This may be one of the most disgusting and egregious misuses of police force I’ve ever heard of.

According to this story in the Detroit News, police repeatedly beat Ernest Griglen, 59, so hard that he required emergency brain surgery and is still in a coma and on a ventilator more than three months later.

Even though his car had state-issued handicap plates, police admit to striking Griglen repeatedly in the upper chest after pulling him over, apparently after seeing his car weaving in the lane while Griglen was going into insulin shock and mistaking that for intoxication. And the reason they struck him in the chest? To get him to drop his hands, apparently. And their story as to why they took such harsh measures? Because they saw him fiddling with “a black object on his waistband” and they thought it was a weapon.

Unfortunately, it was his insulin pump, which it sounds like he was frantically trying to get to work before he passed out entirely.

But this story from the police doesn’t quite make sense. Who “strikes” (presumably with a police baton) anyone in the chest deliberately, especially an older person, unless they are attempting to cause severe injury, possibly even a heart attack? And if they had struck him in the chest as they say, how did he suffer brain damage? And is this standard police procedure, even for intoxicated subjects?

Perhaps it is in this case, because as it happens, Griglen is black.

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