Police Brutality Against Black Kansas City Man Caught on Video

Source of image: ACLU

Police Brutality Against Black Kansas City Man Caught on Video

Black people in Missouri are disproportionately stopped or harassed by police. Twenty years of collected data shows Black drivers are stopped at a rate 85 percent higherthan white drivers. And too many police departments across the state regularly use disproportionate force in dealing with minority individuals.

Missouri offers yet another example. Josh Bills, a Black man living in Kansas City, found himself on the receiving end of just this kind of police misconduct.   

In December 2013, walking blocks from his home, Bills was approached by five officers who surrounded him. He greeted the officers calmly. He stood with his hands down to his sides at a 45-degree angle. He did not act aggressively.

The police stopped him because of a call about a “Black man, black clothing.” Then the encounter went south — a scene emblematic of racialized policing that is all too familiar. Despite being cooperative with the officers, Officer Jordan Nelson, without warning, grabbed one of Bills’ arms and violently kicked his legs out from under him, smashing his face into the concrete.

As Bills lay on the ground, injured and motionless, another officer knelt on his back to restrain him while they placed him under arrest. Chillingly, a few minutes after the brutal altercation, Nelson re-enacted the takedown for his fellow officers at the scene while Bills was still lying on the pavement waiting for medical attention.

And it was all caught on video.

Read the full story at Police Brutality Against Black Kansas City Man Caught on Video

Kansas City police officer smashes man’s face into ground during arrest

  • Could the problem be that cities hire police officers without valor?
  • Or maybe the officers were so stressed their implicit bias took over?
  • Or maybe police officers are no better than the gang of thugs they claim to keep off the streets?



Author: Angela Grant

Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

11 thoughts on “Police Brutality Against Black Kansas City Man Caught on Video

  1. I ask why anyone wants to be a police officer? That sets their motivation. Too often people choose a job that gives them authority under color and claim of official right that as private citizens, they cannot do without violating law.

    1. Hi Xena, agree! Those are the personality types you don’t want patrolling a neighborhood, but those are the types that get the job, enjoy it and become life timers. When they get in trouble, they transition to a neighboring town police department almost as the priests did to evade public discovery.

      In a small town, being a cop is probably one of the more exciting jobs. Many kids out of high school not planning to go to college see the job as adventurous, a way to make good money, get respect and power. Your question made me wonder how many and why any kid who grew up in white suburbia would work in the inner city as a cop especially in a community of color?

      1. Re;
        “Your question made me wonder how many and why any kid who grew up in white suburbia would work in the inner city as a cop especially in a community of color?”

        I might be able to answer that. There is active recruitment of vets shortly after their enlistment has ended.

        Today, our military personnel return from combat in countries much different than the European campaigns. People don’t look like them. They don’t speak the same language. They don’t dress the same. They don’t have Western culture.

        My son, who served 12 years in the military, was bombarded with letters of recruitment not only from police departments across the nation, but also the Dept. of Homeland Security. Locally, the police department was willing to deduct his years of service from his age so he would meet the age qualification.

        It’s attractive to those who have little to nothing to look forward to in their neck of the woods. They get the opportunity to not only relocate to a new city or state, but to be included in a “team culture” like they were in the military where everyone watches their backs. Understand that to mean that they don’t squeal on each other.

        There are 3 different types of combat veterans; those who wanted to kill but were not threatened so they could engage; those who killed; and those afraid of being killed.

        Put them in a culture that approves of using physical force and guns against people who do not look, sound or dress like them, where they report and answer to others in uniform, and what we have are military police patrolling our streets. It’s not the inner city to them but just another combat zone.

        1. Yes, this militarising of the police is concerning, and from what I’ve read, they are recruiting those who score quite high on sociopathy.

          1. Pete,
            I’m unfamiliar with the scoring but one thing for sure is that police are trained to see human beings as objects or wild animals that they can continue pumping bullets into until the “threat” is removed. Now, that doesn’t mean that they actually see a weapon. They are given discretion to decide whether an unseen weapon makes a living human being a “threat” against them.

        2. Xena that makes sense and could explain the police brutality epidemic in the US. Combat vets were exposed to unspeakable horrors that they probably can’t share with many people. Further, the war on terrorism is a racially/religiously motivated war fueled by hate and bigotry. These combat vets are usually uneducated and return home with bias and some degree of psychological trauma added to a pre-existing history.

          You are perceptive in that they see communities of color as combat zones (and many CoCs look like combat zones) instead of neighborhoods they are paid to serve and protect. I also believe their training and culture reinforce racial and religious bigotry.

          Lately, I’ve been thinking about the role of implicit bias as a key factor in police brutality. It would partly explain why some cops don’t feel threatened when they confront armed white suspects who are more likely to be cop killers, yet feel threatened by a black child playing with a toy gun on a playground or a black man walking the streets.

  2. It was so painful watching that video. I read the article and I don’t blame Bills for being traumatized by that experience. Those cops deserve to be sued and I hope Bills wins that case. The video shows how indefensible that was and anyone who throws that tired “resisting arrest” fallacy is a fool.

    1. Can you imagine, walking home minding your business only to be attacked by a gang of cops? Similar to slavery they want to mutilate and disfigure us. They intentionally aim for our face. Also, notice how they do not hesitate to inflict some degree of head trauma to those who survive police brutality.

      The whole resisting arrest or feeling threatened is pure bullshit. Cops know it, the courts know it, and still, it works all the time. A reason you can never trust any system designed by them to provide us with justice. Have you heard any prosecutor or judge question why armed cops should feel threatened by an unarmed black child or man?

      1. It’s certainly way too frightening to imagine. I’ve been profiled and followed around before, but nowhere near as severe as how that situation ended up. I never thought about the concept of aiming for the face/head, but it makes sense.

        THANK YOU! I’ve thought about how no one in the legal system or the media asks that same question. Another reason that proves your point even further is seeing videos of armed White men including those who murder cops get taken alive with little to no force against the perps who threaten them.

    1. There was a time when I spent most of the day watching these videos. Thank god he lived. The videos cops shooting us in cold blood were tough to watch. A cop would pull up and just start firing without warning. Or yell a slew of profanities before emptying a round into some unarmed clearly depressed and confused black person whose family called the cops for help because the person was suicidal. There were quite a few of those. When I commit suicide I’m gonna let the cops do it. I only need to have a cell phone.

      After a while I had to be under the influence in order to watch the videos and then I like you could not watch them anymore. While Mr Bills didn’t die, he was traumatized, physically and psychologically.

      All of this is affecting our psyche whether we realize or not.

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