiple SEPTA police officers physically removing the father from the train and arresting him, all while his 18 month old daughter was in his arms.

Obviously that is not how they are trained. It’s not what should have happened, but for some reason it did.
R. Patrick Link | Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney

Excessive use of force by police officers can be a complex situation. You’ll need an experienced Philadelphia Defense Attorney to represent your case. Contact Patrick Link

Excessive Use of Force on SEPTA (VIDEO)

After the Facebook video went viral, local Philadelphia TV news channel NBC 6 released security footage leading up to the arrest, which revealed a 16 year SEPTA police veteran engaging in excessive use of force. The news broadcast below unveils the details of the incident in which the officer grabs the man by his throat and pushes against the wall.

View at :32 sec to see the confrontational use of force. Sorry for commercial intro.

In this broadcast, you can see the security footage of the father and SEPTA officer exchanging words about the alleged fare evasion. The officer then engages in excessive use of force by choking the father and pushing him up against the wall. During the struggle the father is holding his 18 month old little girl in his arms.

Police Are Taught De-Escalation Techniques

Based on previous changes made by the Philadelphia Police Department in March 2015, incidents such as this are now against policy and should not still be occurring.

This is the type of incident that causes us to reflect on what we tell our police officers and how we tell it.
Thomas Nestal | SEPTA Philadelphia Police Chief

Since the release of the report on excessive use of force, the Philadelphia Police Department has been making steps for its officers to learn de-escalation techniques, but as shown in this video officers remain skeptical of the new techniques.

Watch this video to see how officers reactions during a Seattle training session on the new policies and procedures. If you skip to 1 minute and 25 seconds in the video, you can see how the officers do not agree and are confrontational about how to proceed.

Fast forward to 1 minute 52 seconds and you can even see an officer completely ignoring the session by playing a game on his phone.

Excessive Use of Force Reduction in Philadelphia

SEPTA officer using excessive force from train security cam footage

SEPTA officer using excessive force from train security cam footage

The Philadelphia Police Department should not be waiting for a situation such as this to review their procedures. Unfortunately, the father and daughter involved in this incident have to be put into the spotlight in order to cause changes in the system.

“Police use of deadly force is a defining issue of our criminal justice system.” – Collaborative Reform Initiative (read the full assessment)

I understand the Philadelphia Police Department have taken steps to improve their policies and procedures when it comes to excessive use of force.

However, the officers are apparently not implementing the techniques in a timely manner. When cops lie and do not follow the rules it harms the entire community.

Can this Be a Stepping Stone for the Future?



We hope incidents such as this do not reoccur and that our police officers can learn from their mistakes. It is commendable that the Philadelphia police department is working to use more non-violent and de-escalation strategies in their procedures. We must keep our citizens and police officers safe and by using these new policies it should make a difference for all members of the Philadelphia community.

Philadelphia criminal defense attorney R. Patrick Link

R. Patrick Link

Patrick Link is a Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer who has successfully tried hundreds of cases for clients including people charged with DUIpossession of drugs, illegal possession of firearms, assault, robbery, theft, homicide and numerous other criminal offenses.

Call R. Patrick Link right now, at 267-858-4774, and request a free initial consultation to get started immediately.

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