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Discussion in '2007 Archive' started by mnw, Jul 8, 2007.
I don't know whether to laugh or not...
This is the kind of story newspapers pick up and reshape in order to get a good laugh or head-shake on a slow news day. I decided it might be good to get a closer-to-the-incident report, and so googled the local newspaper in Orem, Utah. The fuller story is maybe a little less ridiculous:
She claimed she was not resisting arrest, but rather just trying to sit down and get away from the handcuffs. Sorry, but that sounds like resisting arrest to me. And she was not arrested for not watering her lawn - she was arrested for not giving her name to the officer, which she is legally required to do. Did the officer overreact? Sure. But that's about it, as the officer was well within the bounds of the law.
This story mirrors the other'
It seems the officers superiors thought it was an over-reaction by releasing her as soon as it came to their attention.
I just do not see the justification for this. Did he think she was going into the house for a gun or something?
Anyway, a police officer going to a home because of a dry lawn seems overkill to me.
Oh I agree entirely. But really, as far as police misconduct goes it's pretty tame and entirely legal.
That's quite an indictment on the police. Are you saying that if in trouble with the law even for a minor offence you can expect to be manhandled?
Sure - it happens all the time to ethnic youths.
Plus, this hardly constitutes a "manhandling". She wasn't hit, thrown, or abused in any way. She refused to give her name, as she was required by law to do, and then attempted to escape the officer when he responded by taking her into custody. I agree that he made a poor judgement call in attempting to do so, but it was hardly an incident of gross misconduct or abuse. I'm much more concerned about incidents where officers break the law than those where they apply the law over-zealously.
Those poor ethnic youths... got such a hard time... what has that got to do with anything?
1. I don't think the quantity or quality of hurts is in question, rather the fact that any hurt was inflicted at all.
2. Escape the officer? Right, at a staggering 1.5 mph the 70 year old granny flew from the grip of law and order...
3. The lady was concerned, she was going into her home to call her son and the cop whips out some cuffs.
4. The senior officers saw what a ridiculous situation it was and released her immediately and put the cop on administrative leave.
Now unless there was more to it than meets the eye then this never should have happened.
Golly......I dont need to mow my yard as it is so crispy when I walk on it the grass crushes and breaks.......we are at level 5 water restrictions due to drought.....the story is asinine in my úmble opinion....
I pointed out that there are plenty other far more egregious instances of police misconduct. You asked about them. I mentioned that they typically affect ethnic youths. And then you ask what it has to do with anything? Let me explain clearly: I am far more concerned about the actions of police officers who commit illegal acts than those who are too strict in carrying out the exact letter of the law (which the officer in question here did).
Again, I entirely agree that this never should have happened and of course it was ridiculous. The officer made a poor decision. At the same time, however, that decision was well within the bounds of the law for him to make. It's simply not within the lady's rights to leave the officer to go into her home and call her son and the cop had every right to detain her from doing so. Exactly what "hurt" did the officer inflict here that was beyond the necessary force to restrain her?
Necessary force? She was 70 years old. The amount of force used was excessive in that situation. That officer should be ashamed of himself for treating an old women like that. If I were him, I would find another job.
First, normally the legal owner is responsible, not the resident. If the officer knew the name and address of the legal owner he could have mailed the citation.
The officer used poor judgement if the report was correct. Some officers take stuff personally when the wise solution is to walk away and forget it.
The ONLY good thing about hot weather is that the lawn turns brown and I don't have to mow it. Grass always comes back when it rains.
I saw this story in video form. Your last question here bothers me. In the video this poor woman shows signs of wounds on her hands, legs, and face. These wounds, it is assumed, occured when the officer in question "man-handled" her and she fell on her steps. This is a 70 year old LADY! Do you honestly believe that these wounds were neccessary? How on earth can you say that that kind of "force" is neccessary for a 70 year old LADY?
Any "thinking" man should have realized she could get hurt in a struggle and simply accompanied her into her home to call her son. Simply being level headed in this situation would have averted many problems. She was not resisting arrest. She simply was trying to get help from her son. Obviously she was confused and scared. A little understanding would have gone a long way in preventing this situation from escalating.
Unfortunately, with the present mess our society is facing concerning the escalating anarchy in our streets, our police have taken on a siege mentality and are stepping WAY out of bounds all too often. This environment has also contributed to this officer's over reaction.
I hope he loses his job over this. Perhaps it will teach his fellow officers that 70 year old LADIES are not Al-Queida.
"Necessary" in that he held her to prevent her going into the house once he had determined to lawfully arrest her. I agree that the decision to arrest her was not necessary.
According to her own story, she tried to sit down in order to get away from the officer. In his attempt to prevent her from doing so, she fell and got scraped up. If any of them were a direct result of the officer and not of her attempt to escape custody, then I agree they were unnecessary. "Simply" trying to get help from your son when an officer decides to take you into custody, however, is indeed resisting arrest.
Look, I'm not trying to justify the officer here. Yes he was too rough. Yes he could have dealt with the situation a hundred other ways. And yes, you're absolutely right on the siege mentality of the police, which has always been somewhat of a tight-knit club. My point is only that people in general are getting their knickers in knots over this without realizing that it's only a small and relatively less important example when considered within the context of other incidents of police misconduct.
Some times you can be within your rights to do something, but still should not. That is the case here. If you are being detained by the police and you try to walk away you can be physically detained. But just because you can be does not mean you should be.
Given that this was a little old lady who was only scared the better judgement would have been to leave it alone and find out the name of the owner and send the ticket or allow her to call her son and then work it out.
The officer was sent home on leave, because of bad judgement not breaking the rules. Just because you have the option to use force does not mean you have to, if there is a better way. Clearly there was a better way here.
The funny thing is the local news media the next day found an empty lot the city owned that was full of trash and had dead grass and weeds.
It is important that Mormon country must maintain a good image.
However the lady did not follow the policeman's orders. We have too many people who think they do not need to submit to authority.
That is the rule of thumb here. I do not know if any of that was involved here. Where this happened is probably %90 LDS. The better question is why were the neighbors not helping this little old lady out. What I find here is that acting good is only done when it is noticed and for the image.
This is true however force is to be used only when there are no other options. He has a hard sell to say that he had no other options. Like I say she was breaking the law and he was with in his right to physicaly detain her. However it was not the smart thing to do. He could have gotten the job done with out roughing her up.
But if they are in a drought and tell people to conserve water, they should not complain about dry, brown grass - it is sending mixed signals.
How do you know that her mental capacity is not reduced to where she could not understand the policeman's orders? Seems to me that she was very easily confused. The policman should have done something different.