#Cops, #Police, #Racism, #responsibility, #schools, #socialmedia, #useofforce -

Bring Back Personal Responsibility

Unless your head is buried in the proverbial internet sand, you've no doubt encountered this brief video that's been all over the "news" today:

Yet, as with so many (if not most) stories about cops out there: there's more to the story. We'll get to that shortly. Meanwhile, let's take a look at a longer version of the video (not the one most common on twitter or other social media sites:

 

And now let's take a final look at a different angle that shows something pretty revealing about this "peaceful" student:

 

Here's what we put together from the videos:

  • Just because a video is on the internet doesn't mean it's the final or factual word
  • The second video CLEARLY depicts the school resource officer offering a peaceful resolution to the girl's disobedience and disruption of the classroom that had been so much of a distraction the school determined a police officer needed to intervene. Again, the OFFICER didn't call himself into this situation.
  • The final video shows that this "peaceful" student punches the officer in the face and forces HERSELF back in the chair, while the officer merely maintains physical control of her legs and left arm and ultimately places her on the ground and gets her in handcuffs. No punches, no kicks, no taser, no OC spray. Just minimal contact and control in order to get the situation resolved.
  • Use of force never looks pretty.

But of course, the keyboard warrior (including a Presidential Candidate) simply cannot wait to cast judgment on a situation they literally know nothing about. They have quickly turned a situation that was handled in the best possible way (I'd love to hear your alternatives) into an issue of race, targeted violence in schools as a "prison pipeline" or police brutality.  See the sorts of things that are representative of a great deal of chatter social media:

 

 My response is quite simple:

  • Mrs Roberts: What impact would we see in a society that once again embraced personal responsibility and solid parenting that demanded respect for authority?
  • Madam Secretary: There is no excuse for permitting disrespectful children to distract from an effective learning environment. That school is safer because an officer was present and removed a violent and rude child from a classroom.  You're right--there IS no excuse for violence inside a school---but who caused violence in this case? You blame an officer because it fits a narrative that positions you for power. 
  • It is heartbreaking Mrs. Washington that there are children who are seemingly unwilling to show respect to their elders and those in authority over them. It's also heartbreaking that you were not there, do not know the facts and yet cast judgment. 

You see, what is happening here is the all too typical response to law enforcement doing their job properly. What actually happened is quite clear: This young lady was disruptive in class and her teacher asked her to stop yet she would not.  The teacher then asked the girl to leave the classroom, which she also refused to do. The girl is requested again to go to the office and she would not.  An officer is finally called to the room and gives this girl more than two opportunities to simply come with him and is warned that she will be physically removed and SHE STILL WILL NOT STOP BEING DISRESPECTFUL. 

So, the Officer goes "hands-on" because he is left with no other choice. However, the story many anti-cop folks would have us to believe is that this Officer went into a blind rage against this small innocent girl and threw her upside down in a desk and then threw her across the room.

I challenge you to watch this video more carefully, if you have any shred of doubt.  The officer grabs ahold of the girl's left arm and left pant leg. Not her leg..but the pants, to get a grip.  The girl then punches the officer and pushes herself with her right foot, causing the desk to fall over. The officer simply moves the female to the ground and then continues to calmly giver her directions and get her in handcuffs.

Again, watching the unfortunate and unnecessary use of force is never something that "looks good". Many people are talking about "how unnecessary it" was, but they are putting the onis of "it" and "necessary" on the wrong person.  Does this justify an improper use of force or excessive force, absolutely not. But you'd have to show me a case of that first before it could be condemned.  While I would have perhaps handled it differently (perhaps consider clearing the room of all other students prior to engaging the unruly one physically) if we just look at the physical controls used by the officer, we've entirely missed the real point of what's going on here in both the situation and the response of early criticism from onlookers who have probably never found themselves in anything resembling this situation.

So instead of getting cops out of schools, how about we put personal responsibility back in. That's a lesson not just for kids but for all of us.

 


43 comments

  • Eugene Smith

    The cop tried to put his hand on her and she pushed it away, as you can clearly see in the last video on here. While yes, she did start throwing punches at him, it was not until after his arms reached around her neck. That reach alone looks an awful lot like a chokehold to me, and I’m sure to the girl it felt like one.
    Was she being a brat? Sure, but was the officer going about this in the right way either? Not in my mind.

  • Kev c

    Would anyone have even heard of this incident if mobile phones were not allowed in class?

  • Jon

    “Mike the cop”, the police officer’s own incident report says that the girl’s hand hit his chest, not his face. Just like he was the one who knocked the desk over, not the girl. You’re clearly not an impartial witness if you’re seeing what you want to see in the video, rather than what actually happened.

    Gina, the girl had recently been placed in foster care. You comment is more than a bit mean-spirited. Nothing she did deserved what the officer did to her.

  • David S.

    There are numerous factual errors in this author’s account. He states the following:

    “The officer grabs ahold of the girl’s left arm and left pant leg. Not her leg..but the pants, to get a grip.”

    He fails to mention that his right arm has gone around her neck.

    “The girl then punches the officer and pushes herself with her right foot, causing the desk to fall over.”

    Yes, she tried to punch with her right hand (have you put in an involuntary headlock recently? This is a natural response).

    She DOES NOT, however, push the desk over with her right foot. Her right foot is barely touching the ground when the desk goes over. However, the officer IS wrenching her up and back, causing the desk and the girl to tip.

    “The officer simply moves the female to the ground and then continues to calmly giver her directions and get her in handcuffs.”

    There is nothing calm. He has thrown her to the ground and then forcefully drags her across the room.

    This dude lost his cool, and is a disgrace to the badge.

  • Corina

    Your instinct to defend the police at all costs seems to have affected your eye sight. People are not responding to this unnecessary violence against a minor, because they want to bash cops. On the whole people want to be able trust a law enforcement officer because not being able to trust the police is terrifying. This cop was not dealing with a threat to his or anyone else’s safety. She may have been un co operative but he is supposed to be an adult professional. Allowing his anger to determine his actions is unacceptable. He is there to protect and educate. How you could possibly watch this video and come to the conclusion that this girl punched the officer is truly mind boggling. His maneuver to take her off balance was clearly unexpected and she is reacting as any able bodied person would, with an instinctive flailing of arms and legs. You have proven nothing but that you are so biased as to be literally blind. This is not ’ humanising the badge’. You are actually making things worse by taking this untenable position. This is living in denial and you do your fellow officers no favour in persisting with this warped narrative. Seriously, please re-evaluate your objectivity and your interpretation of the video. He ‘simply moves’ her? He tossed her so hard her arm was fractured! I don’t even toss my dirty laundry that hard! As a parent I want my children to be educated and their needs managed by professionals. They should be safe at school in an environment that supports them. Yes, it is a challenge. Yes there are violent anti -social kids, just as there are violent anti-social people in all walks of life, and working in law enforcement. I truly thought there was something I had missed in all of the videos but what I missed was the extent to which people will go to place the blame on this victim for the injuries the officer inflicted upon her. Trying to defend bad policing is the opposite of earning the respect of the community. I suggest none of the kids in that classroom will ever respect a police officer again unless they can find the spine to admit it was wrong. The administration of the school who failed to provide an accomodation for a grieving child in foster care, and the teacher also failed this girl. Thank goodness some of her peers were brave enough to take the risk of filming the incident. Much more respect to the student who approached and voiced her concern.

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