Est autem vis legem simulans. (Violence may also be masquerading as the law.)
First of all I have to say that in his refusal to exercize hindsight absolutely excuses the officers from ever having to exercize foresight. So there was no real consideration of whether excessive force was used. Only a rubberstamping of the force used. I'm sorry but I cannot see this as a “split second” decision when the victim was merely walking away. Besides this one second investigation standard line of BS is usually reserved for police shootings. There was no weapon involved in Mr. Andersons death. Even if the officers suspected Mr. Anderson of having a weapon. Standard proceedure for that is a Terry stop not a Mean Joe Green tackle or even a cute cuddly bear hug take down. Now the police are not the only ones that cannot get their story straight. You would really think that the people in the professions that coined the phrase, you need to get your story straight. That they would be able to get their story straight.* Another caller suggested that Anderson didn’t need to be stopped from ingesting drugs -- police could have ordered his stomach pumped later to retrieve the evidence. In hindsight, Bernstein acknowledged, there may have been better methods to have dealt with the arrest.
But Bernstein said he had to analyze the “split second” decision officers made. Anderson was walking away from their orders, he said. Police didn’t know if he had a weapon on him (he was later found not to be carrying a weapon).
Did they accidentially fall or was he intentionally thrown to the ground?“What our investigation revealed was the force that was used was reasonable under the circumstances,” he responded to the caller. “In this case the evidence doesn’t show what you say was a beat down. It was one throw to the ground.”
Also the act of swallowing evidence does not destroy the evidence. It is still retreiveble, detectable and admissable if properly seized. Also Fourth Amendment case law tends to go against violently retrieving evidence from a suspects mouth. But it is clear that probable cause is needed to retreive evidence from the mouth by any means.
Now about that probable cause. From this article.
The probable cause is with the person he handed the suspected drugs off to. But instead of following their probable cause they followed a hunch that Anderson might still have drugs on him. This despite it being a common practice to only carry enough drugs to complette a transaction. Especially when split transactions occur. That's one person collecting money as another person hands off the drugs. But the officers would only know this if they were experienced. So why are they going after Mr. Anderson who might no longer have any drugs or only money instead of the person they have probable cause to believe to be in possession of drugs. What if that person took that evidence home and destroyed it? Apparently allowing evidence to walk is no biggie.Investigators said the three men were patrolling an area in east Baltimore know for extensive drug activity the night of the incident when they saw Anderson leave a bar and hand off suspected drugs to another person. Bernstein's office said several witnesses corroborated that testimony.