Originally Posted by Piobaire
It works...except of course, when it doesn't.
If it doesn't work, they have other options. They don't call it a use of force "continuum" for nothing.
We don't have the whole video, so we don't know what happened before it, but what we can see follows the proper progression of force. The woman is the one who escalates the confrontation at every level. She refuses, she resists passively, she resists actively, thrashing about and kicking the cops. Each time she escalates the cops respond with proportional force, and when she deescalates after she's punched, they deescalate too. That's exactly how it's supposed to work.
Now, I don't think the punch was absolutely necessary in this case. If it was me, I probably wouldn't have done it. But that's not the proper way to look at it. I wasn't there, she wasn't kicking me, don't know all the surrounding circumstances, what she was being arrested for, etc. And of course you can't always expect people to make perfect decisions in the heat of the moment. So instead of asking whether it's what I would have done, you ask whether it was within the range of acceptable choices, and accept that the cop is the one who gets to decide which of those to employ.
You should also note that while the punch was almost guaranteed not to cause her any real injury, the alternative wasn't without risk, as the Eric Garner case demonstrated. If one of those cops had punched him in the nose and he'd given up, he'd probably have survived. All that wrestling is hard on an overweight person's system, and being pinned the ground for an extended period of time exposes them to a risk of suffocation (both of those being what actually killed Garner, not the chokehold).