I have mentioned before that I am a TYT fan and member. Generally speaking, I watch TYT because it is refreshing to watch a news program that states actual facts, and then proceeds to voice their own progressive opinions. While I do not agree with them on every opinion they state on the show, the presence and separation of facts from opinions at least allows me to differentiate between the two and come to my own conclusions, regardless of whether or not they coincide with the hosts’.
I also watch TYT because they often cover stories of injustice that are not extensively covered by other media outlets, and often those stories are incredibly important to share because they highlight some deep flaws in the way the justice system is set up which need to be addressed, but will only be addressed if enough people know about them and make a stink about them.
Today, I want to share one such story that raised my hackles considerably, as it touches on a culture which I think everyone on this network despises. This video is about victim blaming in the extreme: a police-enforced victim blaming that almost cost a woman her life. It will also detail the domestic violence that this woman suffered, so be forewarned.
Do not be fooled by the thumbnail in this video (in fact, I have no idea why they went with that particular picture), the victim in this case was a black woman, which in part explains why she was treated so abysmally.
For those of you who cannot watch the video right now, here is the gist:
A woman living in Maplewood, Missouri was in a violent relationship. Her partner beat her, badly, and she called the police 4 times as a result. Most of you already know how rare that is for victims of domestic violence. Victims often blame themselves, suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, or simply fear escalation in retaliation for their calling police. In this case she did call them, four times, in response to a crime that was being committed. So, how did the authorities respond?
They said that her repeated telephone calls to police were a nuisance.
I’ll let that sink in for a second. Calling the cops to report a crime is a nuisance.
So, they stripped her of her right to live in that town, and banned her. She became homeless, and eventually relocated to St. Louis. When her abuser tracked her down and stabbed her, she was too frightened to call the police, instead going to a hospital where, fortunately, the staff called the police and had him arrested.
I cannot begin to describe how much this story enrages me.
It seems as though there is no end to the slippery slope of excuses for cops to not do their goddamned jobs. First it was shooting people who looked like they might be armed. Then, it was shooting people who were not armed, but who acted aggressively. Then it was shooting unarmed people in the back as they fled, or who sat quietly in their cars, or on the sidewalk, because who knows what could happen. Now, apparently, it’s banning all those pesky people who inconvenience them by asking for help when they are the victims of violence.
What the fuck is the point of even having a police force, then? No wonder cops are so against the legalization of drugs. If pot is no longer a crime, they literally will have nothing else to do with themselves.
Now I understand the existence of nuisance laws as a concept. Some of my family members live near an older couple who used to call the cops weekly for things like overcutting a hedge, or laughing too loud at a barbecue. Funnily enough, those white neighbors were never banned from the ritzy suburb where they lived, but I understand there being some minor consequences from wasting the police’s time with trivial nothings when they should be free to do their job. Do their job, like responding to a case of domestic violence.
What happened to this woman was atrocious, and perfectly illustrates what we mean when we talk about victim blaming. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that we accept repeated phone calls to the police about domestic violence as being a nuisance. Was there at no point, between the police and the town who came to this decision, one goddamned person who said WAIT a moment, she’s the nuisance? Is the asshole beating the shit out of her not the nuisance? Is it not THAT guy who is responsible for these repeated calls to police, rather than her?
This story makes me sick in so many ways, that the only question in my mind is which part of it is worse. Is it the fact that this town has no problem with putting victims of abuse at even greater risk by making them afraid of involving police, or is it that a town is even allowed to ban someone from living in it for being a “nuisance”?
No, I’ve decided. It’s the first one. In a country where 3 women die of domestic violence every single day, this town just did it’s best to jack up those numbers even further.
Fuck you Maplewood. I am so glad the ACLU is suing your ass.