Hero Philly Cops Briefly Hug Child After Viciously Tormenting Him, His Family
Last week, Philadelphia police presented themselves online as public servants concerned about the safety of Black children. That's when you knew something was up. Cops busting heads, I can believe. Cops providing comfort to a scared child is probably a photo op.
The police tipped their hand with racist rhetoric on Facebook and Twitter that denounced both the protests against the shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. and grossly implied that Black parents abandon their children like shopping carts at the grocery store.
The police are trained and conditioned — sort of like cult members — to believe the world is an urban dystopia and they are the only ones standing between “good" people and complete chaos. The “good" people are also suckers who don't fully appreciate all that cops sacrifice for them. The police can only count on each other. The supposed “thin blue line" is a barbed wire fence that protects the police from any pesky civilian oversight.
“We are not your enemy. Everyone else is your enemy" is abuser rhetoric. It's repulsive and unfortunately a widespread, deeply rooted part of police culture.
So, here's what actually happened last Thursday:
Police pulled a Black woman from her SUV, beat the crap out of her until she was bloody, and kept her in cuffs for hours without actually charging her with a crime because this is America. The police then yanked the child out of the car. This pictured faux hug was closer to kidnapping than it was to consolation.
HuffPost reporter Ryan J. Reilly confirmed that the Philly police just made shit up. They might've gotten away with it if there wasn't video. They still might.
Can now say definitively that this post is a lie. This child wasn’t “wandering around barefoot,” he was grabbed fro… https://t.co/H4Ux3jt7xS— Ryan J. Reilly (@Ryan J. Reilly)1603991251.0
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
Philadelphia civil rights attorneys Kevin Mincey and Riley H. Ross III are representing the woman and the toddler, who they said were both injured as police pulled them from an SUV shown in a now-viral video from the 5200 block of Chestnut Street at about 2 a.m. Tuesday. The video depicts at least 15 police officers swarming a vehicle, bashing in the windows, pulling out the driver and another passenger, beating them, then appearing to remove a child from the backseat.
The attorneys intend to file a civil rights case against the Police Department on behalf of the woman, 28-year-old Rickia Young, a home health-care aide who lives near Temple University, and her 2-year-old.
Rickia Young's attorney Kevin Mincey says his client had taken her two-year-old son on a car ride, hoping he'd fall asleep. This is normal behavior for parents of young children. She'd picked up her 16-year-old nephew from a friend's house as unrest swept the neighborhood. That wasn't her fault. The unrest wasn't previously scheduled. She encountered a police barricade and attempted a three-point turn when police surrounded her vehicle and unleashed hell on her and her minor passengers. This is normal behavior for thugs with badges.
You don't terrorize women and children because that's the only way to maintain “law and order." You do it because you like it. You're a bully with a license to kill.
During her unjustified ass-kicking, Young asked where the cops were taking her two-year-old. They cruelly replied that "he's gonna go to a better place. We're gonna report it to DHS," referring to the Department of Human Services, a child welfare agency.
Young was kept in a holding cell and not informed of any charges against her, which doesn't seem Sixth Amendment-friendly. She did receive a souvenir wristband that read “assault on police." This presumably occurred when she repeatedly attacked their batons with her defenseless body. Mincey reports that Young suffered “a bloody nose, a swollen trachea, blood in her urine, and swelling and pain on her left side."
She managed to call her mother from the police van, but only because another passenger had a cell phone. The boy's grandmother found him also in police custody, sitting in his car seat inside a police cruiser. He had a welt on his forehead and there was broken glass from the SUV still in his car seat that no one had bothered to remove.
Young was released the next morning. She and her family remain traumatized. The police won't tell her where her car is, and her purse and her son's hearing aid are still inside it. (Hearing aids are incredibly expensive.) According to Mincey, "Every time [Young] sees a police officer the last couple days, she's worried that they're coming for her. Her son, even though he is hearing impaired and still developing his speech, is definitely showing some signs of trauma."
Philadelphia Police Internal Affairs opened an investigation into the incident that will likely go nowhere, and Commissioner Danielle Outlaw went full Susan Collins and said what she saw on the video was “quite concerning."
So, to review: The police are not your friends and fuck the thin blue line.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).