Thursday, August 6, 2009

Who Is The Adult In This Situation?

My kids and I have many one liners that help them to understand what I expect of them. When they tell me about something some one else is doing I ask who are you responsible for? Or when they misbehave in church I say where are you? Those questions usually get instant results. The other is who is the adult in this situation? I ask this when they are trying to be too adult. I am in charge. My little one used to say mommy is the adult in this station. When I see things like the Professor Gates story I ask myself that question. Who indeed is the adult in this situation, or more to the point where was the adult in this situation. I have not shared my thoughts on the whole Gates affair because I figured there was enough people who did. But then I am ridding to work yesterday and I hear a story about an 18 year-old from Union, SC who is suing the police department over a strip search during a traffic stop. If you read the story it seems completely outrageous. Why would broken headlight or even drunk driving cause a strip search? I cannot see the reasoning in this but the part of this story that gets me is this:

Turner said she and her friend got out and the officer searched the car, even using a dog. Then, he called for backup from a Union County deputy.

Turner said the officers searched her car and then called for a female detention center officer to strip search her and her friend in the parking lot.

"First, she me made me put my hands up on the roof," Turner said. "Then she made me pull my shirt up and unfasten my bra. Then she made me, after that, she fastened my bra and pulled my shirt down. Then she made me pull my pants and my panties down, squat and cough."

OK WTF?!?! Who are these people who show up for this kind of craziness and then go along with it. If I were the female officer I hope I would have had the guts to tell them to call me when they arrest her and we can search her then. Or better yet tell him to go get his meds because this is some crazy shit. Why is there more than one officer and not ONE of them have the sense God gave them to quote Whitney and say HELL TO THE NAW! I am not doing that and neither are you. You have search the car and used dogs! You have found nothing we are going home now. Write them a ticket, let’s go! ALL every last one of them ALL of the officers involved in this stop need to reprimanded. That is the only way to curb this kind of craziness from happening. The officer is this case was reprimanded but only because the stop took too long. Apparently it took over an hour to let these kids go.

I know this kid is not Black but this is the same behavior that happened at Professor Gates’ house. All of those officers on that porch and not ONE of them had the courage to say take those cuffs off and let that man go back in his house. NOT ONE. After the whole crazy affair go down they all go on TV to say they support the guy. He goes on TV and acts like a 2nd grader saying I am NOT apologizing ain't gonna happen. Are you serious? Even if the arrest was legitimate he at least have to admit that the man was tired and maybe him the professional people server could have just let the guy go to bed. Who is going to really think that a guy robbing a house answers the door. This guy is 50s maybe 5'10 with a cane. OK you don't need to apologize but I bet the next person you stop is going to be very suspicious of your ass. Come to my door and I will be calling the cops to send someone else. If I were Chief ALL, EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM would be reprimanded. It is crazy to think that all of the people that have to be involved in a traffic stop or arrest and none of them step in and just say NO! Who are the adults here? Are we not supposed to be dealing with professionals? This is the thing that bothers me more than the rouge cop. It is the good cop that stands by at one of the bogus stops and do nothing. It is not just Crowley that owes Gates an apology it is every officer on that porch.

I have my own story many actually just as most of the people I know. My brother came to see me when I lived in Baltimore. He drove up at night after work got in about 1am sat at a gas station and called me to come get him because he feared getting lost in the dark at that time of night. He even joked about getting caught in the wrong place and me having to spend the weekend trying to find him. I get to the station and just make a U-turn so he can follow. As soon as he turns on his lights and get behind me the blue lights go on. I think they are after me for the U-turn so I pull over. They are stopping him. The cop gives us some story about a woman reporting her boyfriend violating a restraining order and breaking in to her home. I ask the back up officer, who is pointing hi gun at me because I am trying to explain that I cannot leave because my brother has no idea where he is and I need to get him to my home, would the woman not have said first and foremost that the guy has SC plates? After he figures he is not going to get me to leave he finally looks at me and says I am just backup. Well just backup is pointing a gun at a pregnant woman and her 2 sleeping kids. Needles to say I called any and everyone I knew after that incident. I did get an apology but I wonder what my son would think of the police had he been awake for that? How then am I supposed to trust the police if he arrests my kid? I will not. My past experience has told me not to. Mr. Policeman the next time you wonder why the public thinks of you as public enemy no 1 look in the mirror.

Not to say that I have not had good interaction with officers. I have. I got stopped in VA on my way home the night my Dad passed and that officer was going to give me a ticket but instead sat with me on the side of the road until I stopped crying and called me every hour until I made it home safely. I also had an officer let my friend come to my house to drop off her car and kids so he would not have to arrest her for a minor incident in front of her kids. He even called me when he processed her so I could be ready to get her when she could go home. When I thanked him, he told me we all make mistakes and he did not want to tarnish a single mom in her kids’ eyes. I know both these officers violated all kinds of rules to do these acts of kindness but I am glad that they were the adult professionals we would like to think exist in our police departments.