Friday, January 30, 2015

Young White Female Seattle Cop Pepper Sprays Older Black Man Walking Past Her In MLK Day March, Talking On His Cell Phone

I can hardly believe my eyes. To this have we fallen: A line of Seattle police monitors passing marchers at an MLK Day event, apparently some sort of (obviously peaceful) protest. The young white woman cop turns from checking someone's sign on a stick and handing it back to him, instantly shrieks at the orderly line of marchers to "get back" (at least I think that's what she's shouting), and without pausing to await action by the crowd on her command, pepper-sprays the line, squirting several people and dousing an older Black man talking on his cell phone, who reacts in obvious pain:

I watched this clip perhaps a dozen times to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing, and wound up thinking, "Jeebus on a crutch! To what depths have we plunged?"

I'm sorry, but "I was scared of the big n[BLEEP!]r walking toward me" is simply NOT an adequate excuse. At a minimum, this policewoman needs some training, and the City of Seattle should pay the man his medical expenses and probably compensate him for his pain and suffering as well.

And most of all... we have to put a stop to the "cops can get away with anything" mentality that seems to prevail throughout the nation these days. Otherwise, people outside America might think we are uncivilized or something. 

(H/T Ahiza Garcia at TPM.)


  1. "...this policewoman needs some training". I've observed that the police are over-trained and under-brained. Course, if we brained them up they wouldn't be cops. But if they were they'd be tragically underpaid.

    1. Shirt, a lot of times in cases like this, people talk about "sensitivity training," which is a terrible term for a typically necessarily complex process, but that doesn't mean it's not a real body of knowledge, and it's certainly the case that cops, by the nature of most people who go into police work in the first place, need help acquiring that knowledge more than most groups of people.

      I personally don't know a whole lot of cops (thank goodness, I suppose I can add), but those I have known who have problems are not so much deficient in brains as lacking in appropriate social framing of their interactions with people they encounter in their work on the street. I've known two genuinely sensitive and socially aware cops; one is Bryan whom you know, and the other is a professional violinist (!?!) in his second career.

    2. I'm not certain that sensitivity "training" can work on adults. Having attended company sponsored training on such subjects as sex or race I notice those who pay attention are already sensitive to the subject at hand: the laughing jokers are the ones whom the training is really for and they are not reachable.

      With my over-trained/under-brained remark I meant to imply that our hiring standards for police are too low. I did not mean they were deficient in grey matter -- They're not using it. The Tamir Rice shooting is representative of that. has some really good views on this particular subject. (And it's not snark.) I do believe the crime rate is dropping faster than atmospheric lead and that police militarization is a HUGE mistake. One reason: it contributes to the dumbing down of the police.

    3. Shirt, you may be right about S.T.; I don't have the first-hand experience you do, so I just don't know...

      If the question is, can someone trained by his (or her, but mostly "his" in this case) household environment from age 0 to 16 to be a racist or sexist be successfully "fixed" by S.T. in the workplace at a later age, my guess is NO.

      But can they be brought to an acceptable standard of behavior at work (whatever their personal feelings about women or racial minorities), my guess, and it's just a guess, is a firm MAYBE.

      In some important aspects, people's personal characteristics are set by the end of their childhood... but their actual behavior can sometimes be changed later. I doubt that a training class is the most effective way; a promised 10-day suspension without pay on the first offense might work better, but it seems no company or city council wants the potential legal fallout of disciplinary action, or else the reportedly powerful police unions won't allow it in the contract.



• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes