Said the man taking a video of a police "incident" from his front porch in Tallahassee, Florida. Apparently a woman walking down a narrow residential street with no sidewalks had inquired something of a police officer, one of a great many who had congregated, their cars lining a narrow suburban lane with lights flashing to arrest three people for being suspicious. Apparently there was a complaint about a drug deal, but of course no one would know except the officers. Why not ask about an operation of that size in front of your house?
But we're only citizens. Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to obey, to be chased away or be tased in the back while calmly walking from the scene, as requested, face smashed violently into the pavement, dragged away in chains for not responding submissively enough to suit a cop assuming the right to chase her away from a public place she had the right to be. Sounds suspiciously like a case of the right to stand one's ground against an armed attacker Liberals love to hate.
But of course we don't have the right when it comes to the police. Ignoring the traditional copscreaming, the verbal abuse and threats we associate with the swashbuckling and bullying style of public relations some cops practice, the woman simply jerked her arm when someone behind her grabbed it -- perhaps something either you or I might have done as a reflex. After all, there was no "stop, you're under arrest" nor any cause for one.
She wasn't a young woman, perhaps old enough to be your mother or even your grandmother. She was no threat to anyone, or at least no threat to any sane one -- anyone not in an ecstatic froth of arrest frenzy so common to police action. Is it an act to justify the systemic disrespect for the citizens they're supposed to serve? Is it necessary to work up courage before shoving women into a police car, like Viking berserkers, like headhunters before a raid? Are they cowards or do they just love the art of the tantrum?
And they wonder why they're hated.
Ask yourself if the constitution and rules of common decency gives a policeman the right to shoot your mother in the back because she isn't walking fast enough to please him -- perhaps because he doesn't want witnesses to what he's doing? Ask yourself why a cop can assume the right to talk to anyone in such a fashion -- someone not even a suspect.
I think there are bigger questions than the issue of racism. I think we need to remember, before we fools rush in to frame this only in terms of racism, that if they can do this to anyone whether it's because she is black, or lives in a less than affluent neighborhood, or asks an inconvenient question or for no damned reason at all other than he's a cop and he has a gun and he can get away with it -- we need to remember that if he can do that to her, he can do that to you. It's a crime against all of us. It's a crime against liberty and justice and what ought to be the American way.
Yes, the officer has been suspended, but would he have been without the video? It's been said countless times that God didn't make all men equal, Sam Colt did. True or not, the pocket video recorder has made our word the equal or superior word to that of authority. Video can exonerate, it can damn, it can set us free. It can shine light on ugliness and falsehood as well as on truth. I wholeheartedly support equipping the police with cameras, but I'm starting to believe that there should be a recognized, guaranteed right to keep and bear video cameras because they are necessary for the benefit of a free society.