Police officer punches a teenage girl, but what would you do in his situation?

@Taskr36 (13928)
United States
June 16, 2010 10:53pm CST
There's been a lot of "Monday Morning Quarterbacking" going on with this story. A police officer in Seattle stopped some girls for jaywalking. When they tried to get away he pulled one over to his car. She fought with him as he held her wrists to avoid being hit. Her friend then came over and the officer pushed her away. You could see another bystander tried to hold her back, but she came at the officer again, pulled her friend away, and pushed the officer. He took a step forward, she put her hands on him, and he punched her full in the face. He then attempted to cuff her when the first girl grabbed him from behind. As all this is happening a crowd is forming around him. Some people are making comments to him about why he's fighting the girls and many people are recording the incident. The original girl is fighting with the officer the whole time until he finally succeeds in cuffing her. Now I've heard plenty of people call this police brutality, but this is one cop, being attacked by two women, and he needs to defend himself. With a crowd forming he has to do whatever is necessary to get the situation under control as quickly as possible for his own safety. Was this police brutality? What should he have done differently? Do you think, given the situation he could have dealt with the situation better? Frankly, if it had been me, I probably would have tasered the first girl as soon as she resisted. If her friend chose to get involved after that, I would have pulled a gun on her and ordered her to the ground. That's just me. I'm not a cop, and while I have worked as a detention officer, it was a controlled environment and I was never alone supervising a group so there was always at least one other officer. One other thing is that he spent too much time struggling with that girl on her feet. Once her friend was out of the way, he should have taken her down to the ground. That would have made it extremely difficult for her to continue resisting with his knee in her back. One person said that would have compromised his safety thoug, so I can understand why he didn't do it. Watch the videos and give me your opinions. I recommend watching a couple videos since there were many people filming and you get different perspectives depending on when they started recording and where they were standing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6YxmTD4vIw http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/06/16/seattle-police-guild-defends-officers-punch/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYQWbfSNpIg
5 people like this
17 responses
• United States
17 Jun 10
The police officer had every right to do what he did. You can not ignore a police officer...you can not ignore a policer's orders. YOu can't tell a cop to "let me alone", "let go of me" when he is arresting you. LOL. It does not work that way. You resist arrest you will get hurt. Then when her stupid friend tried to get involved...well that escalated things. YOu can NOT touch a cop. YOu can not interfer with a policer arresting someone. It became two on one and the cop had every right to hit her to get her to stop and get the situation under control. The only reason things got as bad as they did is because of those two girls. IF they would have stopped when he said and followed his orders they probly would not have gotten arrested. If they would not have resisted that arrest after ignoring hsi orders...no one would have gotten hit. They probly would have just gotten a ticket for jay walking and then went about their day. But THEY are the ones who made BAD decisions and behaved in a way that made officer act the way he did.They are to blame for what happened to them...not the police officer. Tell you what...what if someone is speeding. The cop tries to pull them over to give them a ticket...the person does not pull over...the cops will chase that person down. And then once the cops get them stopped...if the person is stupid and resists arrest (and tells teh cop to go away and leave them alone) tehy will get into more trouble. ANd if a friend tries to stop the cop from arresting her...well that friend is going to get hit and arrested too. NO difference than this situation. Why are people blaming the cop? Those girls are to blame.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
17 Jun 10
I have sent this discussion to another Mylotter who happens to be a "COP" so that we will have a better understanding of who can be really accountable on this one. but of course, i can agree to your response, i guess the girl can be a spoil brat to the Law and i think that's not an excuse. unfortunately, most people will see this the other way around and blame the cop.
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
17 Jun 10
"They probly would have just gotten a ticket for jay walking and then went about their day." That's the sad part. If they were decent people, they might not have even gotten a ticket. In downtown Orlando people rigidly obey the walk and don't walk lights. Once I saw a girl blatantly ignore the light and walk through despite the fact that me and about 10 other people were patiently waiting (she might have been a tourist). A cop stopped her and asked her to step onto the sidewalk. She obeyed, apologized profusely and he just said "Ok, just don't let me catch you doing it again." "Why are people blaming the cop? Those girls are to blame." Some networks have only shown a snippet of the video that STARTS with the girl getting punched in the face. When that's the first thing you see it's easy to misconstrue what happened. Pair that with biased "reporters" claiming all the girl did was jaywalk, and it's easy for a normal person to get the wrong impression.
1 person likes this
@shamsta19 (3232)
• United States
17 Jun 10
I watched this video earlier today and of course was appalled. I know there are those who offer the argument the cop was acting alone and dealing with two non cooperative women. It is disturbing on a few levels though. One of course as a Black man I was offended to see the sister hit by this policeman. It goes to show the type of attitude this officer had towards these women for one and police brutality is still a serious issue in most urban neighborhoods. Then he put his hands in the young woman's face too boot!! There is no denying this man punched the woman in the face and wrestled the other to the ground like a WWE fight night. Secondly for those who want to defend the pig, I mean cop, he isn't supposed to be detaining a woman anyway. And why didn't he call for back up the entire time he was struggling with these women? Wouldn't that have been following procedure in this type of situation? He is obviously inflicting bodily harm to both of these women in the video and whether warranted or not he was beyond the boundaries of excessive force. These women were not attacking him at all, merely trying to evade arrest if anything and he could have called for back up if he was having that hard of a time dealing with the ladies. Finally as a man, how could you raise your hands and punch a woman in the face? He obviously has no disregard for the black sisters in the video because I am sure he wouldn't have done this to two white women from the suburbs. Though they probably wouldn't detain them for JAYWALKING in the first place. I won't outright call him a racist because I don't know him but he doesn't seem to care for these women too much. I mean I could never hit a woman like that under any circumstances because my mother raised me better than that... So what's this guy's problem?
@shamsta19 (3232)
• United States
17 Jun 10
Oh and yeah, I understand the argument that the cop had to defend himself, but to the extent that he had to punch this young woman in the face? Like I said he should have called for back up if it became that crucial but like I said also this was a JAYWALKING STOP!!! Really? Some guy probably got robbed down the street while this was going on....
@II2aTee (2560)
• United States
17 Jun 10
What do you mean cops should not be arresting females? Where is they law saying women are above the law and they can resist arrest? Yes it’s a shame that this had to come to blows but her being a female has nothing to do with it. If a person, male or female, is resisting arrest, they are breaking the law. You hear in the news all the time about Police officers being killed on the street. Anyone who attacks a police officer – for any reason – deserves exactly what they get in return. City police have a very dangerous job. Sure it was just two girls (oh yeah with a crowd of people standing around watching) but you never know with people. One of them could have been concealing a weapon. The cop wouldn’t have known for sure. They have to assume the worst. If someone is resisting arrest cops need to assume it’s because they did, or are doing something they shouldn’t. As it turns out his life was not in danger, but there was no way for him to know that at the time. If she wasn’t doing anything wrong, why was she resisting? Furthermore I wish people wouldn’t be so quick to cry racism. Seriously. Just because the cop was white he must be a racist for trying to arrest a black woman. Before you jump and cry RACISM ask yourself this – do you think this young lady would have attacked that police officer if he was black? By the way, I have never, and would never hit a woman. My mother raised me right also. She taught me to respect the law and co-operate with the police. You hear in the news all the time about Police officers being killed on the street.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 10
II2aTee, people call racism when they see it. I know that not all negative acts of a White person against a Black person is racist. And I don't believe this was a racist act as much as it was a policeman who lost his temper. Maybe he had a long day which like a lot of people of this discusssion said, you shouldn't push a policeman. Yet, I see a trace of racism because I've yet to see a policeman hit a White woman in the face and I've seen some of them (especially hillbillies) kicking and biting the officer. Many people call an act racist, when the perpetrator does something to a Black person that he wouldn't do to a White person under the same or similar situation.
1 person likes this
@jb78000 (15178)
17 Jun 10
my take on this was the same as some others here - what on earth was this police officer doing by himself? here you always see cops in pairs - there are very good reasons for this. even if you are just doing traffic related stuff like this man there is always the chance of violence and it is just not safe for one person to be patrolling alone. as far as the video goes - well yes maybe he should not have punched the girl but he had to deal quickly with a violent and potentially very dangerous situation. the answer would be more training and NOT sending police officers out to patrol alone.
@jb78000 (15178)
17 Jun 10
that's too dangerous - if there are serious budget cuts then half the number of patrols instead. policing is a dangerous job anyway and sending out police officers by themselves is ridiculous.
• United States
17 Jun 10
I agree. But try telling the state or local level that. They want to keep areas covered and it is cheaper to do it with one officer in a car than two. They can cover twice as much space for the money. But it does endanger the officers more because someone is more likely to take on one lone officer than two working together. I guess they care more about the money and not about the officers safety. I would pay a tax increase if I know it was going to putting cops back on the buddy system.
• United States
17 Jun 10
unfortunately due to buget cuts most police departments send police out in singles now instead of teams of two. Which I think is bad for the officer. It puts him at more risk. It can take a few minutes for back up to show up (as in this case). SO they have to deal with the situation on their own the best they can until help shows up. I really wish they would go back to sending them out in pairs.
@EvanHunter (4030)
• United States
17 Jun 10
Its not just this incident that people are outraged over. Look at all the things that have happened with the Seattle police department from the WTO to today there has been wide spread use of excessive force and racism within in the police department. My question would be if he acts this way when there are 3 cameras on him how do you think he acts when there isn't any cameras around? Should the other girl have jumped in, no should she be arrested, yes. Should the officer know how to subdue someone without hitting them in the face, yes.
• United States
17 Jun 10
The police department has come out and said that punching is part of their "trained techniques" when dealing with a violent person. So the cop was following his training. Personally I think cops should not be traveling alone. It really does put the cop at greater risk of being attacked. They should have them in pairs. Do you think those girls would have attacked if there had been two cops there? No. Then it would not have been two on one. Plus it would have been taken care of faster with less risk to everyone if another cop had been on the scene and those girls still decided to act violent. HE called for back up but that takes time to show up. In teh mean time he has two violent women to deal with and a growing crowd that could have gotten ugly. How much preasure do you think it puts on a cop to know back up is 5 minutes away. That is a long time when you are in trouble and need help NOW. Which may cause them to react more aggressively than they would if there were more than one cop patroling together. Because then they know they have help near by if they need it. Plus I think if they have two cops together that alone would stop most people from attacking them because there is more than one cop to deal with. I personally think having a cop patroling alone is like putting a target on his back.
• United States
17 Jun 10
"The police department has come out and said that punching is part of their "trained techniques" when dealing with a violent person." Like I said that's Seattle police department. The first priority should be to get the handcuffs on her, punching someone in the face intensifies the situation not to mention it could have gotten real ugly for the cop if one of the men who were standing there would have jumped in. Every police department should be teaching grappling over fist fighting it would put an end to a lot of prolonged situations and make arresting someone a lot quicker and easier than trying to box them. As far as two men per patrol without a doubt that would have changed the whole situation. But still I have wonder after seeing so many videos with Seattle police beating on people how this guy acts when he doesn't know a camera is on him.
• United States
17 Jun 10
I don't know why you are arguing with me I said she deserved to be arrested. Only thing I said was police departments should be teaching cops how to subdue and grapple people over punching them. If you can't see that punching someone doesn't do a damn thing to get the hand cuffs on them than I don't know what to say. As far as the people there, I am sure they don't trust the police department, who would when you see time and again the police beating on people. They lost the faith of the people there a long time ago and that is there fault for the policy they stick by. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B45QPOfpZcE
@Latrivia (2890)
• United States
17 Jun 10
As far as punching a woman in the face goes, you don't assault an officer or physically attempt to stop him from arresting someone. The woman did both. She is not a victim. That said: jaywalking, really? I didn't think cops actually enforced those laws anymore.
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
17 Jun 10
In my experience jaywalking laws are usually only enforced in busy downtown type areas. When I lived in Orlando we had bicycle cops all over the downtown area and people rigidly obeyed the walk and don't walk lights. I'd seen cops stop people for jaywalking, but never actually give a ticket. Odds are if these girls hadn't been so aggressive, they would have gotten off with a warning.
• United States
17 Jun 10
Jaywalking laws are enforced here hard too...in downtown areas,beach and tourist areas. We have bicycle cops on the beach and tourist areas. They will give you a ticket (usually just a written warning) for jay walking in a heartbeat. Especially during the tourist season. A lot of the tourists think they can just cross the roads whenever and not wait for the light...which causes traffic problems (long back ups even when the light is green for the cars to go, because the tourist are crossing against the light) and at least once or twice a year it gets a tourist hit by a car. Which is something NO ONE WANTS to happen. Jaywalking is actually dangerous. It can get you hit by a car. Espeically in busy downtown or tourist areas. The only reason this situation got so out of control is because the girls behavior. I can tell you...if anyone had done that here the cops would have reacted the same way.
@Latrivia (2890)
• United States
17 Jun 10
Maybe it's because I grew up in a small town. The last time I walked in a downtown area was downtown San Antonio near the river walk, and cops were more worried about keeping the drunks under control than a small group of people who jaywalked to save time. Cops where I live don't care as long as you aren't causing trouble for motorists. Like you said, though, it got out of control because of how the girls behaved. You don't run from a cop when they try to talk to you about a law you violated, and you don't attack a cop to keep them away from someone they're trying to arrest.
• Philippines
17 Jun 10
i viewed the video. that was very very very harsh for the police officer to hit the other woman. no matter what they do, as officers, they shouldn't hurt any civilians or assailants. in this case, there were other ways to pacify the heat the situation. the police officer was in such a rush to get the other woman tied. he probably didn't expect that another person would attack him and try to help the friend. the two women can actually file a case against him. and in this case, i believe his defense is kinda weak. there were videos as evidence, he hit the other woman right in the face, in her face. too bad, he's trying to reinforce the law, he lost his cool, and hopefully he won't get jailed for it. but still, he was wrong hitting the woman
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
17 Jun 10
What exactly do you think he should have done instead of punching the woman? You focused on the fact that he hit her "in the face". Where else should he have hit her? Do you think punching her in the chest or the arm would have cause her to back off the way punching her in the face did? How should he have defended himself? A taser would have been more effective, but you only get one shot per cartridge with a taser. Pepper spray is good, but Seattle can be very windy and wind could blow pepper spray back in the cops face. Remember, this guy was outnumbered by two violent women and a crowd was forming. He didn't know if anyone else in the crowd was considering getting violent.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 10
Taskr36, I think he should have continued to make sure the girl was cuffed. The fact is that by pushing him, that girl was going to face punishment anyway. Many times I hear what policeman have to go through. That's part of the job. Imagine what teachers have to face. If you can't handle the job, don't take it. The policeman's job is to arrest, to disassemble a dangerous situation, etc. He is not judge dread, he is not supposed to be the punisher. His temper should be under control at all times or he shouldn't be there. For somone with a weapon who had the right to take one's life, he should be trained better. Control that temper and do your job.
@spalladino (17927)
• United States
17 Jun 10
Rob, I think you're overlooking the fact that this officer's service weapon could have been taken from him during the scuffle or a larger one that could have ensued. The longer this incident played out, the more people who gathered, the more danger this officer was in. Working on the streets is nothing like working in a classroom and the safety of our law enforcement officers takes priority over the perceived rights of people who believe they are above the law.
@_sketch_ (5711)
• United States
17 Jun 10
I heard about this earlier today. I think that it was police brutality. The officer was not in any danger and the force he used was not neccessary. The girl was just trying to get the officer off her friend, protect her friend, who, to me, looked scared of the officer.
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
17 Jun 10
The officer was alone, dealing with two violent women in a high crime area as a crowd was forming. What should he have done instead of punching her? "The girl was just trying to get the officer off her friend" That is a crime. The girl was being detained for ignoring a lawful order made by a police officer. Her friend was interfering with the officer performing his duty. When she pushed him she committed battery on a police officer. Both girls were cited for multiple crimes.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 10
Taskr is right. It is against the law to stop a police officer from arresting someone. He is doing his job. By interfering...and putting her hands on a cop (a huge no no) she made things a lot worse for everyone. Two violent women resisting arrest..a cop alone..and a crowd forming..ya..I would say that cop had a lot to worry about. He did what he had to..to get the two women into custody fast and get the situation under control before it got any worse. I am sure the girl looked scared. She did not want to be arrested. But you know what if you don't want to get arrested you follow the law and follow orders a police officer gives you. She is the one who decided to ignore the police officers orders, and then she also decided to resist arrest. Both are illegal.
@xfahctor (14111)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
17 Jun 10
"The girl was just trying to get the officer off her friend" You don't get a cop off your friend...it is called"assaulting a law enforcement officer" when you do that.
• United States
17 Jun 10
I saw this, and at first I just could not believe it, but that girl, the one who punched would not back off or back down. The cop, I think, could have handled it differently, but he didn't. The girls were in the wrong, but the cops weren't angels either. It was bad situation.
• United States
18 Jun 10
He probably wasn't armed with a taser and if he did not have one with him, then the fist, sadly, is the only option he has.
@ellie333 (21029)
17 Jun 10
These days I wonder why there is ever a lone officer as if there were two they could have restrained the girls without this officer taking action, I don't think he should have punched her but pushed her back as she did him. There were two of them and being unruly but I don't think he was in danger as such so a bit excessive, I don't think I would class a police brutality though as he reacted in a situation he wasn't out to delibrately harm for no reason which to me I would consider to be brutal. Huggles. Ellie:D
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
17 Jun 10
"don't think he should have punched her but pushed her back as she did him." He pushed her the first time she got involved and a young man attempted to hold her back. It was the second time, when she really came at him that he punched her. The same man who tried to hold her back the first time was the one that eventually pulled her away as the officer was fighting with both girls. "These days I wonder why there is ever a lone officer as if there were two they could have restrained the girls without this officer taking action" Yeah, cops are MUCH safer when they travel in pairs. Sadly not all cities have the budgets necessary for that.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17927)
• United States
17 Jun 10
I saw some coverage of this earlier on CNN and I have to side with the officer. These girls did not have the right to be uncooperative, they did not have the right to ignore the officer's instructions, they did not have the right to resist and the girl who got punched definitely did not have the right to put her hands on him. Not to mention....she was huge!
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
17 Jun 10
Yeah, she was not a small woman and she forcefully pushed him back. It wasn't a light shove, she actually moved him in the process and was clearly obstructing justice. If it were a man that was doing that, I don't think anyone would have questioned the cop's response.
• United States
17 Jun 10
What is with kids today who think they don't have to listen to a cop when he tells them to do something? Someone posted that he should have taken the girl to the ground but I'm not sure that would have been a good idea since there was a crowd gathering and who knows how they would have reacted to that. I think he did the right thing.
@Destiny007 (5820)
• United States
17 Jun 10
He should have tazered her and called for backup. That was a very and situation for him and could have gotten out of control very quickly with all of those people there.
• United States
17 Jun 10
I'm siding with the police officer on this one. If a police officer says to you you are under arrest you do NOT struggle and you do NOT "help" your friend who is being detained. By doing that you are interfering with a Police officer and his duties. That girl should consider herself lucky that a punch in the face is all she got outta the whole incident. I'm sure this poor cop is going to be in a bit of jam for a while but he has my full support and my hopes and prayers go out to him, his family and the entire Seattle Police Force as they try to get through whatever law suits are heading their way...
@Riesu77 (16)
• United States
17 Jun 10
I think it was self defense, sure he could have sprayed her with pepper spray, he was just doing procedure.
@hexeduser22 (5856)
• Philippines
17 Jun 10
Its natural for people to assume things but the police did the right thing its not to be considered police brutality
@Tresaqwe (376)
• United States
17 Jun 10
I don't see how the police officer could be in the wrong at all. He was just trying to do his job and fend off the women. I don't see how he could have dealt with it differently, because the women were attacking him. The other girl had no right to push the officer when he was trying to arrest her, and she started to assault him. I believe he had every right to do what he did.
• Philippines
17 Jun 10
Taskr, Well, it ain't just the ticket they will be having but also they'll be charged with "resisting arrest" even in my country, things get worse when a person resist the arrest. but of course, i was kinda concern on how the woman was treated. the lady should have just cooperate, but too bad for the officer that was actually alone during that time, surrounded by the crowd.