BALTIMORE, MA – Our country has lost it’s dang mind, and I don’t just mean because of the recent rioting in major cities.
A Baltimore Police Officer has been suspended for using a minimal amount of force against a woman who punched another officer in the face twice.
Please read that sentence again and understand that I’m not exaggerating.
A woman was talking with a police officer who was clearly trying to get her to move away from him. Suddenly the woman punches the officer across the face.
Another officer comes up behind her and attempts to hold her arms back. She rips one of her hands out of the officer’s grasp and again punches the first officer in the face.
So, the second officer swings at the woman one time, with what appears to be only partial strength, and strikes her in the face, ending the threat and the assault immediately.
That second officer is suspended.
Here’s the video of the incident:
We saw this woman before our live shot at 10. She approached our crew demanding to “share the light” with us on tv. She claimed to be mentally ill and couldn’t go home to her family. She cursed and yelled at our crew so we left.
This happened later. pic.twitter.com/iKwPaCQc1O
— Tre Ward (@TreWardWBAL) May 30, 2020
I told you I wasn’t exaggerating.
Some would argue that the first officer could (or should) have struck the woman to end the threat on his own.
Some others, including Baltimore’s Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, Mayor Jack Young and City Council President Brandon Scott, said that the second officer shouldn’t have taken that action against the woman at all.
They actually applauded the first officer for showing “restraint” and said that the second officer’s actions were “unacceptable.”
Since when are people allowed to assault police and have no consequences? Since when are officers not allowed to protect themselves and others from being injured?
The officer used minimal force. What’s even more important is that he used reasonable force.
Remember that word, Commissioner? Reasonableness standard? Graham v Connor? Any of that ringing a bell?
This Police Commissioner should have stood up for his officer. He should have explained that police aren’t there to beg someone to not assault them.
This woman was not assaulted by police, get real. She was assaulting police and one officer with one strike ended her as a threat.
It is completely asinine that the second officer was suspended. That’s what’s unacceptable in this situation. If police can’t be police, what would you like them to be?
I don’t care if the woman was mentally ill- she does not get to assault the police. The end. That has never been acceptable, and just because people are throwing a fit over something that happened (the fairness of that fit is debatable and I’ll leave it alone in this article, although see HERE for my thoughts on that) doesn’t mean police have to just sit back and take being abused or assaulted.
Here’s the official statement from the Police Department:
“Last night, the department became aware of an incident involving the arrest of a woman by two of our officers.
A video posted online showed a women striking a Police Sergeant twice in the face and then a police officer striking her in the head. She was subsequently taken into custody and transported to an area hospital for an emergency petition.
“Police Commissioner Michael Harrison viewed the video and ordered an immediate investigation into this incident by the department’s Special Investigations Response Team unit which is part of the Public Integrity Bureau. The Deputy Commissioner for PIB has directed a full review and has suspended the officers police powers during the investigations.”
Update: @mayorbcyoung says BPD officer seen striking woman in this video has been removed from duty.
Officer who was struck by woman showed "remarkable restraint", Mayor said…"woman should have been arrested and not assaulted" https://t.co/jkGidXoMdX
— Jayne Miller (@jemillerwbal) May 30, 2020
The Mayor’s statement is as follows:
“The video circulating online of a woman assaulting a police officer, seconds before a separate officer approaches her and strikes her, with what appears to be his closed fist, is deeply disturbing and is under investigation.
“I have spoken with Commissioner Michael Harrison and the officer who struck the woman has been removed from police duties.
I’ve also asked Commissioner Harrison to relay a simple message to his command staff and to officers from across the city: sound, constitutional policing is the only acceptable way we’re going to do things here in Baltimore under my watch.
“I believe the first officer, who was struck multiple times by the woman, showed remarkable restraint by not retaliating as he was being assaulted.
The woman should have been placed under arrest and not assaulted. Our system of justice does not involve the concept of an ‘eye for an eye.’
“The level of violence on our streets remains consistently high and we need to continue to stay focused on driving down violent crime and preserving life.
“We’re working to build the best police department in the country and we don’t have room for error.”
In part, Council President Scott said in a tweet:
“I was also made aware of video that shows a woman assaulting a police officer before being assaulted from behind by another officer. The first officer showed great restraint. The response by the second officer is unacceptable, period. I spoke with the PC, who ensured me that he and his team where on top of it. I will monitor.”
— Brandon M. Scott (@CouncilPresBMS) May 30, 2020
Sometimes I see so many ridiculous claims, comments, and complaints on social media and in mainstream media regarding police and I wonder if it’s just me.
If I’m the only one who is completely fed up with this crap narrative against police. The only one who is ready to say, “ENOUGH!”
But then I read the statements from the unions backing their officers and I remember that I’m not alone.
Baltimore City FOP responded to the council president’s tweet with a tweet of their own, from the lodge president Mike Mancuso, which read:
— Baltimore City FOP (@FOP3) May 30, 2020
“Council President Scott, it is reprehensible that you would use political pressure after a situation where one officer was protecting his colleague from further attack. Escalation occurred only after the female attacker continued the assault.
“But I forgot…there is an election coming and your actions are straight from the playbook!”
We are live this morning outside of @shocktrauma where an officer is recovering after being shot. @BaltimorePolice Commissioner Michael Harrison says the shooter is armed and dangerous and his whereabouts are unknown. More just ahead on @wbaltv11 pic.twitter.com/Hcp4Oq4lGD
— Megan Pringle (@MeganWBAL) May 27, 2020
Meanwhile, Baltimore police are being shot and people don’t seem to have outrage about that. Certainly the Mayor didn’t, as he tweeted about every 45 seconds regarding coronavirus and social distancing updates (remember that?) but didn’t say a word about one of his city’s officers getting shot.
Scott mentioned the shooting. However, after the one post about it, it’s followed by many others regarding racial injustice in the city, largely at the hands of police. And, of course, his many updates on mail-in voting and his campaign for Baltimore City Mayor.
Tonight, a police officer was shot and injured in Federal Hill. Events like this are visceral and unfortunate reminders of the level of their sacrifice. My prayers are with him and his family during this difficult time, and I wish him a full and speedy recovery. pic.twitter.com/eGNkyOj0LA
— Brandon M. Scott (@CouncilPresBMS) May 27, 2020
This can’t be allowed to continue. An officer being disciplined for stepping in to end a threat can’t be accepted. What if that woman had punched another woman and the officer handled it in that manner? Would people have been more accepting of it then?
If so, why is it ok for him to stop a civilian from getting punched but not another cop?
This suspension is not acceptable.
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