- May 14, 2007
- Indianapolis, IN
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/11/02/das.../?intcmp=hplnws This is a very boring interaction; it's actually the way most events go between normal people and normal cops. But the underlying issue is how she (the self-described victim of WWB - walking while black) exaggerated the event terribly, and could have cost the officers their jobs, or at least caused severe scrutiny and undue stress. She specifically stated that they used the siren (which clearly they did not), and she believes that their motive was simply to harass a black person walking. Here is her account in the editorial of the newspaper: http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/latest...while-black.ece I fully admit that there are occasionally terrible acts that policemen commit on the undeserving; that is both a moral and legal tragedy. But this is the opposite end of the spectrum; they did their job for both her safety and the public well-being, and she blamed them for discriminating against her. When you read her account, it is laced with both direct and indirect assertions that this was racially motivated and handled. She even stopped by the Mayor's place to ask if she looks like a criminal? Really? She is certainly playing this out in a bad light, as if the cops were the problem and she was an angel. To be clear, her transgression was minor, and the best resolution was that which took place; she was simply warned on the violation and advised how to be safer. So How does that morph into harassment and discrimination? And she feels as though she is now in the good company of Trayvon Martin and Freddie Gray? (BTW - she specifically mentions Trayvon Martin is part of the basis for her fears, but the cops were never involved in that shooting death; it was neighborhood watchman Zimmerman. But she has now cataloged that event in her mind as a police action shooting, even though there were NEVER involved). And she's not some low-intelligence indigent goof-ball; she's probably not by any means a drag on society. She is a professor and dean at a college and used to edit a major newspaper. She appears to be well-spoken and likable. She's likely more educated than I, in terms of academic accomplishments. Her professional achievements might outwardly indicate she can articulately describe how life happens around her. And yet when you read her account of the encounter, it's clear she believes she was discriminated against because of her race, and she indicates that she's afraid of cops and does not want to become the next dead black person on the news. Facts: - it is apparently illegal to walk down the middle of the street in TX; that's not unique. Most states are like that. You cannot impede traffic flow. There's a statute in most every state of a similar vain. - she (Ms. Bland) was completely unaware that she caused a separate vehicle to have to yield to her, due to her violation, and that driver clearly indicated to the cops that he was perturbed by her oblivion - the cops were polite and professional; she was polite, too, but perhaps a bit incredulous that she was being harassed (in her view) - they could have taken official enforcement action; they wisely chose discretion and didn't make a federal case out of this (although her claims may well have led to a federal civil rights violation claim, if you were to believe her side of the story) - they didn't freak out when she wanted their picture; most cops are getting very used to being "on camera" in a public sense. Plus her pictures would only compliment the police video, but still pics are no where as telling as A/V capture. - did you notice there is a sidewalk on both sides of the street? And why wasn't she on the sidewalk? I'm sure we're most all able to remember the horror of the Michael Brown issue in St. Louis, right? Officer Wilson was NOT aware that Brown was suspected in the strong-arm robbery just moments before. Wilson was approaching Brown because he and a friend were walking down the middle of the street! It was only AFTER the escalation of the event, culminating in the death of Brown, that Brown's indulgence in theft came to light. Wilson was simply telling two kids to not walk in the middle of the street. Brown became agitated, and it started into a fight for life for Wilson. Then Brown broke away, but then turned and charged Wilson (despite all the hands-up hoopla lies from some bystanders ...) We all know the story. But many focus on the singular moment of tradegy and forget all that led up to the event. Brown knew he had just stolen from a store, by force, and thought he was going to jail. Wilson had no idea that Brown was involved in that event, and was only warning him to get out of the street. Brown's own actions (his fear of reprisal for theft) caused the escalation, not Wilson's. Wilson reacted to Brown's actions. So ask yourself this ... how different would this have been if Wilson had a A/V system rolling when he first came up behind Brown? How different would it have been if, even off camera, the audio would have caught the struggle at the door, the warnings of Wilson to cease, and the video of Brown (who was much larger than Wilson and had just attacked Wilson) turning in defiance to charge Wilson? I can tell you from my interactions it's becoming VERY common for people of all walks of life (pardon the pun there) to think that the street is their own personal medium for whatever they think is valid, as if it were somehow an extension of their private dwelling. People nowadays walk down the middle of the street, even if a sidewalk is present. People walk on the incorrect side of the road. People (too lazy to get out of their car) will pull up to the mailbox (going the wrong way against traffic) rather than just park in the drive and walk to the mailbox. Kids skateboard and such in the street and act as if the passing vehicles are intruding on their right to just hang out ... It is also not at all rare to have third-party complaints about people that the subject/suspect is completely unaware of. Often people will be doing "nothing wrong" (in their mind), but someone else contacts law enforcement to complain. An example would be young kids ridding dirt-bikes on suburban side-streets. The kids think they are fine. The parents think they are OK because it's really just a cul-de-sac or such, but what they are unaware of is that it's illegal, and someone actually called and complained. But when a cop shows up to stop the activity, the subjects act as if the cop is singling them out for just relaxing on their dead-end street. How dare he? After all, if the family doesn't mind, then all the neighbors cannot possibly mind either, right? I have news for many of you; your neighbors "rat you out" (the colloquial term often cited by the violators) are most often the ones that call to complain. They won't 'fess up to your face, but their call is on record in the dispatch room! And so your perception is that cops are out to get you, when in reality we are serving the public complaint. Do you recall the youtube videos of Eric Garner being "choked" in NYC this past year? The public videos were greatly edited to make the cops look bad; they deleted the repeated warnings by police for Garner to cease and comply. They never included the complaints of the shop-keepers about Garner's presence. They were a one-sided view of the police "attacking" Garner. Go back and watch them now that the drama has subsided; use your intellect and ask what is NOT included in the public inflammatory videos. If the cops had body cameras, then they would have showed a very different perspective. They are not, by law, allowed to edit or otherwise alter any recording of the event; it's seen in it's entirety. But because the cops didn't have A/V equipment, only the youtube viewpoint became prominent, and so they came under a terrible light. Every cop should have access to A/V recording equipment. It will exonerate them FAR MORE OFTEN than it would convict them, because the VAST majority of the time, cops do the right thing. A/V recordings will support good officers, convict bad officers, and just maybe cause the "iffy" cops to act appropriately, because they know they are being recorded. Bottom line is this; it really is a "he said; she said" world. And the best way to find the truth is to go to the tape and review the call, to put it in a sports perspective. But the only way to accomplish this is to have the A/V data in the first place! At least this time, the cops were proven right. But how many times will this story be broadcast across the national news? How diligently will the media investigate this? Will this consume the national spot-light for weeks on end? Nope. Because her lies don't fit the narrative of oppression and discrimination.