Police Brutality or Civilian Stupidity?

When keeping' it real goes painfully wrong

Some people just go outta their way to get a beatdown. They wake up in the morning, brush their teeth, get dressed, look in the mirror and say, “I want to get my ass kicked today.”

They don’t have to work very hard to find one.   Case in point:

SEATTLE — Seattle police are investigating what they call an assault of an officer in South Seattle.

However, a police officer is seen punching a 17-year-old girl in the face during the incident captured by a video camera on Monday.

According to Seattle police, the incident began when an officer spotted a man jaywalking in the 3100 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Way S. at approximately 3:10 p.m. The man was some 15 feet away from a pedestrian overpass, police said.

The officer was talking to the man when he saw four young women jaywalk across the same street at the same spot. The officer asked the women to step over to his patrol car, but the women were being “verbally antagonistic toward the officer,” according to officials.

One of the women, later identified as a 19 year old, began to walk away from the scene despite the officer’s instructions, prompting the officer to walk over to her and escort her back to his patrol car.

The girl then “began to tense up her arm, and pull away from the officer while yelling at him,” investigators said. The officer told the girl to place her hands on his patrol car, but she refused. When the officer tried to grab hold of her, “she pulled away and twisted, breaking free of the officer’s grip several times,” the blotter report said.

When the officer tried to handcuff the girl, another girl, this one 17 years old, intervened and placed her hands on the officer’s arm, “causing the officer to believe she was attempting to physically affect the first subject’s escape,” police said.

The officer pushed back the second girl, but the girl came back at him. The officer then punched her, police said.

The officer then handcuffed the 19-year-old woman. Other officers arrived and helped handcuff the second girl.

Both teens were cited for jaywalking. The older suspect was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of obstructing an officer. The 17-year-old girl was booked into the Youth Service Center for investigation of assault of an officer.

Nobody was injured during the incident, police said.

Seattle police have not reviewed the video of the incident. Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said investigators may review the video on Tuesday.

Whitcomb said the officer involved in the incident sent out a call for help, prompting other officers to rush to his aid.

All use of force on the job is reviewed, Whitcomb said, as use of force is under the officer’s discretion. He added that punching is a trained tactic.

“There will be a thorough investigation into this incident,” he said.

This was more of a case of civilian stupidity than police brutality. What’s she thinking the cop is going to do when she grabs his arm? Give her a high-five?

This isn’t another Henry Louis Gates situation where both parties contributed to a situation being blown up into a national dialogue on race and police. No beer summits here.

First, race is irrelevant here. A jaywalker is a jaywalker is a jaywalker. The cop was working alone in a situation where he had bitten off a little more than he could chew. Who knew what should be a stupid ticket turn into a viral video that will be shown over and over for the next few days?

Maybe the cop should have radioed for backup, but didn’t have the opportunity, besides who would think you’re going to need help to collar a jaywalker?

It looks bad when the cop clocks the one girl, but when she escalated the event from supporting her friend verbally to putting her hands on him, that was when his training had to kick in because the shit was getting real. I think she’s lucky he didn’t use more force because under similar circumstances I bet some cops would have shot first and explained later.

A longer version of the video shows what happened after the second girl was arrested.  Judge for yourself if the cop overreacted or his use of force was appropriate.

When the cops are in the wrong, give ’em hell. When the cops are in the right, give ’em a break. Besides letting the girls go, I’m not sure what else the police officer could have done…no, I take that back–there’s plenty more he could have done and if he had we would be debating cops gunning down jaywalkers instead.

As for those bystanders with their cell phone cameras providing a running commentary, we are a nation that likes to watch, haven’t we?

I’m not advocating cracking the heads of folks who think the cross walk is only a suggestion, but let’s use a little common sense here.  When your friend is being an idiot and talking smack to an annoyed police officer why jump in co-sign the stupidity?  Especially when that so-called “friend” is acting like a  fool and showing their butt in public. What anyone should do with a “friend” like that is let them take the ride downtown BY THEIR DAMN SELF and do them a favor by calling their ma and pa and letting them know they need to bail Pookie out of jail.

Yes, the officer punched the young woman. She attempted to intercede and stop the officer from making an arrest. She was obstructing the law and he laid down the law dead smack on the nose. BAM! ONE SHOT, KID!

I gotta give her some props. That was a pretty classic overhand right and she took it like a champ. Didn’t even knock her on her ass. They make ’em pretty tough in Seattle obviously.

Now before Al and Jesse and the other Usual Suspects parachute in to lead a one-day rally against police brutality before zooming off to their next photo-op, let’s be clear here.  Before anyone says, “He shouldn’t have hit a woman,” stop it.  Just squash that noise before you start. You’re the one being sexist here. If this was one guy coming to the aid of another guy nobody would be crying sexism.  If equality means anything it means when a woman gets stupid like this woman did, she can get her lights punched out just the same as any man.

No sexual discrimination. No double standards. Equal ass-whuppings under the law.

IF the cop had shot her or her mouthy friend, you bet I’d be all over him like a bad rash. Shooting someone for jaywalking? Nobody’s calling for that. But when you interfere with a police officer enforcing the law, you’re asking for bad things to happen to you.

It’s real easy to learn how not to get your ass kicked by the police.

Our friend who is now enjoying the hospitality of the Seattle Police Department should have paid closer attention.