I saw this viral video a year ago about a girl getting body slammed by a police officer in middle school. When I saw the video I was astonished by what I saw. I never followed up with that case because there were so many other police involved incidents that were happening simultaneously the past few years. This morning I woke up way too early and was looking for something to watch. I settled on Netflix and then found a movie called “On These Grounds”. This movie, documentary, is about that incident at the middle school.
I haven’t even finished the documentary yet but it has made my face red with anger already. The first problem I have is that there was another female student who told the other students to take out their phones and record the incident who was arrested the same day and taken to an adult jail and processed. She was arrested for asking what the other girl did. The second problem I have is why did the police officer treat her like a common criminal instead of a student with disabilities.
Let me stop there with the problems I have with the incident and discuss what I feel part of the “defund the police” agenda is about. Mental health or people with disabilities should be handled by people who are properly trained to de-escalate the situation. The police are trained to deal with criminals they do not have the capacity to deal with those situations as we have also seen frequently in past few years. For instance, in September 2020 police killed a boy with autism, and the thing aby that is when the mother called the police for help she asked for them to send someone who could deal with mental health. She told the operator he had autism! The police still treated him like a criminal.
The thing that made me pause the movie and begin writing this blog is the racism. During the movie the producer included real life clips of the news, politicians, and other public figures discussing this incident. Each Caucasian person who spoke on the situation said that the police officer was doing his job and that the girl was disrupting class. I mean seriously, come on! The only signs of disruption I saw was from the teacher, the assistant principal, and the officer. I mean they literally said that it’s basically another “bad black kid”. The girl just wanted to go to her counselor and verbally stated to that to the teacher. She wasn’t fight, she wasn’t talking to other kids in the class, and she didn’t have a phone! The other girl who was a arrested stated that she and the oy kids didn’t even know it was a situation until the teacher called the assistant principal. Caucasian people turned this into a racial issue, the problem is not race but how the police handled the situation with the student. If it were a Caucasian child, or a Middle Eastern child, or an Asian child we as “African Americans” would have still been outraged. Why wasn’t there a female officer there?
After the officer was discharged from his job he went on a tour trying to convince people that he was fired for doing his job and all of this is about racism. He still doesn’t feel he did anything wrong or could have handled the situation. He stated children needed proper discipline. Is arresting a 16 hear old proper discipline for not taking a test? Is it assaulting a 16 hear old girl proper discipline for refusing to go to the principal’s office? No it is not. This girl sustained injuries! Fractures and carpet burns! He even thinks we should be grateful he didn’t use a taser, or a stick, or call in the canine unit after she (the student) so called punched him in the face! As if we didn’t see the video and clearly see that he did not reach for her right arm like he stated but put his hand around her neck and then grab her chin upwards! Liar!
From this movie I learned that some police are unable to tell the difference between criminals. All bad behavior is the same. A child refusing to take a test is the same a child who brings a gun to school and shoots it up! That is why we need to get the police better training. Even after that officer say down and spoke with a table full of “African American” women, he still was unable to see his wrong doings. This is and was not about race, but about the police ability to de-escalate situations properly. It is not a conspiracy theory that even in the youngest of our race, are treated differently by the police.