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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why Do Police Victimize The Victim?

The story from the Dallas Morning News in Dallas Texas today about Ryan Moats, the NFL running back, who was stopped in an emergency room parking lot by an overzealous Dallas Police Officer while his mother-in-law died in the hospital is making the national news rounds now, so I don't need to cover it any more than this...

but I still want people to consider what would happen if it wasn't a football star who was stopped... if there wasn't a video... and if the police department didn't care to investigate it... Such a thing happened here in Seattle recently.

I received a letter a few days ago about an incident this year here in Seattle that involved two women, one of them who was viciously beaten and almost raped, only to be further victimized by a Seattle Police Officer.

One of the women, let’s call her M, wrote about how she was assaulted by a man who demanded money. When she said she didn’t have any he backhanded her and began beating her and ripping off her clothes.

It was then that her friend, let’s call her J, jumped out of their nearby car to help when she was also attacked, but after hitting her friend the attacker ran off, perhaps thinking two women were more than he wanted to deal with..

But, the damage was done, M realized that she could no longer see out of her right eye. J looked at M’s eye and realized it was bleeding and damaged, so they got into their car and rushed to the nearest hospital.

As J was driving, M kept blacking out so J, rightly concerned, went against a one-way only turn sign after pausing to make sure nobody was coming, and was immediately stopped by a Seattle Police officer.

J explained to the officer that she was driving her friend to the ER and asked for an escort. But the officer replied. “I can’t do that”. And began to demand J’s license and registration. J became upset: “Look at her, her face, her eye! We need serious medical attention!” she exclaimed, explaining that her friend was just beaten up and almost raped.

When the officer refused to look, M leaned over and looked at the officer, forcing him to see her developing black eyes and damaged right eye… The officer replied with a chuckle and smiled when he turned away to go back to his motorcycle to write the ticket.

When he returned he wrote two tickets, one for the traffic infraction and the other for failure to provide proof of insurance (which was later dropped when J showed the same form to the court that she provided the officer).

J, still in shock from the disbelief she felt at the officer’s reaction to her friend’s injuries, asked the officer “How would you feel if it was your mother, sister, or daughter who was just physically and almost sexually assaulted and a police officer thought it was humorous?

The officer got irate and shoved his hand in her face, exclaiming “I don’t want to hear it! Move!” and then he shoved her back forcefully, got on his bike and, in her own words:
He laughed, and flippantly said, “Good Luck,” driving off on his motorcycle as if he had done nothing wrong. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I and my friend had already been victimized and this SPD officer had just left both of us feeling degraded, small, used, harassed, assaulted and highly humiliated by someone whose duty it is “to serve and protect.”
It takes a certain kind of sadism for officers to have such disregard for the suffering of others, let alone to intentionally act in ways that would make that suffering worse… especially for the victims of crimes whom they are duty-bound to help and protect instead of harm and prosecute.

When they think of their role as officers as a divide between us and them and begin to think of the “them” as less than human, this is ultimately the result…

While it’s good that the Moats case has been aired in the press… J and M’s case will never be heard or read… just another couple of innocent people who have learned that there are officers out there who have become so jaded and rooted in the culture of police isolationism that they treat victim and suspect with equal disregard…

Regretfully, to those officers, we’re all animals... victim and suspect alike.

Some information and details have been removed and altered to protect the victims in this case from retaliation by the police for telling their stories.


Anonymous said...

Probably M and J should have stayed at the scene and called 911 for medical assistance and police to take the crime report. The medical treatment would have been received faster and the criminal report would have been recorded with the proper information about location and any possible evidence could have been recovered. Driving someone in need of medical attention has been a no no for at least 30 years. For at least the last 20 years the Police have been unable to "escort" someone due to liablility concerns by insurance companies, because of large suites by ACLU, NAACP, and other liberal blame anyone except the person whose actions caused the situation in the first place.

Packratt said...

Now, I know it's hard for you, a police officer, to accept. But there are many people in the community who are too afraid to call the police based on the abuses that police officers commit against the community.

This is especially true for groups of people like minorities and the economically disadvantaged who have really been harmed by police officers in Seattle... especially the homeless.

So, I would imagine that it's entirely possible that the last thing these two women wanted to have happen to them was to have an insensitive officer, perhaps like yourself, show up and victimize them more than they already had been by a criminal...

A fear obviously well-founded by how the officer who stopped them and prevented them from getting timely medical care had done after visually confirming that the one victim was in need of medical assistance.

But, thanks for the comment anyway, it's always interesting to see how the mind of a police officer perceives and spins such incidents.

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