Have you seen anything about this…
This is so sad. An 87-year-old woman carried a knife outside to cut dandelions. Police Tasered her. https://t.co/kZMDRTzCVu
— Aram Roston (@AramRoston) August 18, 2018
I sit awaiting and predicting the usual wave of police apologists and hard-core Trumpistas insisting that tasing an “armed” 87 year-old grandma was a great idea: “Well, of course, she spoke Arabic and was an immigrant and obviously an enemy of the state, yes? She was coming right at them, with a knife! It is her own fault.”
Even so, not good enough. As we see again and again, too many will accept the police resorting to violence, instead of considering that there are other options and other tactics and training that could’ve come into play here.
We as a nation, in the United States, have sadly, and too easily accepted police use of force as expected and inevitable, even as in most other countries, the level of police violence against its own citizens is rare in comparison.
The problem is, often many of these victims absolutely do not comprehend or see that they are any threat whatsoever to the police and can’t imagine they are about to be met with force.
It is not in our ordinary experience, especially smiling 87 year old grandmothers with dementia, to be considered a threat to other people.
Combine this with the fact we have police who have been conditioned, in our post 9/11 world, to perceive the public as a potential enemy and are far too willing to attack, rather than protect and serve, or even back off and wait.
I suggest these police officers could have simply backed up, bought themselves time and distance, put obstacles between themselves and the grandmother, and considered other options, instead of opening fire with their Taser.
Thankfully this event did not result in a fatality, as was the case with John Williams, whose crime was being a deaf wood carver holding a knife, a tool of his trade, in Seattle in 2010, when he was shot and killed by a police officer.
We need to support the police as well in this challenge, not solely blame them. I appreciate it can be difficult for police to determine the difference between ‘knife holding’ and ‘knife wielding’, which is why I also support paying, training, and equipping police a great deal more and better than we do, because when we don’t, the results can be fatalities and injuries of innocent people.
Still, I am left curious as to whoever thought this woman gardening dandelions with a knife was a threat and police needed to be called?