Wednesday, June 16, 2010

When A Policeman Punches Young Sapphire-Who Do We Call??

      A Seattle police officer (white) was videotiaped punching a young woman (17-years old) in the face post resisting arrest. Allegedly the officer was in the midst of detaining J Walkers, when the two young Black women were seen J Walking on the exact same intersection. In Seattle Washington, J Walking is deemed a serious offense (#WhattheJoeJackSonHELL) so the officer was performing within his job role when he asked the women to come to his vehicle. When he tries to reprimand them, the ladies curse him out and one tries to walk away. The officer then tries to physically detain them and one young lady pushes the officer. Clearly the officer becomess immediately frustrated and after wrestling with the ladies for a few seconds he punches one in the face. *PAUSE*
       The ladies' behavior is rather shocking, as we live in a country where the first offense is simply being Black and teach our children how to "interact" with crazed racist cops on a regular basis. Striking an officer was a bold move that did not end well-as evidenced in the videotape. Granted, the two women were provoking the officer, one arguably violent when she pushed the officer, but were there no other options to gain order? The officer doesn't think twice- he is immediately reactive and punches a minor in the face. Why was that his first reaction? 
       Had the two young women been white, I don't believe this instance would have ever happened. I imagine the officer would've politely walked over and presented the ladies with a warning as their safety is ultimately at risk when J Walking. The fact that these two women were Black, and *le sigh* unfortunately acting in the stereotypical *aggressive Black girl manor, will only give the officer more validity to justify his actions when investigated...for he felt "threatened." Ah yes, the standby excuse most culturally-limited white people use whenever a Black person becomes "loud", or resists (even if legal and controlled) the status quo as deemed by white society. WE are always the provokers and what happens to US, usually at the hands of law enforcement, is our own consequence.
     Unfortunately, I don't subscribe to that bullocks rhetoric as I feel passionately that law enforcement, above all else should seek to protect the people and not act solely on the defense treating minorities like animals. WHERE are the sensitivity training and cultural diversity courses for officers? Where were his attempts to verbally subdue a minor? This instance was in no way complete police brutality, or worthy of NAACP coverage. However, I found it worthy of discussion if only to consider the images we present in public, how they will quickly react and of to properly conduct oneself in the presence of a... (high school graduate that probably wasn't socially accepted now armed with a gun, tazor, billy club & racist thoughts) police officer.
Marinate on it for a min...

**Sapphire-the stereotype designated for aggresive, opinionated, and vocal Black women. If unfamiliar, research, wait for a post, or read my forthcoming book...:) -Nice plug!-**




  1. You bring validity to your argument by making mention of how the two girls fed right into the stereotypical view of aggressive Blacks; brutish, uncontrollable, etc.

    Because of their inability to restrain themselves, that cop may get a slap on the wrist as it was evident (at least from what we saw on the tape) that he was attacked by them first.

    "The officer doesn't think twice- he is immediately reactive and punches a minor in the face. Why was that his first reaction?"

    Should his first reaction been "typical" police behavior in situations with minors to shoot first, ask questions later? She should be glad that all she got was a punch in the mouth versus a bullet to the head. *trigger happy cops*

    Thanks for your insight -- this was damn good.

  2. Awesome post, lady! It's got some thoughts marinating for sure.......

    It's not clear on who began the struggle but in any case, the young lady in black should not have been manhandled like that over J Walking. Maybe it was the resisting arrest part that allowed the situtation to elevate - but the cop didn't seem to read any rights or give a warning to either of them.

    Officers have substantial authority and should execute it appropriately. I would think that officers go through the required training to deal with situations like this - a small scale crime - without it resulting in a violent altercation that will

    1) create an offense record for these young ladies;

    2) possibly scar their opportunities for productive roles in society (employment, university, etc.; and

    3) cost tax payers way more than a J-Walking fine.

    This is a very unfortunate situation, but I hope it's resolved quickly and in a way that reassures people about achieving order in way that's fair on both sides.