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Someone Wasn't Paying Attention

Several years ago, Chris Rock had a hysterical (but unmistakably accurate) bit on "how not to get your ass kicked by the police."

These two Seattle women didn't heed Chris' advice:

To get serious for a moment... there's an immediate rush to call this "police brutality" and "racism" based on the fact that the cop was white and the women were black. I don't believe that race was the factor.

Did the cop use excessive force? No. But he did use superior force.

The woman initiated the fight with the officer. She didn't like what he was doing, so she got in his face and started shoving him. And he responded with a right overhand that took most of the fight out of her.

One thing I heard years ago, and stuck with me, is that a police officer has no obligation to fight fairly -- but an absolute responsibility to not lose a fight. For one, a cop carries several weapons -- gun, taser, pepper spray -- that we do not want out of their control. For another, if a cop loses a fight, then that potentially makes other cops targets.

The women were jaywalking. The video doesn't show if he was going to give them a warning, a ticket, or arrest them, but that's irrelevant. The law -- and common sense -- dictate that you do NOT get physical with a cop, unless you want an ass kicking. You do not grab a cop, you do not shove a cop, you do not push a cop. If you have a problem, you take it up later. Because if you're very lucky, you'll only face some serious criminal charges -- resisting arrest, obstructing justice, assaulting a police officer. If you're as unlucky as these women were, you will get your ass kicked be subdued and forcibly restrained while resisting arrest.

Unless there's a hell of a lot more to this story, the cop acted correctly. Indeed, he did the only things he could do, at each step.

Jesus, how stupid do you have to be to attack a cop over jaywalking?

Hat tip: American Thinker


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Comments (44)

Quick, call His Wonderfulne... (Below threshold)

Quick, call His Wonderfulness, it's time for another beer summit.

Based on the video, the onl... (Below threshold)

Based on the video, the only criticism would be that he was trying to be gentle to the woman. Had he really used force she would have been "out for the count" and it would not have taken 2 minutes and 47 seconds to get her into the car. Had he really used force, the second woman would have been down as well.

I once busted one of the lo... (Below threshold)

I once busted one of the local hookers for outstanding warrants. While putting her in the back of the car, she commented that I was always polite to her. So I said "Jean, you've always acted like a lady, so I treat you like a lady."
I've had more than one occasion when women (white, black, and hispanic) pushed the envelope and ended up being arrested. For some reason they believed the rules were different for them.

He was too easy on the fema... (Below threshold)

He was too easy on the female racist. She kept calling him "Nigga"????? A White cop???

I don't understand why it tool so long to get the the cuffs on her and in the car.

Al, Jesse where are you? <... (Below threshold)

Al, Jesse where are you?

Here we go......

I don't give a crap if it was my own mother, you don't put your hands on anybody. PERIOD! Especially, a cop!

Unfortunately Seattle is ab... (Below threshold)

Unfortunately Seattle is about to discover something people in other cities have known for some time now. A small percentage of the minority community in Seattle has decided to "push the envelope". Going to be interesting to watch what happens, remembering that people always get the government they deserve.

The reason why it took so l... (Below threshold)

The reason why it took so long to get the cuffs on her is because he didn't want to take her down on the ground to cuff her, and in that crowd it was probably a smart move. My big question is why wasn't there back up.

GarandFan, as you appear to... (Below threshold)

GarandFan, as you appear to be an LEO could you take a closer look and tell me if you see anything frightening at about 1:30 or so in the video? I live in Seattle and there is much discussion locally about the lower left portion of the video about that time.

The local school in that area had requested emphasis patrols for jaywalking, and the stairs in the background are actually to an elevated sidewalk over the road.

I was speaking with our local Captain at a community meeting last night (unrelated) and he mentioned that at least 3/4 of the "serious injury" car v ped accidents were the result of a jaywalker. Its an ongoing problem in a neighborhood that is known for hating law enforcement and thinking that the law does not apply in there.

I will probably get verball... (Below threshold)

I will probably get verbally abused for this, but I have found that most of the domestic abuse cases are started by women. They verbally abuse and physically abuse a man until he has had enough and then lashes out. Naturally, the woman calls the cops and the man is hauled off to jail, for defending himself. Of course, most of the judges are sympathetic to the woman and do not want to hear the man's side of the story. Things are slowly changing to the man's side and more women are being arrested for domestic abuse and they are spending time in the clink.

Sef-esteems meet physical r... (Below threshold)

Sef-esteems meet physical reality, it's beautiful to watch.

I watched the video and rea... (Below threshold)
James H:

I watched the video and read the related articles. From what I can tell, the officer acted correctly. But there's an outside chance that material not captured on the video may reveal a different side to the story.

When I interact with police, I have a very firm policy. I act politely. I do what the officer requests of me. I tell the truth. I also ensure my statements are as neutral as possible, neither excessively incriminating nor unbelievably exculpating. I address the officer as "officer." If I am about to do something, I explain to the officer what I am about to do. (i.e., if the officer asks for my registration, I say, "I keep my registration in the glovebox. I am going to get it out of the glovebox.")

I do this for a number of reasons:

1) I figure the officer is going to be at least a little on edge. For all he knows, I might have a weapon in my glovebox or my back pocket. where I keep my registration and driver's license, respectively. No reason to make the officer paranoid.

2) Similar to point 1, there's a possibility for high emotion. The calmer I am, the calmer the officer is likely to be, and the less likely things will devolve into something ugly.

3) If I interact with police officers with a smile on my face and with maximum cooperation, then I create no excuse for the officer to misbehave. Also, if I believe I am being harassed for some reason, right there at the traffic stop is not the time to settle it. I can always attend to that bit of business later.

And, oh yes, Chris Rock offers some good advice.

Reminds me of when I worked... (Below threshold)

Reminds me of when I worked in a group home for 13-18 year old girls. Had one flip out cause she didnt get her phone call ahead of someone else and started trashing the place.

She was stronger then hell like possessed and when her buddy returned from an outing they both attacked me. Man I miss that place! Anyways I couldn't strike back like the officer in the video..

There were time I was attacked with a shovel, chair, glass milk bottle, forks, you name it. Sometimes you just have to do what you can to defend yourself as you are left no choice as this video shows.

Man I miss that place.

And, oh yes, a few years ag... (Below threshold)
James H:

And, oh yes, a few years ago, teetotaling me got pulled over after leaving an area with a few bars. I was pulled over with a taillight that was out, and the police officer decided to do the field sobriety tests even after I told her I had drunk only pineapple juice. I think she was a little ticked with me because when she said, "You were drinking at [XXX]," I corrected her and said I was drinking JUICE at that place. So, she got the officer with the breathalyzer, I blew into the little tube ... and she looked really, really disgusted when she read the zero reading. She sent me on my way with a verbal warning to get my taillight fixed.

My takeaway: As annoyed as I was, and as determined as the police officer was to get something from me, it was better to be nice and polite to her than to yell and scream. I also recall that she was paranoid about my hands. When I went to put them in my pocket, she virtually yelled, "Show your hands!!"

Which tells me she was worried, just as much as I was, about whether the stop could go wrong.

Officer, might I suggest us... (Below threshold)

Officer, might I suggest using da taser on dat as*. take da fight out uh da b*tch. an don't forget da pepper spray ta back dat pushy b*tch da fu*k up..

Where was the officers part... (Below threshold)

Where was the officers partner?

Here Lee Ward let me save y... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Here Lee Ward let me save you the trouble

Republicans were against police brutality until a black man became president.

Ya he was being too nice. B... (Below threshold)

Ya he was being too nice. Being polite has kept me out of a load of trouble several times. That is all it takes. Putting yourselves in the COPS place.
I agree he went way too easy on her. If women want to be treated equally then it is the Judo throw to the pavement an slap the cuffs on tout suite.
Never lay a hand on a government official of any kind at any time unless you are going to save their life. Civilization demands that.

I bet she voted for Barry?<... (Below threshold)

I bet she voted for Barry?

Shane, at 1:30, it certainl... (Below threshold)

Shane, at 1:30, it certainly looks like someone walked up with a revolver at their side. You just catch a brief glimpse of it. Don't know if the guy said anything to the officer or even if the officer noticed.

Locally we were always one-man cars, 24/7, except for specific work details. Only one's normally doubled up were those with trainees.

Lot of good comments. My ta... (Below threshold)

Lot of good comments. My take.
The police will risk their lives for you if needed. For that and that alone, they deserve respect and polite interaction.

I live in a small town. Was talking to a friend on the local police force and was surprised to hear that they get a lot of crap from people they pull over. I fail to see the logic in that.

"Locally we were always one... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"Locally we were always one-man cars, 24/7, except for specific work details. Only one's normally doubled up were those with trainees."

That's probably SOP everywhere these days, and maybe it has always been the case...but I think there should always be two-man cars. I know it is probably impossible with budgets always being tight, but I wish it were otherwise.

Being a good cop is a tough, tough job. Most people could not do it.

As for the video, unless there is more we don't know it looks like the cop wasn't at fault for what happened.

She chose...poorly.... (Below threshold)

She chose...poorly.

Shoulda Tased Her Bro!! </p... (Below threshold)

Shoulda Tased Her Bro!!

Would have been a shoe in for the top ten in the annual Utube boob awards.

Nice observation Shane. Th... (Below threshold)

Nice observation Shane. That's definately a gun! I would have never picked up on it if you didn't point it out.

Crack whores doin' some race baitin'

It wouldn't surprise me if this was all a set up. Don't these people have jobs? Maybe if they did, they would not find so much trouble!

#13 JamesH,I would... (Below threshold)

#13 JamesH,

I would be a little worried being a female cop after seeing you pull out of
XXX ..who knows what kind of hardcore stuff was going on in there. Specially if you reached in your pocket. :)

At 1:33 it looked like eith... (Below threshold)
retired military:

At 1:33 it looked like either a gun or a cell phone in the one guy's hand that was behind the officer. I would say most likely a cell phone but it was too blurry to tell.

Stan. #9. Alcohol.... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

Stan. #9. Alcohol.

Feh, Richie.... (Below threshold)
James H:

Feh, Richie.

It's very troubling that so... (Below threshold)

It's very troubling that someone believes they can improve the situation by fighting with the cops under these circumstances. What the hell is wrong with these people and how many of them are there out there?

At 1:31 of the video, it sure looks like the barrel of a handgun to me.

While he was entirely justi... (Below threshold)

While he was entirely justified in his use force, his CHOICE of force plainly sucked.

There are places to strike for compliance, that do not involve much chance for lasting injury, and there are places to strike to defend yourself or others from serious harm, death, or to prevent the escape of a felon. In both cases, there are also ways to strike that minimize chances of injury to the officer.

This officer chose to strike the woman in a manner that could easily cause serious or permanent injury to both or either of them, with no apparent reason as to why he couldn't choose another method. He obviously needs a bit of remedial training.

And that said,

"The law -- and common sense -- dictate that you do NOT get physical with a cop, unless you want an ass kicking."

The "law" isn't that you "get an ass-kicking", it's that you get arrested, with the arresting officer correctly applying the force needed to affect the arrest. Police officers are not tasked with dispensing "ass kickings".

Posted by wtfo | June 16, 2... (Below threshold)

Posted by wtfo | June 16, 2010 6:47 PM

The cop did not administer an "ass kicking". What he did do is very effectively stop that cows actions. That's what his objective was in administering the strike. Good god, did you even watch the video?

wtfo wrote:<blockquot... (Below threshold)

wtfo wrote:

This officer chose to strike the woman in a manner that could easily cause serious or permanent injury to both or either of them, with no apparent reason as to why he couldn't choose another method.

Except that the cop was in a very dangerous situation--while trying to arrest one person, a second person assaulted him, many unhappy people standing around yelling out comments to the cop, he's there by himself. The cop had two resistant, assaultive arrestees and wanted to subdue them as fast as he could before a riot broke out. He did nothing wrong, and was amazingly restrained under the circumstances.

#24"Don't these peop... (Below threshold)

"Don't these people have jobs? Maybe if they did, they would not find so much trouble!"

They've been enslaved to the democrats for well over 150 years. They want to keep them down and made to think they're taking care of them just like they did during slavery. Didn't master provide all their needs before? Now, they just eatin from the masters plate up on the porch is all. Not all Blacks are trapped in it, but many,many are. Democrats, the same slave master of old.

In Seattle all cops are sol... (Below threshold)

In Seattle all cops are solo unless they are an FTO or in a special unit.

Its hard to tell from the video, but at least others thought they saw a gun. I'm not too crazy after all. I really hope it wasn't........

His choice of action to is... (Below threshold)

His choice of action to isolate the second lady was a good choice, she didn't rejoin the confrontation and allowed him to focus on the first fool.

A few years ago, a young bl... (Below threshold)

A few years ago, a young black guy I knew was standing in the street in front of a bar (I was the doorman), blocking traffic. I told him to get out of the street a couple of times, but he just laughed and stayed.

...and when a cop walked by and told him to get out of the street, he said something on the order of "make me."


Yeah, it went about as well as you'd imagine. A few days later, he dropped by the bar (no criminal charges, but a good solid jaywalking ticket and some bruises), and was complaining about the situation.

I told him, "hey, I LIKE you, and wanted to kick your ass for that."

"The Seattle Police acted s... (Below threshold)

"The Seattle Police acted stupidly........"

They're lucky the cop wasn'... (Below threshold)

They're lucky the cop wasn't black. He would have stomped her face into the sidewalk and rightfully so. In this case it was reverse racism. Black broad don't like white people.

"This officer chose to stri... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"This officer chose to strike the woman in a manner that could easily cause serious or permanent injury to both or either of them, with no apparent reason as to why he couldn't choose another method. He obviously needs a bit of remedial training.

30. Posted by wtfo | June 16, 2010 6:47 PM"

Riiight. Because all LEOs (or anyone) have the split-second martial skills of Bruce Lee, Evander Holyfield and Batman all rolled into one. /rolls eyes

He did what he had to do to solve the immediate problem. I guess a spandex-clad WTFOman would have used his sooper special powers of 20/20 hindsight and did it differently.

Watching the entire video, ... (Below threshold)

Watching the entire video, the officer had a difficult situation (2 uncooperative persons and a crowd gathering around).

His choice of action when the 2nd woman chose to interfere with his attempt to detain the 1st woman was NOT EXCESSIVE but it WAS EFFECTIVE. She immediately stopped interfering and allowed the officer to focus on the 1st woman.

The woman who was hit, was not injured seriously - she was seen walking around. I suspect the officer could have knocked the woman out if he had hit her harder. He appears to have used enough force to get her to back off.

<a href="http://blog.seattl... (Below threshold)
James H:

Here's some more context. Note how the police treat the videographer -- firmly, but with respect for his rights.

As Paul Harvey said "and no... (Below threshold)
Dan M:

As Paul Harvey said "and now the rest of the story."

Here's what we now know about the two individuals in the video according to the Seattle Times - 19-year old Marilyn Ellen Levias and 17-year-old Angel Rosenthal:

"Rosenthal was charged in November with second-degree robbery. According to prosecutors, she punched a 15-year-old boy in the face while she and a group of youths were on their way to a rave in South Seattle last Aug. 28. The boy told police that his cellphone and $20 were stolen in the incident. A 14-year-old boy told police that he was punched in the head and his hat was stolen.

Authorities say the case was dismissed when the boys refused to testify.

In April 2008, Rosenthal was charged with third-degree theft after she allegedly stole a minivan in Tukwila, prosecutors said. Kent police said she used a screwdriver to break the ignition and start the vehicle.

The charge was later amended to theft of a motor vehicle. Rosenthal was given a deferred disposition -- charges would be dropped if she stayed out of trouble -- because it was a first-time offense, said Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff for Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg.

Levias was charged in February 2009 with third-degree assault after she allegedly pushed a King County sheriff's deputy down.

According to charging documents, on Feb. 3, 2009, deputies were called to the Ruth Dykeman Children's Center, a Burien center for troubled girls, in response to a report that Levias was being abusive toward staff. When Levias was confronted by Deputy Amy Zarelli, she pushed the female deputy, causing her to fall, charging papers said.

Levias was given a deferred disposition because it was a first-time offense, Goodhew said."

Yep, two innocents just singled out by the man.

RE: 41 unlike the recent ... (Below threshold)

RE: 41 unlike the recent reaction to a polite question

The officer showed restrain... (Below threshold)

The officer showed restraint and used minimum force to effect the arrest. The punch accomplished its purpose, in that pink shirt decided she didn't want to play anymore. The wrestling match with the second suspect prolonged the confrontation which presents an unflattering image.

The crowd dynamic would seem to indicate that they didn't believe the officer crossed the line. I never expected a bystander to help in subduing a suspect but was always aware of the potential for bystanders to join in. You can see numerous individuals in proximity to the officer that had the ability to inject themselves into the situation but remained on the sidelines.

Keeping in mind another public brawl broadcast, between a congressman and somebody's constituents, I haven't seen any calls questioning the motivations of the photographer, the possibility of editing or the set up of camera angels in this incident.






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