What is wrong with our police? They think they’re an occupying military force trying to control the citizenry. This is a destructive and incorrect perspective, and it’s leading to obscenities like the ongoing oppression in Ferguson and elsewhere, and now this latest absurdity: a women arrested for kissing her husband.
As is often the case in America, this incident was the product of institutionalized racism. The woman, Danièle Watts, is black, while her husband is white…so the police leapt to the assumption that she was a prostitute and her husband was her customer, and slapped handcuffs on her (they seem not to have tried to arrest her purported customer, which is a whole ‘nother problematic issue).
The police eventually let her go, and didn’t even make a report of the incident, once they discovered that she was actually a professional Hollywood actor…which should mean nothing in a matter of justice. So if she’d been a poor black unknown, she would have been charged with prostitution for a simple act of affection?
This is an injustice by the police, plain and simple. Watts stood up for her rights, and I applaud her for it.
Here’s a statement she posted:
Today I was handcuffed and detained by 2 police officers from the Studio City Police Department after refusing to agree that I had done something wrong by showing affection, fully clothed, in a public place.
When the officer arrived, I was standing on the sidewalk by a tree. I was talking to my father on my cell phone. I knew that I had done nothing wrong, that I wasn’t harming anyone, so I walked away.
A few minutes later, I was still talking to my dad when 2 different police officers accosted me and forced me into handcuffs.
As I was sitting in the back of the police car, I remembered the countless times my father came home frustrated or humiliated by the cops when he had done nothing wrong. I felt his shame, his anger, and my own feelings of frustration for existing in a world where I have allowed myself to believe that “authority figures” could control my BEING… my ability to BE!!!!!!!
I was sitting in that back of this cop car, filled with adrenaline, my wrist bleeding in pain, and it occurred to me, that even there, I STILL HAD POWER OVER MY OWN SPIRIT.
Those cops could not stop me from expressing myself. They could not stop the cathartic tears and rage from flowing out of me. They could not force me to feel bad about myself. Yes, they had control over my physical body, but not my emotions. My feelings. My spirit was, and still is FREE.
I will continue to look any “authority figure” in the eye without fear. NO POLICE OFFICER OR GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL IS MORE POWERFUL THAN ME. WE ARE EQUALS. I KNOW THAT I WILL ALWAYS BE FREE BECAUSE THAT IS THE NATURE OF MY SPIRIT.
And moreover, I deeply enjoyed connecting with the cops who detained me. I allowed myself to be honest about my anger, frustration, and rage as tears flowed from my eyes. The tears I cry for a country that calls itself “the land of the free and the home of the brave” and yet detains people for claiming that very right.
Today I exist with courage, knowing that I am blessed to have experienced what I did today. All of those feelings, no matter how uncomfortable. These feelings are what builds my internal strength, my ability to grow through WHATEVER may happen to me.
That internal knowing is what guides me in this world. Not the law, not fear, not mistrust of government or cops or anything else.
In this moment there is a still small voice whispering to me. It says: You are love. You are free. You are pure.
If you want to know what to do in similar situations, here’s a handy, simple set of rules: