Uncomfortable? Yes. Disturbing? Yes. Necessary? Definitely.
I want to start by thanking all of my incredible friends who send me links to stories that are relevant to my blog. Though I don’t have time to write about all of the suggestions, I appreciate the support more than you know. This post is thanks to one such friend.
I debated for some time whether I felt it was appropriate to post the link to the actual video about which this post refers. I don’t want to promote the humiliation or degredation of the woman involved in the incident. But this is an instance where images are louder than words. And I know that the video is out in cyberspace, easily accessible for one who wishes to search. As a proponent of addressing the uncomfortable, I warn you that it is just that.
Here is some context. The time: approximately 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 16th. The place: Gallery Place/Chinatown stop on the DC metro. A young woman, apparently intoxicated, was allegedly acting disorderly near the fare card machines. A Metro Transit Police officer approached her and asked her to leave the station. She did so only to return a short time later.
The video of which I speak, presumably taken by a bystander, begins when the officer approached her for the second time. He once again asked her to leave and when she refused and began to argue with the officer he decided to place her under arrest. When he reached for her arm, she pulled it away, tripped over his foot, and they both fell to the ground.
Words cannot express the anger this video elicits. The bystanders may feel helpless because it is a cop, a person of authority, degrading the woman. But the Metro Transit Police have no excuse for allowing such behavior against a civilian who posed no real threat to an armed police officer. Her body was exposed. He did nothing. She is incapable of resisting and he tells her to “stop resisting.” For upwards of five minutes he takes advantage of her vulnerability and sits on top of of her, hiding behind the guise of his authority.
Perhaps the most enraging part: in the end, she is charged with disorderly conduct and unlawful entry and he walks away with no consequences. As soon as the video was brought to the attention of Metro Transit Police, an internal investigation was launched. This “investigation” has since been completed and it was determined that the police officer acted lawfully and complied with departmental policies.
Who watching this video thinks that is acceptable?