You’ve probably heard by now about the police in Austin, Texas chasing down and dragging away a woman who was doing nothing but jogging down the street, supposedly for jaywalking and refusing to show her ID (which she may well not have had). The police chief has offered an appalling excuse:
Officers in Austin, Texas provoked public controversy last week after several cops forcibly handcuffed a woman out jogging as part of an initiative to curb pedestrian injuries. But Austin’s police chief only ratcheted up that controversy when he minimized the incident, saying at least his officers didn’t sexually assault anyone.
“In other cities there’s cops who are actually committing sexual assaults on duty, so I thank God that this is what passes for a controversy in Austin, Texas,” Austin police chief Art Acevedo said, according to reports by the Daily Texan.
If the best excuse you can come up with for your officers abusing their power is “hey, at least they didn’t rape her,” your department needs to be shut down and you need to never be anywhere near law enforcement again.
Witnesses who saw the stop and arrest of Amanda Jo Stephen said they were taken aback when police pursued a woman who was simply out for a jog. “I hear a cop shout at an innocent girl jogging through West Campus with her headphones on,” said Chris Quintero, a UT-Austin student who was sitting at a nearby Starbucks. He said the officers then grabbed her by the arm and placed her in handcuffs as she pleaded that she had done nothing wrong, and several officers corralled her into a police car. Police said she failed to provide identification when asked.
Acevedo said of the incident, “All that young lady had to do when she was asked for her information was to provide it by law. … Quite frankly, she wasn’t charged with resisting, and she was lucky I wasn’t the arresting officer because I wouldn’t have been quite as generous.”
More proof that you should be fired. Immediately.