Last December, Drexel University Police were attempting to apprehend Walter Johnson, who was was suspected of trying to burglarize local buildings. When the authorities tried to detain Johnson, he fled. And whether it was intentional or not, the pursuit of ended in a dramatic show of force when police pinned Johnson to a wall with their police cruiser. The whole incident was captured on video, and almost a year later, the case is back in the news due to a new parole hearing for Johnson and a lawsuit being brought up against the Philadelphia-area university.

Johnson, who had left a halfway house without permission, was spotted by security cameras attempting to enter several buildings, and when police approached him, he took off running. It's not known how long police were chasing him, but it was all over after he was hit by a Ford Explorer police vehicle and rammed into a building. The force of the impact was enough to crumple the front end of the SUV and shatter Johnson's pelvis and leg. Johnson later told police that he was looking for a restroom, but police said that he and another man he was with were both carrying screwdrivers.

According to a report by WPVI ABC6, Philadelphia's district attorney has dropped the charges against Johnson, but he has remained in prison since the incident for violating his parole. The university itself is declining to comment due to the pending lawsuit, but that isn't stopping critics from accusing the police of using excessive force to capture Johnson.

Scroll down to watch the video report (including a graphic footage of the incident), and then let us know what you think in our poll below.


Did Drexel University police use excessive force in ramming Walter Johnson with the police vehicle?
Yes ??? pinning him against the wall with the cruiser was unnecessary 5737 (56.5%)
No ??? it was justified, as he was a suspected burglar running from the police 3676 (36.2%)
I'm not sure 744 (7.3%)



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 225 Comments
      n.bob2
      • 2 Years Ago
      Holy crap you crazy people who don't believe in the bill of rights move to china already. I'll bet half these "tough on criminal" clowns claim they are libertarians while suggesting a government authority can do this.
      Sik68
      • 2 Years Ago
      You cannot properly train officers to use their car like that...so it should definitely not be part of their play book.
        Klep
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sik68
        I agree, but also I don't think it was. I think it was some guy getting way too hopped up on his own adrenaline and endangering the life of an apparently unarmed suspect. Remember, they didn't even witness a crime, the guy just ran. They are allowed to chase, not take out! Sickening.
      Ryth
      • 2 Years Ago
      Im not sure if they were trying to pin him as much as trying to cut him off and he just happened to try to jump through and got pinned.
        RWD
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ryth
        That's definitely possible! Either adrenaline or poor judgement must have botched that maneuver. He wrecks that Explorer pretty good, a tad too hard maybe.
      Walt
      • 2 Years Ago
      And this is related to auto industry news how?
      Dark Gnat
      • 2 Years Ago
      Suspect is the key word. A "suspect" is someone suspected of committing a crime. This does not mean the person actually committed the crime, only that police have reason to be suspicious that he/she did. Do you really want the police ramming people they think may have committed a crime with no evidence to support their suspicions? Even if they had undeniable proof, this was not a violent crime and did not warrant such aggressive behavior. This is the kind of brutality you would expect to see in some tyrannical dictatorship, not in the U.S. were suspects are "presumed innocent until proven guilty in the court of law".
        serwayjewett
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dark Gnat
        The kind of brutality that you would expect to see in some tyrannical dictatorship would be an A-k to the entire back of the fleeing suspect. So you think that all police should run down all suspects on foot, then I guess apprehend the using just there hands and perhaps a baton, then run the risk of being shot or stabbed by the so-called "suspect"? In this case the officer may have been stabbed with a flat head screwdriver. Also, it was not a violent crime, so what? Do you not hear of university robberies where students are tied up in there own dorms, held up at knife/gun point, females are raped, etc.
      Mercer
      • 2 Years Ago
      It hurts me when any cars are damage. What's the different between ramming someone with a Ford Explorer and shooting him with a gun?
        Rob Gomes
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mercer
        Not too much, which is why excessive force is being called into question. Wet, with a driver, equipped, that Explorer is somewhere between 4500 and 5000lbs.
          SloopJohnB
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rob Gomes
          It was an accident. The officer just tried to pin him, not injure him. Stuff happens.
          tinted up
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rob Gomes
          Tried to pin him? Tried to pin him? HE DID PIN HIM!!!!!
          n.bob2
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rob Gomes
          Tried to pin him....
      Dreez28
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yeah thats excessive. It may have been accidental, but what kind of officer thinks that ramming into a wall with a tax purchased police SUV is an appropriate way to either cut off a suspect or make an apprehension by pinning him to a wall? While I don't think think it was the officers intention to smash the guy into the wall...thats what happened and the officer should be punished appropriately for the mistake. Criminals running on foot get tired after a while, cars don't tire so easily. This move was niether practical or necessary. Police are suppose to use radios and teamwork to make apprehensions like this. There was no threat of death to any officers or civilians from what I can see. If the man was armed and ready, that might be a different story.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      He should not have run away from the cops, but should have surrendered.
        Giorgio
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        Runnin was a stupid move. Either he did that because traumatized from previous experiences with the police (let's give him the benefit of doubt), or he really was up to no good and hoped he could just run and get away with it. Still, you don't run over a person like that. Not if he's just a suspect, for sure. Very unprofessional. He wrecked the cruiser, and, I'm afraid, his career.
      rmeway
      • 2 Years Ago
      Innocent until proven guilty. Good thing it wasn't my family member. I would have done been locked up or killed for taking care of the cops at fault personally.
        John
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rmeway
        Innocent until proven guilty is at the court level. If everyone was innocent until proven guilty, (guilty beyond a reasonable doubt), no one would get arrested (probable cause).
      Robert
      • 2 Years Ago
      He's got a criminal record a block long. They should have backed up and pinned him a few more times. The world would be that much better off.
      pdwid
      • 2 Years Ago
      Broken leg and pelvis, the guy's lucky these 'cops' didn't shoot him out of his misery. Now the City's on the hook for medical for the suspect. Great work guys - have another cheesesteak.
      Rocketboy_X
      • 2 Years Ago
      He wasn't "Pinned", he was hit.
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