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#7: Punch-gate; Best of the Sable Verity

October 19, 2010

One of the more controversial articles on the SV came in the wake of an incident not far from Seattle’s Franklin High School, where a Seattle Police officer punched a 17 year old girl in the face in the aftermath of a jay-walking incident.  While most people jumped on the officer’s case, I focused on the behavior of the young adults involved.

I stand by my initial commentary on the issue.  What those girls did was equally if not more so appalling to what the officer did in response. Disobeying the officer was one thing, but putting hands on him, attacking him and struggling with him took the incident to an entirely new level.  Between the contents, the comments and how widely it was shared, this entry is one of the highest ranked in the SV’s history:

Girl Attacks Cop, Cop Punches Girl

The incident began simple enough.  An officer stopped a group of girls for jaywalking near a local high school. In response, the girls became belligerent; raised voices, disrespect- and attempted to leave the scene.

At one point, Rosenthal repeatedly pushes and grabs onto the police officer in an attempt to get him away from Levias.  At the height of confrontation, he pulls back his fist, aims, and delivers a single sucker-punch to her face. Of course, cameras were rolling.  It wasn’t a pretty sight.

Many say it is a clear case of police brutality, or excessive force. They say the officer is a danger to the community and should be fired. In fact, the officer is under such heavy attack there’s no need for me to even have to go there.

Some of the criticism of the officer is valid.  The rest of it is a disturbing reflection of how we as a community of color create excuses for ourselves and each other in the name of being Black- regardless of right or wrong.  It is a defense mechanism that is lazy and counterproductive…more

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