Thursday, June 17, 2010

think of black people as hyper-aggressive and physically tough

Here's a video of police-and-citizen interaction that's been making the rounds lately. The commentary everywhere seems to center around the questions of whether the white cop here did anything wrong, and whether the two black teenagers did anything wrong (aside from their initial offense -- jaywalking).

A different question came to mind for me as I watched; it's the same question asked by M, an swpd reader who wrote to me about this incident -- "Would he have punched that blonde white woman standing in the background like that?"




Again, would this police officer have punched that blonde white woman standing in the background like that?

We can never know for sure, of course. However, as M wrote to me in his email about this officer's "lack of hesitancy in striking that black woman in the face,"

The “ingrained” white truth is that black women aren't human enough to garner the same respect a white woman would in that situation. He didn't hesitate did he? I mean, he punched her right in the face like a man. We've seen it countless times -- he would have talked to the white woman -- he would have gone out of his way not to bring harm to her delicate features. I have never seen a white police officer punch a white woman in the face, now that I think about it.

I would bet that the question of whether this police officer, and most others, would punch a white woman (or man) like that, as readily as he did a black woman, is far less likely to occur to white viewers than non-white ones. The latter tend to have more direct or indirect experience with police brutality, and they also tend to know that perceptions of race have an awful lot to do with that difference.

And again, the question I'm interested in here is not whether either party did the right thing (so no comments about that, please); instead, it's whether a white police officer would be as likely to treat white citizens this way. Actually, to me, that's not an open question -- the general racial disparity in the treatment of suspects by police is widely known (among non-white people) and widely documented.

A further factor here is the supposed toughness of black women, and the supposed delicacy of white women. I suspect this white officer threw that punch so quickly -- more quickly than he would have had the receiving face been white -- because something in him said that black women can take it. And worse, that black people often "need" to be treated like that, because "that's the only way to get through to them."

The reader who wrote to me about this video also sent this tv-show clip for comparison (the show is identified at YouTube as "Smoking Gun's World's Dumbest Partiers"). Here, a white person, labeled "Bubba" by the show's writers, does something far worse than the above black jaywalker did, and yet the police officer practices amazing restraint. I doubt that's just because he's dazed by what happens.




White people clearly tend to believe that black people, both men and women (and children), are more able to withstand physical punishment. They also tend to fear black people -- because we've been trained to perceive them as dangerous and hyper-aggressive, but also, I think, because we suspect that in a confrontation, they'd take our hits better than we'd take theirs.

As M wrote,

White men do not fear other white males to the point of shooting first and asking questions later. Do you think this white police officer would be as patient and careful with his gun if that had been a black male? He was violently attacked from behind and Bubba just kept coming. He did not use his weapon even though he was at risk. He even went on to intervene on the man's behalf, sparing his life. . . .

I think this is why so many blacks males get shot down by white officers who hail from the suburbs, and white males don’t. It is a fear of the unknown. Most don’t know black males personally/intimately, so they have learned to fear the black male, based upon anecdotal information gleaned from friends and the mainstream media. Best to shoot first and ask questions later.

POC see this all the time.


I think a good research study would be to show these two videos to "subjects" from different racial backgrounds, and then analyze their expressed reactions. I can guess what the results would be. After all, as brain research shows, white people lack empathy for people who aren't white.

98 comments:

  1. There was an article about this incident on BBC News. ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/us_and_canada/10336500.stm )
    From article:
    Seattle police officers' guild president Richard O'Neill said officers were wary of crowds that could turn violent.
    "This officer, if you see on the video, was surrounded by an ever-growing group," he said. "This could have been a tragedy."


    The vast majority of people watching are many meters away and keeping their distance. Additionally, the tone of the article plus O'Neill's statement made it sound like the cop was surrounded by 50 people or something! Not at all the case! I have trouble believing that the cop would have been so "frightened" by a crowd that he felt the need to punch someone in the face if the crowd had been mostly white instead of mostly black. So, not only does the tendency to "think of black people as hyper-aggressive and physically tough" cause the kind of violence perpetrated against the two black women, but it also gives a hint as to why the white cop was apparently shaking in his knickers about the (mostly black) onlookers.
    To Officer Ian Walsh:
    (1) a black woman trying to deescalate a violent situation by getting between the manhandled and the manhandler != the Hulk, about to beat you to a pulp
    (2) a group of black people congregating != angry mob about to beat you to a pulp

    I wish that the white woman in the background had gotten involved because (a) white people need to stop sitting on their asses and do something and (b) it would have shown us the contrast in how this officer behaves towards POC v. whites very clearly, methinks...

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  2. Cops are trained to handle matters like this. If a cop cannot contain his temper while dealing with an aggressive female, then he/she has no right to be a cop, period.

    A woman shoved him to defend her friend... and he punched her in the face? WTF?!

    This is the reason many people don't trust cops, this is why cops are widely hated by people of color.

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  3. You know, I've been reading a lot of commentary on this video and the reactions have been predictable at best. Basically some people are defending the cops actions, because the girls were "aggressive". The girls heightened the the already tense situation.

    hmmm.

    All this rhetorical sounds vaguely familiar.

    *taps chin*

    Oh! I know why, its because it places blame directly on the black females because their mere existence forced the white cop to be aggressive with them. Because aggression is the only way they'll comprehend the law.

    *rolls eyes*

    Cause you know us black females have bones made out of steel, skin of teflon, and a mind as stubborn as an ox.

    Were they in the wrong for jay walking? Yes. (Who the hell hasn't, except for Mr. Rogers?) Would he have handled the situation differently if the same group of girls were white? I'm inclined to say yes. I've seen it, happen before. Even when some black people remain calm and agreeable, some white cops are ready for a fight and they get even more pissed off when they don't get one.

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  4. This clip devastated me when I first saw it. I live in seattle and moved here from Houston, TX where I saw scenes like this on a regular basis. It was so similar to an incident exactly like the above that I was actually triggered by this clip and cried for a few hours. I remember how helpless and stunned I felt. None of us had video cell phones then.

    What's even more disturbing is that this kind of treatment by Seattle PD is becoming more and more common, or at least more often documented. A recent incident that went viral on the news here was a video from inside the precinct. An officer is shutting a young, small framed teenaged girl of color in a containment cell. She appears to kick her shoe off at him as he closes the door. He charges back into the cell full force, grabs her by the hair and slams her to the ground. His partner restrains her arms while he punches her head several times.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dj10nO45vek

    This officer claimed he "feared" for his safety when the girl "attacked" him by kicking her shoe at him. And that she had been "verbally antagonistic" and non-compliant in her arrest up until that point. Because that kind of behavior is unheard of in jail, I imagine!!

    But what sickened me most were the comments on the news sites and the youtube vids on both of these clips. The laughter, the obvious delight in seeing young black girls getting a beatdown, and the immediate focus on what they must have done to deserve it.

    What white people NEVER seem to understand is that this is the kind of behavior POC actually EXPECT from police officers. These aren't rare anomalous instances of police brutality. This happens on a regular basis. We've seen it with our own eyes time and again. We are actually raised from an early age to comport ourselves in as docile a manner as possible whenever the cops are around, because the second you don't, the above is what will happen to you or much worse.

    WP simply do not understand the fear POC communities carry when it comes to police authority. Even middle and upperclass POC's. When stuff like this happens to us It's always "well they must have done SOMETHING to make him go off like that..." yeah, its called being POC. Even as WP blithely engage in the same and worse behaviors that might otherwise lead to police confrontation, they will openly defy authority figures as a Rite of Passage even. (How many white kids do you know who go thru a "shoplifting phase" for example? And they LAUGH about it later)...

    I digress. If you want to see what Institutionalized Racism looks like, this is it folks. Whatever you think the girls should have done or not done to de-escalate the situation, think long and hard about why otherwise petty offenses would regularly be punished with such violence.

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  5. All this for jaywalking? I bet the interaction that led up to this situation would be even more telling.

    Not only did he punch her, but he inappropriately touched her. This video breaks my heart. He completely ignores the pleas all of the other calm human beings and proceeds to slam her about like she's big and muscular for some reason. It is very obvious to me that a white woman would NOT be treated this violently (at least, not a young and attractive one-- considering that this woman IS young and attractive, racism is obviously the factor here).

    This officer clearly used his authority to overwhelm a woman he wouldn't have taken such liberties to if she were white. It's obvious to me that this bozo was on a power trip. I do not trust the police.

    I remember my whole life my stance on the police were "they are helpful! They help people who follow the rules!" Then, briefly out of high school, I was arrested on incredibly frivolous charges and mistreated (I wasn't read my rights, either-- like this poor woman, but I was not treated nearly as badly). Thankfully, the district attorney dropped my case over the phone-- do you think she would have done that had I had a black accent? Hmph.

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  6. @Jane Laplain,

    I'd forgotten that one was in Seattle too. So was this one.

    And white people tend to think of Seattle as such a nice place!

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  7. My daughter went to the high school close to where this happened. Every day at the time this occurred, hundreds of kids cross the street(jaywalking) to catch a bus. There is a perfectly servicable overpass, but it takes kids out of their way PAST the bus stop, so many of them just run out into the street. And Seattle HATES jaywalkers. The cops set up stings all over the city to catch these brazen criminals. And they're not nice about it.

    A couple of years ago, another cop got into trouble for lining a group of Asian kids up against the wall as they jaywalked after a baseball game. He was screaming at them, making racist remarks, so yeah-nothing about this incident surprises me.

    Now, about my daughter. She's blond and blue-eyed. Now 20, she recently was skateboarding at a naerby park (not far from the high school) past the time it was supposed to be open. A cop politely told her she needed to leave and reminded her that it wasn't safe to be there alone after dark. Yet her black friends can list time after time when they've been hasseled by the police. So I think she'd have been treated very differently had she been one of the girls in question.

    I also want to mention something about this part of Seattle. It's becoming gentrified and the new residents have been complaining loudly about the jaywalkers. A local (white) blog posted about tihs incident and nearly every one of the 60+ comments were in support of the cop. Some suggest the girl wasn't hit hard enough, one that "it would be funny" if the girl gets run over in a couple weeks.

    Yup-fun place to live, I tell you. I look at my other daughter, who is biracial, and I worry.

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  8. I agree with you Macon, absolutely.

    White men do hit white women. But the particular manner and context of this cop's behaviour clearly indicate something beyond that.

    Normally you think a male police officer would be inhibited by several factors. Firstly, it's a woman. Secondly, cops are trained to handle themselves under pressure; I'm sure he would have previously faced more trying situations than that and still controlled himself. Thirdly, there are people watching.

    Had it been a retaliatory push rather than a punch, it could possibly be understood (but not condoned) in the circumstances. But to punch someone in that manner requires a serious degree of contempt, and a serious degree of "othering".

    To a racist mind, a black woman is not really a woman (and thus not really deserving of the courtesies usually afforded to women), because a black person is not really a fully-fledged human being.

    To be honest, I would have been shocked if he had punched a white MAN in that way, let alone a woman.

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  9. I am a long time lurker, but I think I might have something (hopefully constructive) to add.

    I'm from Pittsburgh and we are the only municipality in the state that mandates our police force live within the city limits. I'm unsure how prevalent laws like this our across the country, but for my state it is certainly unique. The rationale behind it is that it helps retain the tax base and, more importantly, it forces the police to be "part of the community."

    Part of the community is how it is always phrased, but I think the meaning behind the meaning is "so they will be more comfortable living amongst a diverse population." The city of Pittsburgh is around 30% Black, the county surrounding it is a little over 10%, so it would be very easy for the cops to move to all-white suburbs just outside the city. Its legality is currently being challenged (for god knows what reason) by a very awful, very Republican state senator from the 'burbs.

    However, I'm not sure that this law has made our cops any more sensitive or enlightened than any others. I think the force is more diverse, which is a great thing, but racism and profiling aren't just the purview of those that live in the suburbs. Anyways, I just wanted to throw in my two cents (in reaction to Macon quoting M in his article) about how geography, and who you interact with everyday, colors your thinking (no pun intended). While I'm not sure if Pittsburgh's residency requirement goes a long way toward making white cops more understanding and less likely to be overreacting assholes, I'm almost certain that if they were allowed to "escape" to the suburbs it would be worse.

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  10. I'm sure that the aggressive/tough stereotype is in play here, but I suspect it boils down to not seeing POC as fully human.

    I have no doubt that this same guy would swear that he would *never* strike a woman. But it's not a WOC he'd be picturing when he said it...

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  11. A few months ago there was a video of a drunk white college boy getting beaten up by riot police after he approached a cop on that was on a horse and taunted him. All the comments on CNN were in support of the white male victim. Now contrast that with the comments on any Black victim of police brutality.

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  12. @Caribelle
    Yup, I've been pretty much been seeing the same thing on the internet. One commenter on Huffington Post made a comment that "When you act like an animal, you get treated like one"--once again this is enforcing the belief that blacks and other POC aren't human.

    Of course when one commenter brought up the fact that if the cop had been black and punched "a blonde and blue-eyed girl" he would have gotten hell for it, the commenter got accused of "race-baiting" . One commenter said that a white girl wouldn't have acted that way--disgusting.

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  13. "To protect and serve".

    Isn't this the police's motto over in America?

    However, it never fails to amaze me the amount of racism we continue to see from America.

    Personally, I couldn't live over there, the place is just too rough. The police are unruly and think they can do as they please and of course they get away with it.

    They arrest people for jaywalking, a bogus 'crime' while real criminals are running around the streets selling drugs, killing people, rape, stealing, child abuse and goodness knows what else, but some teenage girls are being arrested for Jaywalking? Not only has this man escalated a situation that could have been dealt with in a completely different and calm manner.

    Sometimes, unfortunately, you can see the racism quite blatantly from white people. If these girls were white, he would have reacted in a completely different manner and I'm sure would have been more cool, calm and collected.

    Police brutality is not a new thing in America. The police think they can do what they like. If these girls had been guys, would he have thrown a punch in the same way? I guess he would have been given a good beating himself.

    Another problem is that some of the people in America are so brainwashed and stupid that when things like this happen, they will sie with te police, until it's their turn of course.

    I think like one song says, "...the gun and badge shit is going to their head".

    I think this police officer should take up a career in boxing. Would be nice to see how far he would get fighting real men instead of beating up young girls.

    Just unbelievable.

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  14. I understand this attitude about black [females] all too well. I remember having a discussion with a white male *friend* (snicker?) of mine in high school, who proudly declared that he would not hesitate or feel bad about hitting a black girl because they're not as "delicate" as other females. They're masculine. I was done with him after that conversation.

    In one of the recent seasons of Survivor, a white male contestant tackled a small, black female contestant with the type of aggression reserved for football players. When she confronted him, he pretty much dismissed her as "ghetto" and "bad-smelling."

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  15. Oh, did I mention my mom used to work for a white employer who wanted her and the other black employees to do ALL the physical labor because according to her"that's what blacks were made for."

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  16. @ Abinger

    Do you mind telling me where this intersection is exactly? Which bus line(s) or bus stop are the kids trying to get to? Feel free to reach me on my email its janelaplain at yahoo.

    As it turns out my boyfriend has a few connections to the Seattle Dept of Transportation (as I just now found out in conversation with him, go figure) and he says he's willing to talk to anyone he knows who might be in a position to put some pressure on either Seattle Metro to evaluate the bus stop and see if there is a way to create a non-violent disincentive to jaywalk there. (Such as changing the route or moving the stop or building more crosswalks).

    I find it interesting that whenever a neighborhood is being gentrified the police are usually the first point of access for the newcomers. In this case, at least some of them are probably just as or even better "networked" into the city's governing resources than my boyfriend, and could easily come up with non-violent alternatives to increase the safety of their "new" community. But noooo, why do that when you can have the police come in and bash our dusky little heads in instead? ARGH.

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  17. [Will, those comments would be derailing -- think about it.]

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  18. @M, who said Most don’t know black males personally/intimately, so they have learned to fear the black male, based upon anecdotal information gleaned from friends and the mainstream media. Best to shoot first and ask questions later.:

    Unfortunately, it's not quite that straightforward. The research that shows that white cops are quicker to shoot black people also shows that black cops are quicker to shoot black people. I'm not saying this as a way of saying OMG BLACK PEOPLE DO IT TOO, I'm saying it because I think it's an important point that internalized racism (which is, of course, a white-created system) has created a situation where PoC are at greater risk from cops, period. Even when we white people aren't the active instigators, the pervasiveness of these cultural attitudes means the dirty work often continues even when we whiteys aren't the ones behind the gun (or fist).

    Presumably most of those black cops have been raised around other black males, so "the problem is that white males don't know enough black males, so they're going by what they've learned from the culture/media" doesn't hold, because those black cops have developed the same problem despite their likely real-life experience with other black people. I think the real issue is the pervasive and unending exposure to cultural racist perceptions on that subconscious/instinctual level, and in danger situations that programming overcomes even one's real-life awareness. :/ I wish I could hope that diversity programs and everything else had the possibility to change the situation, that if white cops just had more positive exposures, this sort of situation would be less frequent; but I think it's a much, much deeper problem than that, and it won't be fixed until our overall societal attitudes get fixed.

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  19. I'm sorry, but as a woman, if I was just jaywalking and this cop was aggressively grabbing at me, I'd put up a struggle too! And if I were a black woman, I'd struggle HARDER. Because I already DO NOT TRUST a white, privileged, male cop to respect my body as a woman. And I'd DOUBLY not trust a white male cop to respect my body if I were a black woman. NO FUCKING WAY.

    It's a scary situation, because ALL of those people watching should have known it was wrong, but what are your RIGHTS when it comes to defending yourself and others against police brutality?? People must freeze up just out of a total lack of agency. THAT GUY HAS A GUN! And the way he's acting, I do NOT trust him not to pull it.

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  20. There's no question that if it was me or a fellow white woman in the same situation we would not be punched for a light push in the back. We would have been given extensive warnings, yelled at, and at most pushed back. If the crowd was filled a majority of white people, the police would have never used the excuse that it was turning dangerous, and could have ended up in a tragedy.

    The comments in a predominantly white sports forum online I visit have been disgusting. The use of bitches to describe the two teenage girls, saying they're lucky that's all they got, that they should have been legswept into the cement, and sarcastic comments that this "of course this must have been racially-motivated LOLOLOLOL".

    What really stood out, besides the punch, was how distraught the young girl being arrested was.. and how it was obvious this was not a new experience to her - this mistreatment by police, this fear of the police for something so simple as jaywalking, of being racially profiled. It was heartbreaking to know at only 19 (I believe she is 19, and her cousin who got punched being 17) that this emotional turmoil wasn't new.. and how much toil this must toil this must take on her soul. And other young (and old) People of Color around the world experience similar situations, and how they have to deal with it. How does a human being learn to deal with constant emotional (and physical) pain from such a young age?

    How does that pain and emotional scarring get healed? Does it ever?

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  21. ahh ..
    After a few minutes of shoving that girl around a crowd gathers and people start to yell at the police officer to leave her alone.

    Anyone else hear the police officer say 'she's got a gun' - just before sticking his hand down the back of her pants

    And hear the background people yell.. No she doesn't?

    Macon
    - verdana 11pt is a lot more readable
    - this might also help: http://bit.ly/1fx3n

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  22. @robin.. its called institutionalised racism

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  23. [thanks soul, verdana it is! don't know what to make of those color schemes, though.]

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  24. Rage. Just, rage here.

    Anti-police mentality in the black/"minority"/urban communities my ass when the police themselves teach you not to trust them. White and otherwise.

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  25. (Yes, this is relevant here--I suspect the false perception of Black people being hyper-agressive has a lot to do with the reasons for this data)(@ Macon, feel free not to post it if you don't think it's relevant or if there's a massive HTML fail)

    NYC tabulates the race of the people subject to the "stop and frisk" policy (meaning, the police just come up to someone walking on the sidewalk) of the police. In 2007:

    --Whites are arrested (versus stopped) at nearly twice the rate of POC (33% vs 60%) (I did math, so this could be wrong) So, twice as likely to have drugs/weapons/etc on them.
    --2004-thus far in 2010, ~90% of people stopped have been completely innocent.

    From 2004:
    --Cops found guns, drugs, or stolen property on whites about twice as often as they did on Black suspects.
    --Whites were stopped on suspicion of possessing a weapon at a rate lower than their weapon-possession arrest rate. Blacks were stopped on suspicion of possessing a weapon at a rate greater than their weapon-possession arrest rate.
    --45% of Blacks and Latinos who were stopped were also frisked, compared with only 29% of whites.
    --Police used force, e.g. handcuffing, frisking, drawing weapon, restraining, ~50% more often on Blacks than on whites (2006)

    Read the whole thing (PDF file)

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  26. I watched that on the news last night and I immediately thought about how her race played a role in that. Jaywalking? Really? That's what we're doing now? We're treating jaywalkers like hardened criminals and then when they get pissed at us, we're beating them like they're grown men. A white woman would have been cuffed and pushed to sit on the curb or shoved in the back of the squad car until the proper paperwork could be filled out. There is soooooooooo much evidence of how unruly white women are treated by white cops that it's undeniable that her race got her punched in the face.

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  27. [jb, he's "close to being overwhelmed"?!

    no.

    uh uh.]

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  28. "close to being overwhelmed"??? The hell??

    This cop is in NO WAY concerned about the crowd of onlookers. Cops are trained to always be aware of their surroundings and to keep people away from their gun side. Notice how he ALLOWS the onlookers to surround and approach him at points. This is NOT how officers are trained. This says to me that he is in no way intimidated by the crowd, and solely focused on subduing the girl.

    And its not like she was trying to run away either. She was refusing to be cuffed. The officer was focused only on cuffing her, not on the wasnt even too concerned about the girl who PUSHED him in her attempt to intervene, not after he punched her and slammed her around a bit, and honestly I think he became even more focused on cuffing the first girl as punishment for what the girl in pink did.

    My interpretation of course, but you can't claim from this clip that he was demonstrating any sort of heightened awareness of the situation or that the crowd was being aggressive towards him.

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  29. The fact that the situation got this far shows that something is wrong with this cop. He is obviously not able to do his job without letting things escalate. Those are reasons enough for his firing without even getting into the rest of it (manhandling someone for jaywalking, punching someone who was not attacking him and who was not endangering his life, sexual harassment via inappropriately touching one of the girls). And if he's letting it get to this point because of the girl's race, all the more reason for him to be removed. Is anything being done about this guy? I'm guessing no.

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  30. I was struck by how calm the crowd was -- they were respectfully vocal and did not threaten the cop or get in his space, so I find it hilarious that people would use the crowd as a reason why the cop felt overwhelmed.

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  31. I am disgusted by everyone in that whole dispute. The people involved, the people just walking through and doing nothing, the people recording the high pressure, high drama situation. It's absolutely ridiculous. If that cop was like any of the cops in Maryland, he would have stopped these "jaywalkers" with 7-10 cops in tow. They travel in packs here and for the dumbest stuff. But for them to catch any one of the rapists roaming around on the Univ. of MD campus is a challenge. Sorry about that side note.

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  32. Wow! That was really unnecessary for jaywalking! The comparisons you made reminded me of the What Would You Do episode on ABC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNu-WZdHzaA and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIVgMvuCM_k&feature=related, in which there was both white teenage vandals and black teenage vandals. The people in the neighborhood were quick to call the police on the black boys, but not the white boys. It was really sad! Someone even called the police on black guys sleeping in car nearby when the white boys were vandalizing a car.

    Also, there is another story of a black boy with autism who was walking in a neighborhood and someone called the police saying that he had a gun (which he did not). Eight schools were shutdown and the police caught up with the boy and arrested him for nothing (they claim he resisted arrest and fought back). Here is the article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ken-reibel/teen-with-aspergers-arres_b_610530.html?ref=twitter

    For POC, we live in a police state.

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  33. The entire video really upsets me.

    The video didn't catch the first part of the incident, but why did that officer even have his hands on the woman? Doesn't jaywalking at worst result in a ticket?

    If the officer really felt threatened by the crowd, shouldn't he have called for backup then? I find it really difficult to believe that with his vehicle right there, he couldn't have quickly exited the scene instead of punching the woman like that.

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  34. @ the science girl

    2:30 man yells "beat his ass"

    but i guess we see what we want to see.

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  35. I just wanted to apologize for the typo I made earlier. I was reading through the thread and realized that I said "Not only did he punch her, but he inappropriately touched her," when I meant to say "Not only did he punch her, but he inappropriately touched her friend."

    I haven't been able to stop thinking of this video. It's horrible.

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  36. @jas0n, I didn't hear that comment. Not because I didn't want to but because the sound is crappy. But thanks for your helpful contribution to the conversation.

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  37. I think if they were white girls, the cop would've either showed more restraint or would've let them go with a warning or just let them go period.

    I also want to point out that it was no surprise that some people believed that the officers were using good judgment. I read one comment that read that the officer should've "shot the b*tch."

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  38. Well, I came back to add to my comment...

    America is supposed to be one of the most sought after places to live on the planet, illegal immigrants apparently flocking in by the truckload (why I wonder), a first world (allegedly), highly developed (so we are told) part of the world, yet the place is full of barbaric acts.

    I would expect to see this sort of brutality elsewhere around the world, not in America.

    If it's not the politician's over there trying to beat up students for asking simple questions, then it's the police beating up teenagers and finishing off where the politician's left off and taking their frustrations out on the innocent.

    At the beginning of June a cyclist was kicked by LAPD at an anti-BP protest for no apparent reason. If these people are frustrated, why don't they just find other work instead of taking out their frustrations on innocent people? I mean it's not these people who are to blame for their low wages for goodness sake.

    The country is just too barbaric for my taste, one of the last places I personally would want to live!

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  39. Jaywalking.

    In the UK, people cross the road at the wrong spot all day, everyday. Does it mean that they should get punched in the face for that?

    The problem with America and police is general is that they will never apprehend true criminals, they always look for the easy work or should I say the easy target, bullying the weak. I see it all the time.

    Just so scandalous.

    Of course, on Youtube, you always have the highly uneducated with their racist comments, saying things like monkey and so on.

    I think that place is emotionally bankrupt, something to do with the culture of the place, I suppose.

    Will covert and blatant racism ever end there, I wonder?

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  40. Thank you so much for writing this, I completely agree with you. I don't believe that 17 year old white girl would have been punched like that.
    I don't condone their behavior, their parents need to teach them police etiquette if only to save them from being killed (not to mention civility). But while I think their behavior was outrageous, I have no doubt that they would have been handled differently were it not for the melanin in their skin.

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  41. So far I read that Seattle PD believes that the cop's actions were "appropriate". It's awful to see people willfully blind themselves to VIDEO evidence of police brutality by coming up with lame excuses (the girls were being "aggressive"; the crowd was getting "dangerous").
    And this cop would definitely have acted more civilly towards white girls.
    There was another news item recently about a 14-year old black kid getting arrested for being a good samaritan. Basically he was trying to help this lost little girl find her mother in the store but was then arrested by cops because people thought he was "abducting" her:

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/views/os-mike-thomas-juvenile-arrest-06151020100615,0,4905741.column?ik

    So now POC's run the risk of getting arrested for not only minor issues (like jaywalking) but also for doing good deeds too!

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  42. To R:

    I just read about that. It's getting sickening. I guess to this society, black folks can do no right no matter how hard we try.

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  43. This is *way* none of my business, so feel free to ignore me if you find it inappropriate, but does anyone know if the young woman is all right physically (even I can guess the 'emotional reaction' part)? All I've seen just ends with, "They were arrested." And I worry anytime someone has a head injury...

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  44. Soul.... it sounded to me like the girl said something about him hitting her cousin and he said "she tried to grab me" then the people yelled, "no she didn't"... It doesn't really matter WHAT was said though, there was NO REASON for him to PUNCH someone in the face because she was trying to defend her friend. If a civilian punched a woman, his ass would be arrested. A police officer should be held to an even higher standard. There is NO WAY a police officer would have done that to a white girl... and, the news is talking about a "hostile" crowd.... huh??? Those few onlookers seem EXTREMELY calm to me... in fact, on of my friends told me he was mad because no one kicked the cops ass for punching the girl!

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  45. "The video didn't catch the first part of the incident, but why did that officer even have his hands on the woman? Doesn't jaywalking at worst result in a ticket"
    iirc, he tried to issue them a ticket, at which point they badmouthed him and tried to leave, and when he tried to stop them the situation escalated.

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  46. asl, Pittsburgh is not the only municipality in the state of PA that requires the cops to live within the city limits. Philadelphia does the same thing (my mother's a retired PPD officer).

    I'm not surprised at this video nor the obviously white comments. White people continue to fail at life on a daily basis. Yes, it's a a blanket statement; but, until I have a reason to rescind it, I won't. Keeping earning the mistrust and hatred by others.

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  47. I lived in Seattle for about 3 years and left because it was racist. It's the creepy form that manifests in white liberalism, and it's scary there. I worry and talk to my friends over there about it alot, and this video only goes to show that I was justified...

    I think there is also an issue beyond the treatment of black people at play here. Everyone's noted that it was a case of jaywalking that led to this incident, and I see this to be indicative of the use of the "law" to overpower and subdue people of color in general. POCs are consistently expected to follow the law to the letter, while white people are given leeway because "we can see why they're doing that" (read "we" in whichever way you wish as I, too, was once of such a terrible mindset). The law is used as a whip for POCs, to discipline imperfect bodies into the white ideal, or as close to it as possible.

    @Mel
    The crowd did do something, they yelled out and didn't posse up on the cop, they recorded and posted the video to report injustice to the general public, and they did not act in the violent manner that people so frequently "expect" black people (the majority in the surrounding crowd from what I remember of the video) to react in.

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  48. PlusSizedWomanistJune 17, 2010 at 9:27 PM

    @Soul
    I TOTALLY peeped the lying ass cop saying "she's got a gun!!!"

    And of course a white girl would NEVER get punched in the face by a cop without SERIOUS repercussions coming down on his ass.

    There was a white female bartender that was beaten by a Chicago police officer couple years back because she stopped serving him drinks. The media made SURE to place emphasis on the fact that she was much smaller than him and how badly she got hurt, and so many people jumped to her defense, saying how despicable he was for doing it.

    Contrast that with any time a police officer beats a black woman. Every time: "that b**** is lucky the cop didn't shoot her ugly a**" or something to that nature.

    I, as a black woman, have not trusted cops because they are shit on every level. At the age of 16, I was stopped and frisked by police while walking to a train station because I "didn't look like I belonged." The officers were rude and I felt violated and humiliated. Black women are not deemed human by whites, which is why it's so easy for us to be pulled over/harassed.

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  49. Oh, geez, I spelled my name wrong. That's embarrassing. (8:04 PM is me, y'all)

    I wonder what would have happened if the *crowd* had been majority white people...

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  50. In another blog about this subject I remember somebody mentioning how hard a time the officer was having with the two FAT black girls. I had to watch the video again because I saw one big girl, and one skinny girl. A girl who if he wasn't just trying to slam her around he SHOULD have been able to control easily. If she is "fighting" restrain her by the arms, like you saw done to the white male in the other video. If you look the cop reached for his arms to restrain him first.

    As for the person who mentioned black officers shoot and manhandle black people to there is a reason for that. When a white person in law enforcement(all the way up) sees a white kid they see themselves at a young age, or their little brother/sister. They see a cousin or family member so they give them the benefit of the doubt. A benefit a person of color doesn't get.

    The Black or minority law enforcement official sees a problem. Either they know they will be blamed for "going easy on criminals" which could cost them their jobs. Or else they are scared that people will connect the criminal with them and wonder how long before they screw up. So the harder you punish someone who looks like you the easier you are to trust.

    The only time white kids understood how it felt to be a black teen was when those kids in PA were getting sent to that new juvenile facility that had been built. It was a private jail and it needed bodies, so basic misdemeanors things they would have gotten community service for, they were getting pretty much 11 months and 29 days. The only thing more important then white skin it appears is dollar bills.

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  51. Womanist, I really do not mean to directly contradict you, but in this case the internet media is putting a lot of focus on the fact that she was a teenager. Rather or not that suggest that they are "just kids" or they are "damn hooligans." I don't know.

    Another question I ask, WHY wasn't there any back-up? Right or wrong, with a struggle like that he should have called for someone to help him calm the already tense situation so everybody can figure out what's going one without anybody being socked.

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  52. I know two black women who were punched in the face by white guys - not cops, and not during a fight. One was my older sister who was waiting in line at a club and a white couple butted in line in front of her and her friends. She called them on it, and the guy turned around and punched her in the face. This was years ago, in a small city in Ontario Canada and as far as I know, no one did a damn thing. My sister only told me about the incident a couple of years after the fact.

    Almost the same situation happened to a friend of mine from high school. In both cases, they didn't go to the cops - perhaps because both my sister and my friend had been previously harassed by cops - my sister got a ticket for jaywalking - on a small street in the same city. What has stayed with me over the years about these situations is that both women - even though they explicity never said - felt that they were somehow responsible. they were embarassed and ashamed over what happened, verus the very real issue of these motherfucking crackers thinking that they were justified in what they did.

    With everying going on in the news, coupled with the above video, I am so full of hatred, so weary of the blatant disrespect that is given to black women and other POC's I find myself wondering sometimes if white folks are just plain evil. Or if we are ever going to see a 'sea change' in people's behaviour in our lifetimes.

    I'm also tired of feeling that I have to prove that not only am I not an 'animal,' but that I am a fully functioning, intelligent human being that deserves the same amount of respect as anyone else. I don't really comprehend how some white folks - and women are just as evil as white dudes - can continously justify their pathologically evil behaviour. Sorry for any typos, and the rant.....I'm just fed up!

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  53. @Joanna and PlusSized...

    I listened to it again and I think you are right Joanna, my bad.

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  54. "There was another news item recently about a 14-year old black kid getting arrested for being a good samaritan."

    We have a word for this kind of thing where I'm from: 'bullshit'. This is going to end up psychologically scarring that kid for life. He did what he thought was the right thing to do, he was trying to help, and the lost child was returned to her mother. It's blatantly obvious he had no malicious intent and he wasn't going to do anything to hurt this child or keep her away from her mother.

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  55. "...and, the news is talking about a "hostile" crowd.... huh???"

    If by 'hostile' they mean 'pointing out how this officer is brutalizing the two women involved and procuring video evidence', then yeah, I'd say that's 'hostile'.

    But seriously. The only aggressive comment I hear from the crowd is the one guy who says 'beat his ass' around 2:30. I assume the media wants to spin and inflate that one stupid comment into the entire crowd saying things like that, even though it is obvious that this crowd is NOT hostile. Angry and upset, yes and rightly so, but not hostile. I say that one comment is stupid not because I feel like this officer doesn't deserve an assbeating for what he's done, but because yelling that kind of thing in this situation isn't going to help, it's just going to get used by the media in an attempt to sway the opinions of readers/viewers against the victims.

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  56. I just read another article that felt *very very* similar to this one, where a pregnant woman was tackled IN THE HOSPITAL by police because they'd pulled her over for a traffic violation (which she'd done because she was in labor and bleeding, and therefore rushing to get the hospital, it's SHOCKING that she'd want to go to the hospital, no?), and was a little upset that the blogger writing about it (it's a feminist site) didn't see fit to include the fact that the woman was black (or to talk about the fact that this is the type of violence that is WAY more likely to be targeted at women of color than at white women).

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  57. I'm late to this party, but besides expressing outrage and agreeing with pretty much everyone in this thread that race is a huge factor in this, I want to raise a somewhat different point. I'm a bit bothered by the "stuff other people do" character of this thread, which I guess happens because if you try to explain what might have been happening in the officer's mind, it seems to sound like justifying it, which it wrong. But I read Malcolm Gladwell's Blink last week and am reading Leowen's Sundown Towns now as well as a novel by Kerberla Roby where discrimination is a major theme, so how discrimination happens is very much on my mind. What bothers me about this thread is the presumption of intentionality in many comments; this bothers me because it implies that only intentional racists can do something bad like this, not us unintentional racists. The officer could certainly be an out and out self-conscious racist (or a woman-beater, for that matter). And Seattle or this officer could easily be enforcing the jaywalking ordinances more on Blacks than Whites. But it is also possible that unconscious racism kicked in and contributed to an escalating scenario. This is where Gladwell's section on how your brain functions shut down under stress seem really appropriate. The punch is near the beginning of the video so, as many people said, we don't know what was going on before it. But what I see after the punch is an officer who is moving awkwardly (he can't handle his handcuffs) and acting strangely like he feels enormous pressure from all the people watching him. Per Gladwell, under those conditions, a person's brain isn't functioning very well. Again, not excusing him at all. And someone in that kind of stress state is a very dangerous person. I think the crowd exercised excellent restraint in making it clear they were watching and photographing but not trying to intervene with the officer (which I'm afraid might have led to someone getting killed).

    What I got out of Gladwell is the importance of training and rehearsal so you avoid getting yourself into situations where your adrenalin shuts down your higher brain functions. Besides criticizing this kind of police action (which needs doing), I think us White folks need to reflect on our own stereotypes and assumptions that might lead us to discriminate or treat people badly in our own walks of life. I also think people need explicit training about how to slow down actions and counter unconscious discrimination.

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  58. @honeybrown1976

    You're right! I apologize. I doubt Philadelphia is losing population, so it's certainly to keep the police "integrated" into the community.

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  59. This is paraphrasing a very thoughtful comment of someone else's about the same video from Jezebel, but I think it might be worth discussing.

    It doesn't actually matter that the girls were jaywalking, legally. Or perhaps more appropriately, in the eyes of the arresting officer. I could have just beaten the shit out of someone but if a cop came to arrest me and I just stood there silently and passively and let them cuff me, then the cop would have no reason to escalate their tactics, no matter how terrible the crime was that I just committed. So a police response shouldn't mirror the seriousness of the offense, but the conduct of the person(s) you're approaching.

    I realize this point is academic, because there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that that young woman got socked in the head by that cop. Just none, period. It's also conceptual in that it assumes that the cop is acting in an ideal manner in accordance with their training (which obviously he was not).

    The more important question is, why the hell is he trying to cite someone for jaywalking in the first place?

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  60. @olderwoman re: "What bothers me about this thread is the presumption of intentionality in many comments; this bothers me because it implies that only intentional racists can do something bad like this, not us unintentional racists."

    I just want to second and reiterate this point by olderwoman. From this video we cannot conclude "racist cop" as if the problem is a few "bad apples" and that things will be fine when they are all finally dismissed from the force. I am fairly confident that in the next few days (if the race angle has staying power) we'll see stories about the cop's work in diverse neighborhoods, his sober-faced comrades in the force, and maybe even about his black friends to back up his assertion that he's not racist.

    All of that misses the point. Most racist acts are carried out by people who don't identify themselves as racist and who wouldn't be called a racist by those who know them. As I keep saying, it's not that there are racists; it's that there is racism and that it comes to the fore subconsciously for most of us--especially in this kind of high-stress situation. This doesn't excuse the officer in any way, but does point to the need for all of us, especially white people, to be aware of how racism works and how it can affect the things we do in the performance of our jobs, whether one is a front-line responder or a back room bureaucrat.

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  61. @Olderwomen
    many people have problems with Gladwell's work and I suspect that is why. Cops however receive extensive training in this area so that they will know how to handle it and possibly not panic. I'm sure training has increased since people now film everything.

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  62. Olderwoman said...
    "What I got out of Gladwell is the importance of training and rehearsal so you avoid getting yourself into situations where your adrenalin shuts down your higher brain functions."

    Training and rehearsal can never account for real-life situations; usually training is the first thing that breaks down once a person becomes upset. Blaming his actions on his Training is another way of letting the officer off the hook, because he’s able to blame the degree of response on the instruction he's received (Not his bias). I’ve seen white cops do horrible things to people of color; the police department will issue a statement, saying they’re going to revise their training methods to address this obvious breakdown in discipline. The department takes the heat while the officer is held blameless.

    Where does personal discretion come into play? Aren’t officers encouraged to use their judgment in matters such as these? Certainly if it had been a white woman I’m sure personal judgment would have won out over aggression easily. The white officer, trained to respond to aggression chose not to shoot Bubba in the ass as he advanced towards him. If white Bubba had been black Jamaal, the officer could have easily shot the man dead and blamed his actions on his training. The department would have backed him fully, saying the officer acted appropriately because he was trained to respond in situations like that. The officer clearly thought his life was in danger (I was attacked with a bottle) and he took the appropriate action; case closed. We see this all the time when the victim of police aggression is a person of color. Funny how rules and regulations change depending upon the color of the person involved.

    Olderwoman said...
    “Per Gladwell, under those conditions, a person's brain isn't functioning very well. Again, not excusing him at all. And someone in that kind of stress state is a very dangerous person.”

    When a white person is blamed for doing wrong, whites assert it’s because that person was mentally incapacitated in some way and therefore not fully to blame. They were drunk, stressed out...or had too much adrenaline on the brain. Other white people are quick to offer up some type of diagnosis as to why the white person went bad. Moreover, because good white folk don’t do things like that, the answer must lie someplace else. Always an excuse as to why he/she acted in that manner, instead of calling a spade a spade.

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  63. I am not a police apologist. I am a 42 year-old wife, daughter and mother. I grew up in Brooklyn and was raised by my parents to respect all authority. Quite simply, I would never have acted this way w/ the police. My parents taught me that acting out w/ the police will get you hurt or worse.

    However, I know several younger AA kids, and it seems that these type of "misunderstandings" are par for the course now. Friend's kid was tazed for not listening. Then arrested for resisting arrest. Young person comes from a good family, but clearly did not follow the cop's commands. Black teens and twenty-somethings have not been taught to fear the police, and the police appear to be very scared of and/or full of hatred toward black folks.

    I have 3 kids, and I don't want them to fearful of anything or anyone. Yet, I want them to remain alive, and, therfore, I must teach them some basic life lessons. Among those is the rule about being polite and repsectful w/ the police. Keep your hands in their sight at al times. And keep your hands and spit to yourself. Memorize their badge and name if they behave poorly. Do not shove them. Unless, you are trying to commit suicide by cop.

    As to the commentators elsewhere in the blogsphere who dehumanize the two young ladies- what do you expect? Our history teaches us that AA's, the poor and women have routinely been dehumanized by the powerful. Power is relative, but any white man knows that he is more powerful than any black woman- even Oprah.

    Plus, the police are just modern day slave patrollers. Our post-modern police are just the latest version of a group that was set up to violently patrol and control black folks. As cities grew and poor folks "forgot" their place- who the police could brutalize expanded.

    Why do drugs flourish in certain neighborhoods? Why can cops beat certain young women and shoot certain young men? Why are the police the shocktroops of the gentrifying class? Because black life is not valued or valuable to the powerful.

    This sad reality is why we as AA parents must teach our children to value their own lives and pick their battles accordingly.

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  64. M Gibson and others: I agree there is bias and I do think this officer should be disciplined for misbehavior. I do not think the behavior should be excused in any way. My point was to stress that even unintentional bias can cause grave harm. My goal was to disrupt the idea that by condemning another White person's obvious misbehavior I can let myself off the hook. If condemning racists and racism and calling out other people's racists acts were enough to solve the problem, POC wouldn't be so often upset and frustrated with us WP who think we are part of the solution.

    I do see that you believe that my citing Gladwell's arguments about brains not working is another version of the "just crazy" explanation for racism, and I have appreciated and appreciate the criticism of that line. I didn't think I was making that kind of argument, but I can see how it would strike you that way. I can see that my comments about brains not working could be seen as excusing the behavior.

    Whether Gladwell is right or not (and to be honest, I'm critical of some of the things he says when it is an area I know a lot about, so I'm not surprised that others would criticize things I know less about), I have found his discussions (and others) about slowing down decisions and retraining unconscious processing to be helpful ways of thinking about dealing with unconscious prejudice.

    And I agree that the behavior was just as bad whether it was conscious or unconscious. We still have to be responsible for our behavior. From the outside, it looks the same either way. But from the inside, the fix may be different depending on what the problem is.

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  65. Chef Tali,

    There's an swpd post for that.

    I like the new layout, better colors, better feel. Many kinds of change can take getting used to.

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  66. This video makes my stomach turn.

    Like a previous poster, I also live in Pittsburgh. I have lived here for years, and distinctly recall an incident during the G20 summit where a (white, female) protestor threw her bike at a police officer.

    There was outcry against the police officer took her down after that. Everyone cried police brutality.

    Notice I said that she threw her bike at an officer.

    Neither of these women did anything near that scale and this is how they get treated? It's sickening.

    I also watched the clip that another poster linked to in regards to a group of officers brutalizing a Mexican man.

    There is so much that needs to (and can be) done with the police force in this country. Is there no screening process that officers need to go through prior to getting uniforms and badges?

    And why does it take numerous incidents like these for people to cry out that something needs to be done?

    And, if this is how these women were treated WITH A CROWD recording, just try to imagine what would have happened had they not been there.

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  67. white woman in the midwestJune 19, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    Oopa,

    During the G20 the police were being accused of brutality every five minutes. The mob scene that night in Oakland -- during which the idiot "protester" girl threw her bike toward a GROUP of police -- was a highly charged event, with tear gas (!!) being thrown in locked stairwells while loitering, rubbernecking students were trying to get out.

    Context is important here. There were 2-3 days of highly charged police/public interactions during the G20. The Seattle jaywalker incident is very different.

    Plus I remember many, many white people who thought that white girl at the G20, and many of the "protesters," were morons.

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  68. White woman in the midwest,

    You're absolutely right, the context is very important to the situation. But it's also important to note that it takes a highly charged situation in order for a white person to be treated even remotely near the way the women in the jaywalking video were.

    That's the point I was trying to make.

    Where a simple every day occurrence somehow warrants excessive police action within a black community, an excessive situation within the white community calls for the same type of police action. (Does that make any sense at all?)

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  69. What in hell is being allowed to happen in Seattle?!!! Seattle is often seen as "nice & friendly" by whites & the deluded. When I lived there, I was shocked to find it as racially stratified as the Balkans or South Africa, back in the day. Asians mainly lived in the "International" District, Blacks & Latinos in the Central district, gays of all races/colors on Capital Hill & Queen Ann, Native Americans & Latinos in North Seattle, and whites wherever the hell they wanted.

    First the SPD tasers a pregnant Black woman, now this, and I'm sure--other incidents. I'm so glad I left before I had my son.

    As a multracial (others usually visually id me as white or Latino) mother of a dark-skinned multiracial boy (he is visually id'd as Black or Black/Asian) I already fear for my son. Like Blackstocking, I want my child to stay alive, and so, I have slowly been teaching him how to deal with the police if he is ever stopped. I'm teaching him to behave respectfully, but to mistrust, and to take actions that will protect himself while avoiding those that will endanger him.

    Another thought---I believe, and have witnessed, white and white-appearing women who are seen to be involved with/socializing with/intimate with POC treated as "Black by association". So, if a white woman was jaywalking with a Black woman or man, I believe she'd be treated to the beatdown as well. It all depends on the level of race hatred/fear the white police officer may have.

    As an aside--I think Pittsburgh has the right idea in insisting on residency for its cops. Other cities insist on it for teachers as well, and offer incentives such as special loans or housing assistance. (Norfolk, VA has a "hero bext door" program for cops, fire-fighters, and teachers.)

    The more I think about race in our so-called "post-racial" society, the more I value the gift of "negative capability", the theory put out by poet John Keats describing the capacity for accepting uncertainty and the unresolved.

    It's been said that the personal is political and vice versa. As part of a multiracial family, I have loved, and continue to love people of many races and colors and ethnicities. There is part of me that longs for that Shangri-La of peaceful existence where we all join in the jamboree of loving life. Yet, my eyes are wide-open and doubt runs rampant.

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  70. moxie... part of what you say about the police sometimes treating white women who are associating with POC differently is true. Police DO make certain assumptions about white women who are with POC... I have been pulled over and had my car searched on several occasions because I was with Black friends. BUT, I have also noticed a MORE COMMON attitude with police... they try to "warn" me to stay away from certain friends or certain neighborhoods (based SOLELY on my friends skin color) They will ask WHY I am with the people I am with, if I realize that I am putting myself in "danger" by associating with the people I am with, and then when they see where I live, they will tell me "Oh, that is a nice neighborhood, you should stay over there where you belong" as if somehow it is their job to "protect" me from my friends.

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  71. Transracial Family ManJune 21, 2010 at 4:54 AM

    @moxie_b

    As part of a multiracial family, I have loved, and continue to love people of many races and colors and ethnicities. There is part of me that longs for that Shangri-La of peaceful existence where we all join in the jamboree of loving life. Yet, my eyes are wide-open and doubt runs rampant.

    We have similar families and I too long for that jamboree. I'm still working on the eyes wide-open part. Your comment got me to finally watch the video and not just read about it. Hard stuff I need to pay attention to.

    Thanks also for bringing up "Negative Capability". Nice to put a term with a way of living that can help in many areas of life.

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  72. Racial Profiling needs to STOPJune 21, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    This past weekend, my brother and his friend were racially profiled @ a rodeo. Someone had called the police claiming that he had dropped a gun! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT???!!!! The police (9 or 10 of them) surrounded my brother and proceeded to handcuff him & his friend in front of everyone, and frisk them! They were there with some friends as well and one of them was a white male and some other girls but they weren't frisked at all. Only the white male was asked if he had anything in his pockets, in which he replied "no." No frisking. No handcuffs. No nothing. After realizing that my brother & his friend had nothing on them they let them go. All I can say is that it could have been a lot worse, but I want to sue their asses for what they've done! However, I realize that nothing will come out of it. Such BULLSHIT!!!

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  73. It's amazing what the police officers in America prioritse as crime depending on what colour you are.

    In America, old people who live alone are being murdered in their own homes, but the police's main priority over there is a pair of black teenagers crossing the road at the wrong place.

    Paedophiles are running around abusing children, women are being raped, moblie phones are being stolen, people are being shot, drug dealers are running around the streets selling crack and crystal meth (including celebrities), but the main priority over there is for a police officer to beat up a pair of teenagers for crossing the road at the wrong place (Jaywalking).

    Seriously, I think they need to get their priorities straight in America.

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  74. I heard that the girl that pushed the cop apologised for pushing him, now I wonder if he will apologise for punching her.

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  75. I do realize I am woefully late to this "party" as I have already posted a youtube video commenting on said incident. I would like to add the following as I have noticed those who defend the cop or allege that a white woman perhaps would not have behaved in a similar fashion should perhaps ponder the following question: What divine power has granted you insight to the psyche of ALL white women to where you can make such an absolute and concrete statement ?

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  76. Aadonis219,

    I think you've misread.

    People are claiming that the _police officer_ would have behaved differently if the girl was white. Not that _the girl_ would have behaved differently if she was white.

    Could you provide a link to your youtube video?

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  77. @beauty and health editor
    Can we please stop this 'Its amazing what police officers prioritise as crime in America' .... business.

    Things are no different where you are and this whole ...'the problem in America business is a nonsense quite frankly.

    In the UK police officers kill people too. They bind people with acres of cellophane under the guise of arresting them and they end up dead.
    They go to inner city areas and arrest young boys for dropping litter just so they can do a background search ...
    and they beat young boys up if they dare quote their rights back at them.

    So please... lets stop the nonsense. It serves no purpose

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  78. I also wanted to add, that everything MINOR seems to be a crime these days.

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  79. I agree with all the comments being made. As a multi-racial girl who looks predominantly black and accepts this fact fully, I have been harassed by white males constantly my entire life and yes, we are seen as not quite fully human, therefore we should take whatever crap comes our way. I remember in high school, I left home crying after having an argument with my mother. On my way to school (still in tears), a WHITE MALE gym teacher saw me going down a flight of stairs on my way to my locker and yet still YELLED AT ME for being in the hallway (when I was in a staircase - not a hallway). I even went to the extreme of apologizing though I did nothing wrong. He STALKED me, on the way to the cafeteria and had the principal follow him to a library to yell at me. What was my crime? I quote: disrespected him. What did I do? Nothing. I went to my locker, down the staircase and headed straight for the cafeteria (I was never in any hallway). White male chauvinist power in play. It happened again to me in Humber College. White police officers/mental instutions/asylums LOVE harassing people of colour regardless of whether we are in the wrong or not, whether or not we instigated anything or not. That's the point. A young white male potential offender, BUT ESPECIALLY A YOUNG WHITE FEMALE OFFENDER, gets off the hook everytime ESPECIALLY when he or she instigated the crime.

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  80. @soul,

    I'm afraid I stand by my comments 100%. It never fails to amaze me at how police officers in Amerikkka are busy harrassing black people for minor crimes when major crimes are taking place over there on a daily and regular basis.

    I could never live there. Sorry, if you don't like my comments, but that's my opinion whether or not you think it's nonsense, that's your opinion, which you are entitled to have.

    Believe me, the UK is bad, but when I have seen the police harassing black people I have asked them what the person did, 10 police officers searching one black man is a bit excessive to me when teenagers are being robbed, stabbed and killed over here with an ever growing gang culture. So, things are different in the UK, I disagree with you. Also, people don't get arrested over here for crossing the road at the wrong place, that is a bogus 'crime'.

    That police officer was looking for an excuse to harass black people, surprised he didn't have his Klan suit on, racist.

    I think you people have a big problem in America, you may not see it, but I see it clear as day.

    I am not talking about whether or not police officers kill people in the UK or not, I am talking about this situation, which is frankly a white police officer using excessive force and beating up and manhandling two black girls for allegedly crossing the road at the wrong place.

    America needs to get it's priorities straight, for example why aren't the police patrolling the borders and stopping so called illegal aleins from entering by the truckload instead of spending time beating up young girls for what I consider foolishness!

    Another video was shown online of American police killing a dog for no justified reason, again, while hard core crimes are being committed, old ladies being murdered in their homes, drug dealers running the streets and robbers in masks stealing from businesses, to name a select few that I have read in the past hour alone.

    I have never seen a police officer in England beating up a young boy, as bad as they are over here, and I hope I never do.

    And actually, the comments serve a purpose because police officers surf the Internet as well and will read about exactly what some people think about their actions, which frankly speaking needs a huge improvement.

    In the meantime, some officers in America have been sacked for beating up a young black boy so badly that they can't even show the video to the public.

    Talk about doing the easy work while there are REAL crimes being committed over there. As I said before, I could NEVER live there.

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  81. PlusSizedWomanistJune 25, 2010 at 12:26 AM

    Oh, Beauty and Health Editor, please, can we not play the "Oh the Americans are SO BAD, I'm glad we're not like THEM!!" game? Because quite frankly, the UK's shit smells bad too:

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/2003/weinreb042803.htm

    http://www.nowpublic.com/culture/uk-racial-profiling-encouraged

    http://www.opendemocracy.net/node/17928

    I suggest that you lose the holier than thou attitude and clean up your own house before telling us what stinks. Anti-black racism isn't just in the US.

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  82. @Beauty and health Editor...

    Yeah, that's cool.
    Cos :
    This didn't happen: http://slashnews.co.uk/news/2009/03/20/5018/UK-Police-officers-in-abuse-case-accused-of-60-other-assaults

    Toni Comer: Black woman roughed up and punched 7 times whilst being arrested (didn't happen)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfCjotmhERk

    This: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gIPIQlroio&feature=related

    Brian Douglas
    Shiji Lapite arrested for for "acting suspiciously": http://www.guardian.co.uk/celldeaths/article/0,,465301,00.html
    & http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7276753899001076705#

    but i guess, yeah... youmust never have seen/heard of it.

    P.S. I do not live in America. Thanks very much

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  83. @plusSizedWoman...

    If you want to know anything about the modus operandi of the UK, then liken it to this:

    You ever heard the saying: 'the greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was to convince people he doesn't exist'.

    Well... there you go.
    The brits do NOT have cameras affixed to their cop cars as standard.

    When I was in school, the police used to round up my fellow school mates and beat them for fun.
    *Always in the back of the van* There was absolutely nothing they could do.

    But you know, its impolite to talk about it, lets just keep being blind and pointing at those damn yanks.

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  84. Plussizedwomanist,

    The point/topic of the post is that two black teenage girls were assaulted by a white police officer for crossing the road at the wrong place aka Jaywalking. Had they bben white or the situation reversed there would be total uproar.

    Who said that racial profiling does not happen in the UK? Who said the UK's shit doesn't smell?

    If you read the whole of my last comment above you would have understood what I was saying, but of course it's easier to see or digest what you want to, isn't it.

    I don't need to lose any holier than thou attitude, which again is your perception of things, frankly because I have family that live in America and therefore a stake and a say in matters of interest over there. If you don't like my comments, you are quite welcome to skip them, that's your choice.

    If we look at this topic more deeply, I am sure we can find data relating to a number of countries where people are profiled by the police due to their race and colour, religion and so on. Besides, I have had family members stopped by the police in the past for no justified reason, so you don't need to tell me about racial profiling.

    The point here is that police in the USA think it's ok to beat people up and then they get away with it, that is the whole point here, which you are obviously missing.

    I repeat, the topic here is that the police officer beat up two black girls for crossing the street at the wrong place, a bogus crime, while REAL and serious crimes are being committed over there.

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  85. @Soul,

    Well, I remember seeing the video of the black girl that was beaten up by the police some years back. Also, I like to compare like for like, in that case, the girl was drunk and disorderly and had vandalised somebody's car, so she was in fact committing a tangible crime. I am not going to say that because she is black and I am that I will defend someone who is clearly doing the wrong thing. However, there is no reason for the violence from the police, especially as the police are able to...

    a) call for back-up or should have back-up before jumping in head forst without thinking first
    b) should be trained in the proper techniques of diffusing a situation (I can do this without having to beat people up and I am not a police officer)
    c) have the upper hand - a person can be arrested just for not complying with their wishes

    A quick Google search to check what happened to that police officer who beat up the British girl and it turns out that he is dead. Well, Karma really is a bitch isn't it. There is nothing done in this world that hasn't got some consequences behind it, I'm afraid.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5282445.ece

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  86. @ Soul

    What are you talking about when you say "The brits do NOT have cameras affixed to their cop cars as standard."?

    From the footage you saw above of the police officer punching the girl and manhandling the other one, did it come from a cop car. Nope, it came from a number of citizens who captured the incident on their mobile phones. You can see them in the video plain as day.

    Personally, if I saw police doing something like this in the UK, guaranteed that footage would be on Youtube as I always have my camera with me, so, I don't really know what you are grumbling on about. Also, it is not something to be brushed under the carpet, it is a topic for discussion.

    Nothing more tiresome than a pointless back and forth exchange.

    I am not your enemy here, so no point directing your anguish at the British police or whatever it is at me. I did not say that crimes of this nature do not happen in the UK, so let's get that straight.

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  87. PlusSizedWomanistJune 25, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    I get the premise of this thread just fine Beauty and Health Editor, thank you. This darkie can read just fine.

    But it is YOU who derailed this topic, coming on here and talking about the US as if the UK and Europe is some magical racism free paradise that all people need to follow. No honey. It doesn't work that way. People seem to forget that the US wasn't the only one involved with the meddling of Africa. Great Britian, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, and Italy all colonized. They all have a hand in anti-black racism.

    But according to you, it's ALL THE US RACISM that's the worst. Please. Again, get the log out of your own eye.

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  88. erm.... Health & beauty editor.
    Maybe its because you are too busy ranting and wailing that you can't seem to remember your own damn points as you made them. You might want to read over your posts to make sense of what you were saying first before you get all defensive..

    A lot of abuse by US cops is captured on their own darn video cams or (the recorders go suspiciously missing) We don't have that in the UK, so YOU don't see it. (If you don't understand that simple fact, then its too late for you.)

    So, all the things you don't hear/see/think is a 'bit excessive, The average Joe sees as police brutality and is horrified by it. Hence the examples of UK cops beating a man to death for doing nothing.
    Shiji Lapite was doing nothing but walking. Coppers got him and kicked him to death..
    Last time I checked Walking is NOT a crime in the UK. So they arrested him on a BOGUS crime (acting suspiciously)
    - Not barbaric enough for you I guess, cos YOU didn't see it.
    - i guess those coppers didn't have any serious gun crime, stabbings and robbings to deal with.

    Whats clear here is that you didn;t think about what you were typing before you typed it and now that you can't really defend your prejudice and ignorance you are attempting to move the goalposts...

    You made it about racial profiling and what cops are doing in the US.. I showed you that cops are doing the same things and worse in the UK. And here you are talking yourself into circles.

    The point here is that Police in the UK think it is ok to beat and harrass people and they largely get away with it. All they have to do is apply the code words: he was black, he was big, he had drugs and thats it.
    And in the UK, police largely arrest people for filming them under duress situations, but of course! you don't see that...

    Look, if you can't stand your points being countered maybe you shouldn't post them on a public message board?.

    its 'cool' to see how easy it is for you to sweep the innane attrocities of UK cops under the rug in order to maintain your...
    'AmeriKKKa!!, its all about tey evil backwards AmeriKKKah and its police!!!!'

    You know whats really sick about your post?.
    Its this: 'for example why aren't the police patrolling the borders and stopping so called illegal aleins from entering by the truckload instead of spending time beating up young girls for what I consider foolishness

    American cops are at the borders you ignorant so and so, they are KILLING people at those borders but i get it... YOU DON'T SEE IT.

    Yeah... this is pointless. Your humanity is a joy to behold.
    I leave you to it

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  89. @plusSizedWomanist...

    I swear Harriet Tubman would have never freed 1 person in the UK not 1.
    She'd be telling them to run and they'd be saying..
    'I don't see nothing to run for..
    but your neighbours have been enslaved...
    yeah, but its not me innit and I don't see it. They seem happy enough.


    She wanted like for like, I gave her shiji lapite and she glossed over thi killing like it wasn't a thing.

    People will justify anything just to make themselves feel as i they've made a better choice even when it stinks.

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  90. @ Soul and Plussizedwomanist

    You both obviously can't read. So, I'm going to post part of what I said in my previous comments once more.

    Frankly, I have said all I have to say on this topic, those who have sense enough to see what I was saying will.

    As stated before...

    Nothing more tiresome than a pointless back and forth exchange.

    I am not your enemy here, so no point directing your anguish at the British police or whatever it is at me. I did not say that crimes of this nature do not happen in the UK, so let's get that straight.

    ReplyDelete
  91. here's a couple of questions

    does a person or in this case a cop, regardless of race, with a possible racial bias, conscious or unconscious, influenced by society and within an institutional racist system that teaches and encourages those within it, to view the marginalized as permanent suspects, a threat and/or inherently tough, always equal racist?

    do we call every person that believes in societies bs narrative that black and latin@ are aggressive, racist? or do we call them something else with racist attitudes?

    does bias (in all it's forms) always equal racist when it intersects with race?

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  92. @ Soul,

    I just wanted to say one more thing to you. I am not familiar with Shiji Lapite, and have never heard about that person until I read your post today.

    In actual fact, let's just say I didn't read your whole post and missed that part simply because you were ranting and raving and I therefore skimmed over your post and missed that part, unfortunately. Also, the tone of your posts and your rants to me make me very unlikely to read anything else you have to say, I'm afraid.

    Regardless, police brutality is uncalled for whether it's in the UK or USA.

    Seeing as you are selective and only see what you want to see, the times I have seen the police in the UK searching a guy I questioned them to see what he had done at which point they decided to leave the man as he hadn't done anything.

    Finally, you don't know me so don't make any assuptions about me.

    Besides, I have seen a few of your comments to other people on this blog and I know that next time you post anything I will just ignore you because you appear to make just way too many assumptions and you are just rude in general.

    I have nothing else to say to you.

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  93. 7thangel asked...
    "Does a person or in this case a cop, regardless of race, with a possible racial bias, conscious or unconscious, influenced by society and within an institutional racist system that teaches and encourages those within it, to view the marginalized as permanent suspects, a threat and/or inherently tough, always equal racist?"

    Crips and Bloods: Made in America.
    Please watch these first-hand accounts and see how self-hatred is manufactured and then perpetuated by a privileged race. Be sure to watch highly-trained racist white policemen doing their duty. Make a note of where they lived and the areas they sought to protect.

    Its really not that much different today.... for even with a residency requirement, white police officers are going to gravitate towards the whitest areas they can find within the borders of the city. So my answer is… if the police officer is white, he will always be affected by his bias- his ignorance and his bigotry...always. You can never truly understand this truth until it happens to you or someone dear to you. Moreover, as we've seen on those rare occasions when a white person is abused by an officer, whites overwhelmingly blame the system that spawned the officer. So naturally you'd think whites would make the connection when they suffer the same treatment as we do... but they don't.

    Maltreatment doesn't occur often enough for whites to make the correlation and therefore we blacks must have brought the abuse on ourselves. I mean why else would the officer act in such a manner?” whites reason.

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  94. if the person getting punched had been a male of any color, would this have generated nearly as much controversy? i'm guessing if it had been a white guy, people would have snickered at the presumed douchebag's comeuppance (a la "don't tase me, bro"), and if it had been a black guy the controversy would be far less...if the video had even made the news. no, the cop probably wouldn't have punched a white woman -- as another commenter pointed out, denying black women the ladyprivileges afforded white women is a common racist practice. but here is what i am wondering: if the answer is that anyone but a white woman would have been punched in this situation, maybe the way to look at this incident is in terms of society's irrational kid-glove treatment of white women -- not its (admittedly pervasive) oppression of POC or (more laughable) white men. because in absolute terms, i don't find the cop's conduct egregious: yeah, chasing after the first girl and grabbing at her seems an overzealous response to jaywalking, but we're told that the school had specifically requested the cops patrol that intersection and enforce anti-jaywalking laws aggressively. as for the girl who intervened and was punched, well...she did assault an officer and attempt to interfere with an arrest. again, it seems unsettling because it's happening to a young girl, but the gut reaction would be far less forcible i think if it happened to a male of the same age. is that disparity justified, or sexist? (and no, i don't mean "reverse"-sexist...if the disparate treatment stems from our perception of women as dainty and passive, it's plain old sexist).

    the video posted in the comments, however, was appalling. seems very likely that racism played a role in this, but also the cop (based on what google has revealed) seems to be a violent asshole in general. it's good that they are prosecuting him aggressively.

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  95. I don't understand why white people percieve black people to be dangerous. White people were the ones who brutally robbed black people of their land and forced them to labour. They beat them and treated them worse then animals. So who is more dangerous? I am from South Africa and can identify with this. My great-grand parents were forcefully removed from their farm and there are so many other horrible stories about violence and descrimanation by white people towards black people that it is sickening.

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  96. Yeah, I don't get the white folks being afraid of blacks either. I know white people scare me because of crazies like the clan and other racists. In NYC I wouldn't go into the white enclaves of Brooklyn for fear of being beaten, raped or killed just for being black. Blacks should fear whites, imho if there should be any fear involved.

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  97. I know this probably dosen't help, and is probably against what this blog is really all about.

    We don't have much incidence of racism in Europe (at least where I'm from), so we as POC, lead relatively sheltered lives to those of our sisters and brothers in America. Regretably, from the some of the material I have read on here - the pain and frustration of some POC, and the relative "blissfully aware" existence of their white counterparts, the videos I have watched (such as the ones posted here), and the comments on Youtube, I regret to say (and I am aware that it is an awful thing to say), but the fact is that I am liking WP less. In fact, if I am to be honest, there is a feeling of slight resentment toward WP that I am developing.

    Its almost like having opened a pandora's box. I wasn't aware to the extent of which these things existed. In all the police brutality videos I saw, the victims were non-white, mostly black, and the police officers were always white.

    I take my heart of to you my brothers and sisters in America (or should that be AmeriKKKa ?), for you are definitely made of much sterner stuff than I am. After a few days of reading posts about POCs problems, the existing white privilege which most WP can't even see (adding insult to injury), I honestly don't know how you can put up with it - you (POC) are all infinitely better men and women than I am, because I would have had to emigrate basically, I cannot put up with that level of crap.

    We (outside America) were all hypnotised by the election of Obama and that it was the dawn of a new begining - reading from the posts here, it seems nothing has really changed. I wish you all the best, but I fear that if I remain here any longer, I may actually start deeply resenting WP (and that would affect some of the very nice friendships I have with WP who I believe I have dep relationships with over here), and that (amongst other things) would be a travesty.

    I believe most of the problems you describe are particularly American ones - solely because of America's chequered past. I should not allow myself to be duly influenced by what I read here, because it would adversely affect the way I interact with my white friends over here - who have (largely) a different mindset and cultural references.

    This stuff is too heavy and depressing fro me to read as a POC, and I don't feel I am well equiped enough to deal with it (because I have a different cultural background).

    I wish you both (POC and WP) great success in your ardous journey together, and I am sure that in a few generations time, most (if not all) of the major issues you both face would be resolved - directly or indirectly from the work you are doing here.

    Cheerio

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