It's not uncommon for you to hear stories of police in the US doing a "PIT maneuver" to get a suspected criminal to stop his vehicle after being chased by the police for some time like you can see here.
Similarly in Latin America, you have police also that don't see much issue with running their vehicle into a criminal to get him to stop.
Though, in my personal opinion, I find the police down here to generally be "a little more liberal" in hitting suspects with their vehicles as they seem to carry less concern for the safety of the suspect and nearby bystanders on average when compared to what you see back home.
On top of that, there's always that suspicion that the cop in question isn't actually chasing a criminal and is just trying to invent a scenario where he claims you caused damage to his vehicle and wants money.
Let's get into two contrasting examples of the police in Latin America playing "Grand Theft Auto" on the streets down here in two different countries: Mexico & Dominican Republic.
Running Over a Random Civilian
As of right now, I live in a neighborhood of Mexico City known as Pedregal de Santo Domingo.
About a week or so ago (more or less), there was some controversy in the neighborhood that I witnessed with my own two eyes in the moment.
After leaving the gym, I decided to take a small walk through the neighborhood looking for a new place to try food at.
Over the last month, I've been experimenting with new foods I never tried before.
Along the way, I noticed quite a bit of commotion.
There were a lot of cops and a lot of very pissed off residents with an individual being taken in by the police.
In the moment, I didn't quite get what the issue was.
Just seemed like they were trying to arrest somebody.
I asked some random dude what was going on but he shrugged his shoulders and said he didn't know.
So I asked someone else and they said that the police are accusing this dude of damaging their vehicle while others claim they saw the police run the dude over purposefully.
Since I wasn't there in the exact moment that this dude either fucked up their car or got fucked by their car, I couldn't make a determination if the dude was guilty or not.
Nor was it my issue to worry about.
I shrugged my shoulders and just chalked it up to "another crazy day in Latin America."
Then I walked on looking for that food.
In the days since, this incident has gone viral on social media and people have been increasingly pissed about the police.
And someone in the neighborhood managed to get video evidence of the police actually running this dude over.
While I'm not sure how to get the full video onto my blog, I did include a link to it in a Facebook group that covers news in Santo Domingo that you can see here (the group might be private but I'm not sure. You can probably see it if you join the group or maybe you don't have to).
But, in case that group ever does go private, I did take screenshots of the incident right before the police ran him over and right after as you can see here.
From what the video shows, the dude was literally just riding along when the police ran him over from behind.
Then, as you can see in the screenshots here, they had a lot of police trying to control the situation and take the guy in.
Now, to be fair, we don't know what happened before this incident.
It just seem random for a cop to just run someone over Grand Theft Auto style for no reason.
If they did have a reason outside of wanting a bribe, I'd only guess maybe the dude is involved in some gang shit (common in this neighborhood) or he did something illegal just in the moment before and isn't pulling over for the police.
Still, one could argue if it's right for the police to ever just run someone over on a motorcycle or bike.
Regardless, it is what it is.
Other people, as you can see here, claim that the police have done similar corrupt acts with this one woman here who, from what I can understand, claims that the police hit her sister and brother-in-law and left them unconscious on May 7, 2022.
Which isn't too long ago from the first incident described above!
It sure seems like the police here are on a mission to get as many bribes and extortions as possible playing Grand Theft Auto with civilians.
Still, we don't really know if her sister and brother-in-law were up to fucked up shit either and trying to run from the cops to be fair.
Either way, I wouldn't put it above the cops in Mexico to randomly run someone over for a bribe or whatever the hell else.
Honestly, I could even see some running people over the hell of it.
Grand Theft Auto: Mexican Style.
An Accident or Capturing a Suspect in the DR?
Next, we have a case that I'm not personally familiar with as I don't live in the Dominican Republic but figured I'd include it as to bring up another country that isn't Mexico.
So here's a screenshot describing a similar incident that happened in a city called "Hato Mayor" of the DR.
This incident went viral not too long ago and it's how I became aware of it.
From what I understand reading the description above, it's argued that the police caused an accident in this city where a motorcyclist hits a police truck that, from what I saw in the video, basically pulled up in front of his path in the last second.
Then the motorcyclist, with only a second to respond basically, hits the truck accidentally and loses control.
The person was not too seriously injured but, as you could see in the video on this news article here, the suspect was immediately swarmed by police to arrest him.
The description above also says that there has been various operations done in the city but these operations are questioned by residents who claim that they are driving their motorcycles decently and are stripped of them by the police afterwards.
Anyway, here are some screenshots of the incident happening for those who don't want to access the link above.
Now, when it comes down to it, it all seems a tiny bit confusing.
The description above doesn't clarify well enough to me if the operations are done to capture criminals or not?
Or are these operations to just make motorcyclists fuck up on the road and steal their shit?
It sounds more like the latter based on what I saw in the video above and what I'm understanding from the description of it as an outsider who doesn't live in this city.
However, in reading the comments by the people online when this went viral, it seems some suggest that these operations are meant to capture criminals.
Anyway, to capture criminals or to steal motorcycles, it's still left for debate as to if this would be the correct form to capture a criminal on a motorcycle or not.
Is it appropriate for the police to cause dangerous accidents with people on motorcycles.
Especially when you consider the fact that, based on the video, you had pets, other vehicles and some innocent bystanders in the video.
If this was to capture a specific criminal, it doesn't look they did a good job securing the area to minimize the risk of innocent bystanders and their property from getting hurt or damaged.
Either way, regardless of what their intentions were, we can agree anyway that this is "more of a liberal" way of capturing a suspect.
Grand Theft Auto: Dominican Style.
Personally, I have some mixed thoughts on this.
For one, I'm not a fan of how some of these incidents don't involve enough effort by the police to minimize damages to other people's property or any risk to bystanders.
For example, in the first incident in Mexico, the police vehicle did run into someone's truck and there's no way of knowing if someone was in that truck that could've gotten hurt.
Even without someone in the truck, I don't have the highest confidence that the police are going to cover any damages to that person's vehicle.
Nor the possible damages done to the motorcycles that got hit in the second video in the Dominican Republic.
Now, putting aside all of that, let's assume that both individuals were suspected criminals.
Is it OK then for the police to run them over with a vehicle?
Honestly, I'd say it depends on the crime.
If it was a dude suspected of stealing, I'd say no.
Theft is wrong but I wouldn't take it as far as running the dude over for theft.
Now, if the dude is suspected (with decent evidence) of rape, murder or something like that?
I wouldn't give a fuck if he got ran over or not.
I don't think I'm technically allowed to encourage that behavior on this blog though (are there formal blog rules?) so I'll say I .... ummm... "discourage" the behavior.
Anyway, like I said though, it's not always clear if the incident is actually one to detain a suspect or to simply fuck with an innocent person for cash.
In Latin America where the police are a lot more corrupt (not saying corrupt cops don't exist elsewhere), it's a harder guess as to which of the two is happening.
Is the dude guilty of a crime or are the cops fucking with someone innocent for that bribe?
Above all, I know for a fact that sometimes cops do this shit down here to get that bribe.
I wouldn't put it past them to run someone over and then accuse them of damaging their vehicle for a bribe.
Or to steal a motorcycle?
So it is what it is.
And, even if the person is an actual suspected criminal, it still shows the "more liberal" approach cops have down here to handling suspects.
You see it not just in handling those on the run by vehicle but in other incidents I have written about on my blog.
But I'll leave it at that.
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Thanks for reading.