It’s important to know if the officers involved were following the policies and procedures that are supposed to guide their behavior. Police actions that strike an onlooker as inappropriate may actually be within a department’s rules. It’s possible the rules themselves are inconsistent with best practices elsewhere.
Ask the department for its policies on the practices that concern you, like restraining suspects or the use of pepper spray or Tasers. You may also need to request rules set by a county or state authority. Ask for written copies. You may be required to file a formal public records request, which I will describe below. And if there is no existing written policy, that might be something worth questioning itself.
If you’re having trouble understanding a policy, try running it by an attorney, academic, elected official or a journalist in your community.