RantWoman has MUCH to do but has given herself permission to spend half an hour on the two police videos du jour. This blog covers lots of general #disability issues and this commentary goes here.
--RantWoman will meditate on her other blog about whether to tack a #PepperSpray MeToo sign on her shirt in solidarity with Garfield High teacher Jesse Hagopian getting pepper sprayed at last week's Martin Luther King March. The topic needs the tender mercies of faith community and tolerance for complexity for one thing because Irrepressible Nephew is set to attend garfield next year, God Willing, the creek don't rise, and ...
--Here RantWoman will address the video of the elderly African American guy getting arrested allegedly for swinging a golf club at a police car. RantWoman will sardonically note how long it takes to articulate what she sees, decide how to distribute, and meditate about whether it would also be good to listen to the torrents of other commentary.
First, HOPEFULLY this is what police accountability starts to look like. RantWoman notes a radio story indicating the officer involved is being investigated over two incidents. RantWoman has spent only a few minutes on Twitter and has seen enough of posts by Cynthia Whitlatch, the polic officer involved to form sort of blunt opinions about anyone going around looking to hassle people for contempt of cop! Sigh.. Onward.
Here, start with what RantWoman HEARS in the video.
RantWoman definitely hears an older guy voice. RantWoman hears a female police officer voice but RantWoman strongly suspects from the repetitions at the beginning that elderly guy does not hear the police officer or hears her poorly. RantWoman herself could not figure out whatthe officer was talking about and can easily imagine the person in the video having the same problem. Hearing loss in the middle frequencies is very common as people age. That is one reason many older people have trouble hearing women's voices, on top of the point that women's voices do not carry as well as men's voices. Before declaring that women just should not be cops, someone should probably check some actual data and then think about how to work with what people of different ages do or do not hear.
RantWoman is also stuck about the did the guy hear the officer point though partly because of the previous case of John T. Williams who had a long documented hearing loss. Hearing loss is frustrating for everyone. Word. Now, what should cops and community do about the problem?
The other thing RantWoman hears: echoes of the South Park Cartman as cop episodes with mirrored sunglasses and a frantic Cartman demanding "Respect my AUTHORITAY." RantWoman exaggerates A LITTLE but does hear an officer sturggling for a sense that she is being respected for her uniform and her badge. RantWoman thinks the officer is probably up against a guy with a lifetime of experiences where uniform and badge do not have positive associations. RantWoman suggests readers consider this lifetime of experiences, the crime rate on Capitol Hill, and the guy's clear need for some kind of support.
On to what RantWoman SEES in the video, with wonky vision and computer image blown up to 4x normal so RantWoman can see up close things she would not necessarily see if for instance walking through the area in the company of Ambassador Thwack the badly behaved white cane.
RantWoman sees an elderly African guy using a golf club as a cane. Elderly guy is none too steady on his feet and definitely needs the support. RantWoman is not in a position to comment about whether golf clubs offer better support and stability than regular walking canes, but can definitely see reasons for the substitution.
RantWoman is not going to go dig up statistics but is pretty sure she remembers pretty generalized concern about assaults on Capitol Hill during the period of this video. RantWoman again really would prefer not to comment about golf clubs and self-defense but can definitely see self-defense entering a vulnerable elder'smind as a consideration when choosing mobility aid.
Did elderly guy swing golf club at police officer or at car as the officer claims? Not that RantWoman can tell from the video!
(When RantWoman is being REALLY generous toward the officer, the video does a little bit call to mind an old Almost Live episode where two guys are in a car ranting at a police car behind them. The ranting gets more and more twitchy and somehow something finally happens so the officer turns on his lights and the comics stop.)
If the officer were in car on a street when someone on a sidewalk or in a park swung a golf club in her direction, is she in any danger? Is she in more or less danger when she gets out of the car to confront the guy?
If RantWoman had been walking through the area at the time, would the guy with the golf club make her feel unsafe? Hard to say. Compared to everything else that might be going on?
Does RantWoman have enough to worry about already without A COP making up crap like a non-existent golf club swing too? Definitely.
Would a coprepeatedly missing that someone just cannot hear her make RantWoman feel unsafe? Definitely!
Here, though we come to RantWoman's short excursion into social media and one Facebook post from Officer Whitlatch.The #fb post says, in fairly incendiary terms "I just don't get it." RantWoman thinks it is actually better for people to be able to say out loud in whatever language the thought forms "I just do not get it" so that they can be offered opportunities to get it. RantWoman has no tolerance for "I just do not get it and I am unwilling to learn." Or rather, RantWoman would assign such people to ride the bus in the courtesy section with ...RantMom and urge both parties to well work with the realities there.
One night at one of the RantWomen Sunday suppers, RantMom's topic was an encounter with an African American guy about her age in the courtesy section of a #kcmetrobus. RantMom asked the guy to move so they could share the seat. RantMom had NO clue that the request would come across as her questioning his right to be in the front of the bus or his experience in the past of being excluded from the front of the bus. RantWoman is not clear the point registered with RantMom by the end of the conversation with RantWoman. On the other hand, RantMom is not out patrolling the streets with a badge and a gun.
Now RantWoman for now has MUCH else to attend to!