You Can’t Commit Suicide If You’re in a Full Body Cast

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Cops are called to deal with an apparently suicidal person. When they arrive on the scene they decide to shoot or beat the shit out of the suicidal man:

Two police officers in Paterson, New Jersey, went to a local hospital March 5 on reports of a man who attempted suicide, video showed. But after the man threw an object into the hallway and insulted one of the cops, the officers grabbed the man’s wheelchair, punched him in the face and pushed him to the ground, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Another video (this one allegedly recorded by Officer Roger Then, 29, on his cellphone) caught the second stage of the assault, prosecutors said. At that point, the victim was in his hospital bed, video showed. Lying on his back, the suicidal man hurled an insult at an unidentified police officer. In response, that officer grabbed a pair of hospital gloves, put them on and “violently struck” the man two times, prosecutors said.

You can’t commit suicide if you’re in a full body cast!

While the story itself isn’t surprising, what is surprising is that Officer Then has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. I was expecting to read that the officer was enjoying a paid vacation since that is such a common outcome of stories like this. But apparently an officer recording himself beating a man lying in a hospital bed is stupid enough that federal law enforcers feel the need to actually do something.

Once again I’m left wondering exactly how many isolated incidents perpetrated by bad apples are needed to establish a trend.