Warning! Graphic Video Below
We’ve posted videos showing officers being unnecessarily aggressive, being uncaring, being abusive or just flat out making dumb decisions but Pima County deputy, Manuel Van Santen, sank to a new low. A video came out showing Van Santen’s actions during a September call he made to a group home for boys. The boys at this home are already disadvantaged for various reasons. The homes are supposed to give them a stable, structured living environment, free from abuse.
Teenager with No Arms or Legs, Tackled by Deputy
Deputy Van Santen responded to a call for a disruptive teenager at the home. The individual had been suspended from school and was angry when he got back to the home. He knocked over a trashcan and threatened staff members which caused them to call the police. The video shows Van Santen, putting his full body weight on the 15-year old boy while the boy keeps yelling out for Van Santen to get off of him. When Van Santen finally does get off he continues to bait the boy. When the teenager responds Van Santen yells at him saying, “I’ll raise my voice to you whenever the fuck I want, do you understand?”
Witness Stands Up for Abused Teen
At this point the teenager filming the video comments that the boy was just answering Van Santen’s question. Van Santen then turns his abuse on the new target. He keeps telling the boy it’s none of his business, to go back to his room, all the while advancing on the boy in an intimidating manner. At no point had the boy shown any aggression toward Van Santen but he is arrested anyway. While he is being handcuffed, Van Santen slams the young man’s head into the wall. Both teens were arrested for Disorderly Conduct.
Coward in Uniform
How much of a coward must you be to feel the need to be abusive to a 15-year old who doesn’t have arms or legs? What kind of sick thrill did he get out of this? Did it make him feel like a big man? The county will be negligent if this doesn’t cost him his job. For now, Van Santen has been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated. In what will be a surprise to no one, the officer is white and the teen is black. You can read the USA Today story here.