Okay so this is just awesome

This morning I decried the culture of police abuse that allows individual officers to flaunt their authority at the expense of civilians. I also warned, in soothsayer-like tones, of what happens when you lose the trust of the people you were ostensibly sworn to serve and protect. I didn’t really think I’d find such an awesomely direct example:

An elderly woman got the last word after locking a police officer in her basement, and later suing the police.  Venus Green, who was 87 when she was handcuffed, roughed up and injured by police, will receive $95,000 as part of a settlement with Baltimore City. The city chose to settle the case instead of taking a chance in front of a jury.

In July 2009, Green’s grandson, Tallie, was shot and wounded. Tallie said he was shot at a convenience store, but police insisted it happened inside Green’s house and that the shooter was either Tallie or Green. “Police kept questioning him. They wouldn’t let the ambulance attendant treat him,” Green said. “So, I got up and said, ‘Sir, would you please let the attendants treat him? He’s in pain,'” Green said.

Green said the officer said to her, “Oh, you did it, come on, let’s go inside. I’ll prove where that blood is. You did it.” Police wanted to go the basement, where Tallie lived, but Green refused on the basis that the police did not have a warrant. “I said, ‘No, you don’t have a warrant. You don’t go down in my house like that. He wasn’t shot in here.'” Green said the officer replied, “I’m going to find that gun. I’m going to prove that you did it.”

A struggle ensued between a male officer and Green. “He dragged me, threw me across the chair, put handcuffs on me and just started calling me the ‘b’ name. He ridiculed me,” Green said. An officer went into the basement and Green locked him inside.

Stewart and Colbert approve

So let this be a lesson to police everywhere: don’t fuck with old ladies from Baltimore. They’ll fuck with you right back.

Like this article? Follow me on Twitter!


  1. Dianne says

    I find the last paragraph in the article disturbing yet funny in a macabre sort of way, “In the past two fiscal years, the city has paid out $16.8 million in claims against the Police Department. City Council President Jack Young voted against this settlement and others, saying he is ‘tired of the Police Department bleeding money.'”

    The City Council president is tired of the police “bleeding money”. But he doesn’t blame the police for being violent or the city council for not giving them enough training and oversight or himself for failing to reform the police. No, he blames the 90 year old victim for suing. In short, he’s very, very sorry he was caught.

  2. says

    This reminds me of Mona the lady who attacked Comcast with a hammer, hurting things not people. I can’t provide a link as I’m on mobile, but it’s well worth looking up. Maybe there should be a website for elderly women doing awesome things.

  3. Desert Son, OM says

    Baltimore City

    I’ve been watching HBO’s The Wire as fiction for years, but it’s too often more like a documentary.

    The city chose to settle the case instead of taking a chance in front of a jury.

    No kidding.

    An officer went into the basement and Green locked him inside.

    1) Non-violent response? Win!
    2) Demonstration of how ludicrous the situation was? Win!
    3) Illustration of how non-cognizant the police were being in the circumstance? Win!
    4) Utilitarian solution to the immediate problem of a family member injured but not receiving adequate medical attention? Win!
    5) Ultimately recognized by the broader judicial system as being in the right? Win!

    What happened to Green and her family are awful, but that simple line in the story is just . . . magnificent. I also love how later in the article Green said, “The police need to go back to school.”

    So true, Venus. So true. Many of us need to go with them.

    Still learning,


  4. 'Tis Himself says

    If the City Council President is “tired of the Police Department bleeding money” then there’s a fix to the problem. Get the police to stop getting into situations where it becomes obvious they’ll get sued and probably lose.

  5. says

    I couldn’t help but wonder how many people would immediately question, “But was she black?” as if that was enough to justify everything.

  6. F says

    Oh, at the first line of the quoted section, I laughed so hard I had tears streaming down my face.

    Show ’em how it’s done, Venus Green. Show ’em how it’s done.

  7. Dalillama says

    Oh, I assumed that she was black. This is the Baltimore PD we’re talking about here, after all. Not that it’s ok because she was, it’s just that the cops almost never do that kind of thing to old white women. Hell, if she and her grandson had been white, I expect that they’d have taken his word about how he got shot and just let him into the ambulance, the whole situation would probably have never occurred.

  8. Eric O says

    This is awesome.

    I wonder if the officer will be facing any criminal charges. If a civilian assaulted an 87 year old woman, there’d be no question about the offender facing jail time. Cops, on the other hand, often seem to get away with some pretty awful stuff.

  9. dianne says

    That’s the solution that would actually work. But somehow I don’t think a councilperson who begrudges a $95K settlement to a 90 year old who was beat up by the police is very interested in root cause analysis and finding lasting solutions. He just wants people to sit down and shut up.

  10. dianne says

    I wonder what Green did after she locked the police in her basement. It’s not like she could then call the police to get the intruder out. And leaving them there indefinitely would be bad. Maybe call all the reporters one knows and as many neighbors as possible to witness what happens when you let the police back out?

  11. Gregory in Seattle says

    @Eric O #8 – I suspect that the cop will not only NOT be punished in any way, he will turn around and file a civil suit against Ms. Green for illegal confinement.

  12. carlie says

    I love her.

    I’d assume she called the police and told them she had an intruder who had forced his way into her house and she had him locked in the basement.

  13. Amphigorey says

    Wait – how did she lock the officer in the basement? It sounds like she was handcuffed and thrown across a chair first, and then she locked another police officer in the basement. How did she do that with her hands cuffed? How did she get away from the one who handcuffed her?

  14. John Horstman says

    Nice to see one in the Win column every once in a while. I, too, find the usual lack of accountability for police officers who break the law disgusting. If anything, they should be held to a HIGHER standard of accountability than the general public, since we’re vesting them with our collective authority and with privileges not granted to ordinary citizens. The default behavior of police officers should be self-sacrifice for the public good, not exercising authority over others, and especially not on the basis of any personal convictions (including the personal desire for self-preservation). Legally, we’re all supposed to be innocent until proved guilty: any officer acting as though this isn’t true without, at the very least, a warrant for such behavior is outside the bounds of hir authority and should at the very least be fired, if not indeed tried for the relevant crime (assault and illegal detention of Green and reckless endangerment of Tallie in this case).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *