Towards the beginning of the episode, we see Andrew get arrested, but not before Toby is able to tackle him to the ground! As Toby pounces on Spencer’s former academic decathlon captain, Andrew begs for Toby to listen to him and not to be violent. Toby ignores him and proceeds to punch him, pretty hard in my opinion, in the stomach. Admittedly if I believed that someone had kidnapped and tortured my significant other, I can’t imagine my reaction being pretty. However I would also know that I shouldn’t be the on duty police officer in such a circumstance, and this is something Toby doesn’t seem to have learned. Even if you think someone stalked your girlfriend, Toby is in the police department and still has a duty as a police officer that doesn’t get waived so he can kick Andrew Campbell’s ass. Fortunately, Toby’s partner, Lorenzo, stops this before it gets worse, and Toby implies that he would have continued; he demands for Lorenzo to give him 5 minutes alone with Andrew, and I doubt those minutes would have been pretty or peaceful. Thankfully Lorenzo refused to do this, commanding Toby to do his job instead of having an unauthorized, illegal wrestling match with a kidnapping suspect.
Because of police violence becoming an emerging topic of importance in society, I feel that it’s important to cover this. I did some research on the issue because of its complexity, and it turns out there are legal arguments that the current law in Pennsylvania might conflict with the federal law. It is NOT my place to decide if that’s true or not, but I will provide information to explain why it is possible but not guaranteed that Toby could get in legal trouble for what he did to Andrew. Some might argue that his violence wasn’t enough to warrant legal trouble, but others may not agree, and once again I felt this topic was important to discuss regardless of the outcome.
Toby’s Potential Broken Law! : Using Excessive Force as a Police Officer Section 1983 within Title 42 of the United States Code. And 18 PA Cons. Stat. § 508. Use of force in law enforcement. (more…)