13 February 2012

Cops behaving badly

We'll finish off this depressing triad with a story from Austin, Texas:
A few years back Grits posed the question, "Is babysitting while white reasonable suspicion for police questioning?" after my granddaughter and I were detained and questioned at length in my neighborhood on suspicion of some nefarious deed (it was never quite clear what). In that incident, the police were pretty clear I was stopped solely because Ty, like her mother (who came to live with my wife and me when she was a child) is black, while I'm an almost stereotypical looking white Texas redneck....

As soon as we crossed the street, just two blocks from my house as the crow flies, the police car that just passed us hit its lights and wheeled around, with five others appearing almost immediately, all with lights flashing. The officers got out with tasers drawn demanding I raise my hands and step away from the child. I complied, and they roughly cuffed me, jerking my arms up behind me needlessly. Meanwhile, Ty edged up the hill away from the officers, crying. One of them called out in a comforting tone that they weren't there to hurt her, but another officer blew up any good will that might have garnered by brusquely snatching her up and scuttling her off to the back seat of one of the police cars. (By this time more cars had joined them; they maxxed out at 9 or 10 police vehicles.)..
The rest of the story is at Grits for Breakfast, via Reddit.


  1. Is it at all possible that this had something to do with an "Amber Alert"?

  2. Uncharacteristic of you to post much sensationalist material.
    I believe the incident would have gone much more smoothly if he had answered the officer with his name and some further information. He had an ax to grind, from the get-go.

    If my daughter is ever seen walking with ANYONE and a passerby thinks something looks "off," I pray that the witness will contact police.

    1. Anon, I wonder if you really mean what you're saying. I don't know if you're male or female, but lets say you're the father. If you take your daughter to the mall, you want someone who sees the two of you entering the mall to call the police. They stop and question you and ask for your i.d. Then further into the mall someone else sees you and calls mall security or police, who again stop you. This could happen multiple times on a single shopping trip, because people don't know that someone else has already reported you walking with a little girl.

      You would like this kind of situation? Every week?

    2. I very much dislike that it was a difference in races that alarmed someone enough for them to fear a kidnapping was in progress and call the police.

      BUT I think if all of us were more observant of the people around us, and said something when we saw something that alarmed us, the world would be a better place. People are hesitant to get involved.

      Yes, if someone saw something that made them concerned for my daughter's welfare, I pray that they will call for help. My experience with the public is that an incident has to be pretty extraordinary for people to summon help. I'd rather she turn away help than not have it offered. My opinion only, and I may not be expressing myself very well.

  3. I hope everyone does not miss the real silver lining to this story:

    They cared enough to do all of this for a little black girl. 45 years ago, that may not have been the case.

    But yeah, the little girl is calling him grandpa... They are separated..... and they still put him in cuffs. Seriously?


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