I discussed this topic on the air today and I know the family is not happy with the position I took on it. Let me be clear; I have no opinion on whether excessive force was used. I wasn't there; I don't know all the circumstances that led to Peterson's injuries. I do know this; if Josh Petersen obeys the officer and gets out of the vehicle, this doesn't happen. There is no denying that. And it's very possible an investigation will show excessive force by officers.
But how did Peterson think this was going to end? How long did he think officers were going to stand there and argue with him? Peterson's father Terry argues that officers should have used a lesser level of force, taser or pepper spray. Perhaps. But one way or the other officers were going to use some level of force. Officer safety is the top priority and it should be.
Josh Peterson admits he was very intoxicated. Officers are dealing with a very drunk, uncooperative man. You don't think they're going to err to the side of caution? That doesn't mean the level of force used is justified and I'm not saying that. I am saying Josh Peterson is culpable in this matter. I'll say it again; get out of the car and this doesn't happen.