Many Americans are familiar with the sight of a police officer or similar law enforcement official mounted on horseback. Indeed, law enforcement officials have made use of horses for generations and still do so in the era of the automobile and the smartphone. There are many arguments both for and against mounted policing – some advocates argue that they diminish crime and charm local communities, whereas others note they can be abused like any other law enforcement asset. Recently, we’ve seen that police horses that were once used to charm are now terrorizing protesters.
Here’s a review of recent incidents that illustrates why mounted police officers could be causing serious harm right now, with evidence to back up this claim.
Police horses are trampling protesters
Across the United States, police officials are mistaking peaceful protesters for lawless rioters. As a result, they’re leveraging brutal tactics against these peaceful individuals that fundamentally flout any principles of justice. For proof of that, look no further than Houston, Texas, where authorities have been required to chide their own mounted police units because of the brutality that’s been captured on video.
The mayor of Houston has formally apologized after a video surfaced of a police officer on horseback trampling a woman holding a sign. This incident was made all the worse by the fact that law enforcement officials outright lied about the incident despite the fact that video evidence clearly contradicted them. “[T]hat young lady is walking backwards [into the police horse],” police chief Art Acevedo said in a public statement, though the video indisputably shows that this is a lie.
Horses are not responsible for being animals with natural instincts and inclinations, but the law enforcement officials who mount these animals and turn them into agents of the state are responsible for harm that’s caused by their actions. Horses are being injured by violent rioters who are unrelated to ongoing demonstrations, which has led an Ohio animal hospital to offer free care to those injured in ongoing clashes. Other organizations like the Pharr Road Animal Hospital will likely be kept busy for some time if other critters are harmed in ongoing events.
Police horses are useful in remote areas where they can aid in search and rescue operations. They can even be helpful in urban areas where their size intimidates potential rioters. They cannot be wielded bluntly to harm peaceful protesters, however, and the abuse of these animals cannot be tolerated by the public or police figures.