Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Can Someone Again Explain To Me Why a 51-Year Old Woman Had To Go To Jail Over A Bike Light?

Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm the one that just doesn't get it.

By now, we've all been 'round the roses in the bizarre case of Freedom Child, the 51-year-old woman who had to go to jail over not putting her bike-light on. I've read the news articles, I've read Steve Duin's column today, and I just don't get it.

It's particularly hard for people like me. You see, quite contrary to the straw-man pre-mis-conception of the lefty that the conservative witling lets themselves be convinced exists and cuddles so close to their breast to keep them enraged.

I like the cops! I adore law and order. My father was a prison guard and he was in the National Guard. In my family, until you knew what was going on, the only proper response to a man in blue was Yes, officer!.

When me and my wife watch COPS, we root for the uniform.

So, I'm looking over the facts as we've been allowed to see them ... the unmarked car coming up to a woman, hassling her, and then the physical confrontation. Even if you don't buy the fact that Freedom Child didn't understand the men were police before they physically restrained her, even though, as Duin reported in his column:

Child testified Dorn and Harris never identified
themselves as police on that dark and lonely night; the
officers insisted they did so fairly quickly. Yet if
we're weighing everyone's relationship with the
truth, the officers never mentioned the unmarked car in the
arrest report and each claimed he popped on the
"overhead" lights so Child could see they were in

There were no overhead lights in the car.

Even if you don't think Freedom Child was being straight with us about not knowing they were the cops, you've got to wonder what's going on here. It's really starting to look like the two officers are being given a pass. The revelations that Duin shares with us in his column give the strong impression that the citizen was being treated as the enemy here in a system that is still unwilling to admit it went over the line and made a mistake.

But I'm willing to admit I'm wrong. I've always–seriously–always ready to give the man and woman in the uniform the benefit of the doubt (you'll have to give me the benefit of the doubt on this, people ... it's easy for someone writing an anonymous blog to say whatever sh*t they want and claim sincerity, and I realise that. I'm being straight-up with you here).

So why should I believe that what happened to Freedom Child should have happened to her? Is running a woman that you spooked the heck out of into jail really a justified use of my tax money?

Or, what am I getting wrong here?

And don't bore me with the well, you never know what a person's going to do argument. I know that one. If there were an epidemic of fifty-something female bike-riders luring police into situations where they look all harmless and busting a cap in the cop's ass, then you'd have a point. But there isn't. So you don't.

I hope our Portland Police officers strive to be above reproach. I doubt they're 100% successful–after all, they're human beings. But was this trip necessary?

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