After witnessing Facebook, Twitter, and the MSM lose their collective s#!t over the viral video of the arrest of Genele Laird at East Towne Mall in Madison, I decided to finally watch the video. I also watched the entirety of MPD Chief Koval’s press conference. Read on for my take on this whole mess.
Let me first state that I have had both good and bad interactions with Madison Police in my 24 years living in this city. These interactions have been mostly positive, but there have been some that left me feeling like the MPD was nothing more than a Keystone Cops operation.
In particular, my sister was brutally assaulted (in Wisconsin this would be aggravated battery, I believe) at State Street Brats, a popular tavern and restaurant in Madison. She was attacked in the women’s bathroom by three AA women, two of whom were physically imposing enough that I, at 6’1″ and 300 muscular pounds at the time, would not have wanted any piece of them. A gentleman named Mike saw my sister on the floor being repeatedly kicked and punched as the door flew open and the other women in the bathroom came running out. He went in and dragged my sister to safety. To make a long story very short, my sister was presented with a disorderly conduct citation after getting stitched up at the hospital. The police didn’t take a statement from the one witness they had. Only two of the three attackers were cited, and all three had plenty of priors. The police report was an exercise of fiction that painted my sister, a decorated Army officer, as the aggressor and attacker (does it sound plausible that my sister pushed past two of them in an out-of-order bathroom stall and punched the one sitting on the toilet in the face?). The officer in charge lied to me, stating that he was not the officer in charge. He was a bit too busy getting phone numbers from coeds that approached his squad car. A Milwaukee cop friend of mine chuckled when I told him the story. “Typical MPD,” he guffawed. Thus, the remainder of this post should be viewed through the lens of someone who has been critical of the MPD in the past, chiefly under Noble Wray’s tenure.
The few MPD officers and detectives I know well are good and decent public servants. In general, I think law enforcement is getting a terrible rap in the past couple years. They are faced with an almost impossible set of constraints, and we are seeing those constraints affecting how policing is handled. Anyone who lives in or knows about what is happening in Chicago knows that is true. It is also true in Madison.
I think the MPD handled this incident appropriately, and I think Chief Koval conducted a fairly informative and self aware press conference about the incident. He tap danced around some questions without actually answering them, but most of those questions were fairly puerile and representative of the poor state of journalism in this country.
This woman was clearly out of control – physically resisting the entire time, shouting obscenities and threats, screaming at the top of her lungs, spitting, and that is just what we see in the video clip. We see her slap a phone or something similar out of the hands of a bystander or friend who seems to be trying to help. She spits in an officer’s face, which is a big no-no since diseases can be transmitted that way. There is nothing in the clip itself that suggests any use of excessive force. Had either of the officers repeatedly (again, repeatedly) gut punched or kneed her to try to double her over and get her to the ground, I might call that excessive. That didn’t happen. Even the taser use seemed justified since she kept resisting and screaming the entire time she had current running through her.
- OBEY OFFICERS OF THE LAW when given a warning or command.
- DON’T INVADE PERSONAL SPACE of or MAKE ADVANCES TOWARD an officer, especially if they have warned you to stop.
- DON’T RESIST ARREST. DON’T RESIST ARREST. DON’T RESIST ARREST. Nothing is ever going to get better for you if you resist.
This seems like common sense, no? If you are a modern liberal race-baiter, you might say, “You’re a privileged white male, so cops will never try to arrest or use force on you, right? You don’t understand!”
Au contraire mon frere! I once stared down the barrels of about 20 firearms pointed at me by Capitol Police, Park Police, and Secret Service next to the iron gates of the White House South Lawn. I heard what I thought was Marine One landing, so I sauntered over from the forested park just to the west of the South Lawn. Apparently nobody had decided to cover that part of the perimeter as Bush 41 was landing (oopsie!). I was inside the perimeter without realizing it. Suddenly police and agents are shouting at me to get down on my knees with my hands up. I did whatever they said. They frisked me and checked my identification. I was polite and apologetic. They ultimately gave me some advice, and directed me away from the fence. I could tell they felt sheepish, but had I disobeyed their orders, I am sure things would have gotten physical. Once they got physical, had I resisted subsequent arrest, things would have gotten more physical.
So that’s my fun little story. Frankly, they had nothing to worry about. It was Bush 41, for God’s sake! Who but Saddam would want him dead?
Oh, one last thing… notice that no officers barred the dickhead with the camera phone from shooting. The officer the dickhead asked for name and badge number gave it freely. One reporter at the PC asked the Chief for the identity of the officers. Watch the video, jerk! Way to do your research. These guys weren’t worried about the camera, because they all knew they were using appropriate levels of force.
What are your thoughts? I’ll approve your comments if they contribute positively to the debate or if your ranting proves my take is spot on.