If you have been following the national news over the last week, than I’m sure you’ve heard of the incident involving a Seattle police officer and two teenage girls, where the officer ended up punching one of the girls in the face. The details of the melee is as follows:
The police officer cited two girls for jaywalking. The first subject (teenage girl) became “antagonistic” once the officer summoned her to the squad car.
Once she verbally denied the request, she began to walk away from the
officer/scene (insane mistake #1). The officer then attempted to physically keep her at the scene (protocol), at that point the female got into a physical shoving match with the officer (deathwish mistake #2). At that point the friend of the girl (second female subject) got physically involved with the officer. (Ass- whooping mistake # 3– your out)
According to the officer she was “attempting to physically affect the first subjects escape” (By the tape that appears correct).
I haven’t heard much from the NAACP , National Action Network, or Rainbow PUSH Coalition, which I believe to be calculated. Surely when advocating for civil/social equality they must have solid social/civil/legal ground to stand on, and they realize the error in this. These organizations have to protect the integrity and fiber in which they were built on. Breaking the law and physically resisting arrest and then getting punched in the face does not exactly fall under that category.
Seeing the Grey area and strong racial undertones of this situation, I asked myself a few critical questions. Does the officer need to be retrained on how to properly difuse a situation? Yes. Does the officer need to hit the weights? Yes. Should the officer have called for back-up? Yes. Were the two girls absolutely and unequivocally wrong? Yes. Could all this had been avoided if the first female would have simply cooperated with the officer and took her ticket? Yes. Has there been added drama given, seeing that this was a white male officer with two black females? Without a doubt. Was the officer within his legal rights to protect himself? Absolutely.
Clearly the issue is not jaywalking. No sir, what we are talking about is how to properly deal with situations concerning law enforcement– minority in specific. Dealing with the police is truly an artform that should be learned; and given the historical issues involving police and minorities, I see it as advantageous to use this incident to educate yourself.
In 2010, the way you beat the law is with the law. If she felt discriminated against, she could have simply cooperated and obtained a name and badge number and dealt with him on the back-end (pause).
Considering there was a crowd of witnesses with camera phones, should there been any foolishness by the officer, the two females would have had more than enough evidence to take the Seattle PD to the cleaners. Instead they choose to act a fool and give them a reason– and a good one at that.
For those of you who think that is police brutality, try telling that to those brothers who have COOPERATED and been PEACEFUL with the law, and still been brutalized.
The irony of the situation is that this incident took place on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Speaking of King, I personally feel like a pop in the chops is much less severe than pepper spray, taser gun, or billy club. Shit, I know Rodney King wished he only got punched in the face.
Given the recent events involving the Seattle Police Department this is a PR nightmare, but I think that they will hold up in court.
There is a very important message that lies beneath all of this (minorities listen up). Do not think you are the exception, you are the rule– Do not defy the law. History tells the story of how you should and should not deal with the police, and all signs point toward cooperating first.
I would tell that young sister to read a book or watch some film and see how far we have come and what we had to go through. If she felt the arrest was out of line, all she simply needed to do was take the ticket, and cooperate with the officer. What she did was a prime example of how not to handle a situation with the police– no matter what color you are.
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