Monday, September 1, 2008

More on the arrest of Alicia Forrest

I'm among the "left-wing" bloggers vilified over at Little Green Footballs for spreading the story of the assault on Alicia Forrest by Denver Police Officer Scott Stewart. (It's interesting to be characterized as such, by the way, just a few days after I wrote about underground economic activity as a logical response to excessive taxation and overregulation.) Copious additional photos and video are provided to demonstrate that Officer Stewart whacked Forrest in the head with a truncheon only after she provoked him terribly. And, besides, she wasn't badly hurt anyway.
But Forrest simply would not obey him (nor any of the other officers). Instead of backing up, she actually leaned forward, and started taunting Officer Stewart even more aggressively. As seen in the photo above, he had just finished trying to push her backwards, using his baton, which Forrest didn’t like, so she dared him to “Fuckin’ do it again!” At that point, Officer Stewart simply lost his patience with this annoying gadfly who obviously felt her pink clothes rendered her immune to criticism or to police enforcement. It was moments after this photo was taken that the scene depicted in the Rocky Mountain News video took place.

Here’s the contextless video again. You can hear Forrest saying “Fuckin’ do it again!”, and then Stewart taking her up on her offer and saying “Back it up, bitch!” as he clonks her on the forehead or on the sunglasses, causing her to fall backwards. The “crack” you hear is not the sound of his baton on her skull, but rather that of her pink plastic bullhorn hitting the pavement and all its batteries falling out.
Unfortunately for my critic, the scales haven't fallen from my eyes, and I have yet to embrace the righteousness of whacking women over the head with clubs when they're rude.

Instead, my reaction after seeing more footage of the incident is: Officer Stewart really is a jackass.

Here's the deal: If you can't endure a little taunting without degenerating into a violent rage, put down the badge and get another job. And stay away from high-stress situations. Really.

Oddly, the Little Green Footballs post seems to reinforce the likelihood that Forrest was hauled off to prevent her from telling her tale and putting the police in a bad light.
Some time later, journalists had gathered around her and she was starting to spin what undoubtedly was going to be a lopsided version of what had happened, and it was then that the police finally detained her for interfering with another arrest (as shown in the second half of the Rocky Mountain News video...
Read me at on the proper role of police.

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