I was working out at the Gym today with the screen in front of me on MSNBC. The show that was on in was “Caught on Tape: The Thin Blue Line.” One of the stories they covered was a police officer who “attacked” a 14 year old male. You can see the story here. If you are expecting my slant to be the same as this news story, you had better stop reading now.
I find it absolutely offensive that the reaction to the story is that the officer was in the wrong. This was potentially a valuable lesson for the young man who unfortunately doesn’t have parents strong enough to backup the lesson. Let’s get the facts straight her. 1. Young man is participating in an illegal activity thereby instigating the contact with the police. 2. Please officer orders young man to stop illegal activity. 3. Young Man refuses to stop illegal activity. Let’s pause here for a second. If a police officer orders someone to stop an illegal activity and the person refuses, what should the officer do? At this point, the officer can no longer walk away and the interaction get physical. From what I saw, the officer showed great restraint and handled the young man very well without harming him. Once the officer gets the young man to sit down, he delivers a great lesson in respect for authority in the form of an angry lecture.
The the story gets really stupid. The monther of the boy says “I started watching the video and couldn’t continue. I flipped out,”. Unfortunately she didn’t “flip out” in embarrassment over the behavior of her son. I would have been inviting that officer over for an appreciation/apology dinner. Appreciation for the life lesson delivered to my son and my apology for my failure as a parent to instill the appropriate respect for authority for my child.
The statement on how backwards the world is on this can be found in the last line of the story. “Hundreds of WJZ viewers have e-mailed their opinions about the incident. Two-thirds feel the officer was too harsh with the boy.” It is sad that two-thirds of the people think the one who escalated the incident was wronged.