I’d planned to post dashcam win and promptly drop the topic. There’s a reason for that. It’s Christmas. I don’t want to wade further into Ferguson (which became nothing more than an excuse for rioters to party) or Eric Gardner (who surely didn’t need to wind up dead). There’s enough negativity in the world. One needn’t seek it out.
In fact, the main reason I posted dashcam win because it was an alternative to violence. Perhaps not a shining light of joy but at least a piece of freedom earned without bloodshed.
In dashcam win, the officer (who’s name eludes me) starts (as such things often do) by tearing into innocent trucker Brian Miner like an angry hornet. Things could have gone badly but they didn’t. That’s what mattered to me. Mr. Miner, innocent and yet treated like a criminal, was firm yet polite. Well done. The officer, after a few minutes off camera, apparently had a change of heart and chose to drop the dick waving. This is what I like to see. A civilized (eventually) interaction between civilized participants leading to a civilized outcome.
We all get angry. When this happens we collect our thoughts, rise to the occasion, and temper our urges. The inability to defer one’s own anger is inexcusable. Even an attack dog, should it fail to control itself, is dangerous and therefore must be euthanized. Humans who can’t clear that hurdle are nothing but apes.
The cop in dashcam win doesn’t come out smelling like a rose, but he is a superior person to one who causes mayhem. Even if it took a trucker with a dash cam and a sheaf of well organized paperwork to nudge him in the right direction, he got there.
Pete Vasquez was confronted, subdued, and tazered (twice). His alleged crime? Driving a car with dealer plates but no inspection sticker. This is legal. Officer Nathanial Robinson (incorrectly) thought otherwise. Or maybe he had some other idea in his steamy head? Regardless, it’s not rocket science to sort out disagreements over paperwork. We do it all the time, peacefully and intelligently. It’s a mundane situation. Robinson should know the difference between filling out forms at the DMV and hitting someone with a rock.
Animals act like animals. Officer Nathanial Robinson wound up pile driving an innocent, non-violent, 76 year old man to the pavement. The clock on the video shows 26 seconds elapsed between the time Mr. Vasquez exited the car and when the officer (Nathanial Robinson) initiated violence. You heard me right. The officer initiated it. He reached out and tried to snatch a paper from Vasquez’s hand. Vasquez was just standing there; holding paper. There’s nothing about a badge that lets you manhandle people. There’s nothing threatening about paper.
Once Robinson let himself off his own leash he went as far as he could go without actually killing someone. I’m not sure why Robinson didn’t go all the way. It doesn’t look like he had anything more on his mind than dominance and control. In a very real and undeniable sense, he was a menace to himself and everyone in the vicinity. Maybe Robinson will go all the way next time? Maybe if Vasquez had been younger, or stronger, or simply unlucky, Robinson would have completed the trip he’d begun right then and there. The man can never be trusted again.
Such behavior wouldn’t have been justified by any license plate violation. It wouldn’t have been justified if Vasquez was drunk, bankrupt, had a pound of cocaine in the trunk, was half his age, and was sporting blue hair. The only cause for violence came out of a police officer’s head. Robinson was looking for a fight and created one out of thin air. He inflicted violence upon a victim. He’s a thug.
Nine seconds later, Vasquez was on the ground and Robinson was tazering, screaming at, and dominating a “non-compliant” person. That’s the rub. It wasn’t a “non-compliant” person at all. It was a citizen. An innocent, free, American, non-violent, citizen. A victim of a thug.
If a German Shepard did what Officer Nathanial Robinson did, the dog would be put down.
While fools dance because of Ferguson and Sharpton wallows in his own greed, you’ll likely hear little of Mr. Vasquez. For one thing he lived and he might be unharmed (a plucky man at 76!). For another he’s not the proper race to foment a riot. Either way, his story is just as important as others. Nobody, badge or not, should instigate or tolerate behavior like that of Officer Nathanial Robinson. No excuses.