A word of warning… the video below is very disturbing.
Details are still coming out about what exactly transpired at the Craig Ranch Community, a gated community in the Dallas area, but a video of the events is shocking people nationwide. A diverse group of teens were having a party at Craig Ranch’s pool when McKinney Texas police were called after a fight broke out, and because some residents felt the teens were trespassing. According to news reports police arrived after the fight ended and attempted to round the teens up. By the time the camera starts rolling, the police are simultaneously rounding up teens and telling others to disperse.
One young black woman seems to question the officer and what follows is quite disturbing. He grabs her by the hair and arm and slams her to the ground. He then pins her there with his knee in her back and pushes her head down whenever she lifts it. Surrounding teens are bewildered and visibly upset by the officer’s actions. Perhaps even more disturbing there are adults there who simply watch and meander as the cop is overly aggressive with the young woman, who is sobbing on the ground.
The coverage of this event is equally troubling. If you Google the headlines, a lot of the focus is on the cop pulling a gun on two unarmed teen boys. Few specifically reference how lawlessly aggressive he was with a petite, bikini-clad (and clearly unarmed) young black woman. I even read a story where the girl’s “mouthiness” is set forth as possible justification for the officer’s action. But in an interview with CNN legal analyst and trial attorney Paul Callan made it clear that the officer’s actions are way out of line;
“The officer’s treatment of the girl “appears to be punishment for her attitude rather than for the commission of any crime and does not appear to be supported by probable cause or even reasonable suspicion,” he added. “It appears to be an illegal and unconstitutional arrest and detention.””
A few weeks back we posted about a group of black women who marched topless in San Francisco to protest the killing of unarmed black women by police. Some people felt their actions were unnecessary and crass, but when police violence against a young, black girl does not warrant focused coverage, it becomes clear why many black women feel that desperate measures are necessary to call attention.
Another troubling aspect of this video is the treatment of black teens versus white and non-black teens. The young man who shot the video, Brandon Brooks, is a white teen who attended the pool party. In an email interview with NBC he noted that only black kids were targeted:
“When I started the video was right after all the kids who got put on the ground had gotten up and ran away. The cop was chasing after all those kids just putting every black person he saw on the ground.”
Ryan Nave, a news editor at the Jackson Free Press who often covers police and crime, gave his insight on the clear racism on display in the video;
“Notice how close the officers let white people get to them. First, it was the presumably white camera operator who walked up and handed the officer his flashlight, which was met with thanks. Then there’s the larger gentleman who seems to be by the officer’s side at every step. Based on the khaki shirt, I guess he could be a deputy but he doesn’t seem to be performing any law enforcement duties. There’s a white parent who’s talking to some of the children who are seated. By contrast, every single thing with brown skin (which there’s a lot of because everyone is wearing bathing suits) that gets within 15 feet of this guy is yelled at, ordered to go across the street, lectured, roughed up or, MOST HORRIFYINGLY, pointed a loaded weapon at.”
Ladies, what are your thoughts on all this?