I recently have been reading a lot about controversial articles regarding law enforcement. This is a topic that comes up quiet often in the media. It is important that we are up to date with current events and have all of the facts we need to form our own opinions. Unfortunately there will always be corruption in our communities and there is no way for anyone to completely stop this. We should not be so quick to judge without having all of the details we need to make an educated decision.
There was a recent incident that took over social media. A video was posted where a police offer forces a student out of her chair and slams her into the ground. This video caused outrage across the nation and is a great example of how the media can influence our opinions. When i first saw this video, i was also extremely upset that an officer would treat a student this way. Since i was so angry at the officer, i continued to do more research and follow this story. I then watched a second video which showed the student was being disruptive in class and aggressive towards the officer. I still think that the officer handled the situation the wrong way by using force. Although, after doing a little bit of research it was obvious that the student initiated the situation and was so disruptive in class that the officer had to get involved in the first place.
This was a great example of how we need to know all of the facts before having a strong opinion in these circumstances. I recently read a story on social media that was written by a young African American man. He started to write about his recent experience with law enforcement and that he got pulled over due to his headlight. Immediately, i started to assume that the officer would mistreat the young African American man. I was surprised to read that although the driver was carrying a weapon, he was honest and polite with the officer. The police officer was so appreciative of the drivers honesty and cooperation that he decided to give him a verbal warning. It was great that this young gentleman decided to share his experience since so many officers have a bad reputation. Stories like this remind us that if we are respectful we will be treated with respect. This doesn't mean that all officers are "good" just like all officers are not "bad."
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I agree we do need ALL the facts, so I’ll supply some, supported and verified by virtue of diligently researching substantiating documentation, certified evidence, transcripts and eyewitness statements rather than rumors and personal opinions concocted by cop loving internet trolls.
“Shakara”, a recently orphaned 16 year old, medically diagnosed as *schizoaffective disorder* (schizophrenic and bi-polar) and heavily medicated, which administrators were well aware of.
People may think because Shakara was medicated she might have been violent or disruptive yet the simple fact is completely the opposite; people with schizoaffective disorder take SSRIs and SNRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) which are antipsychotics which cause cognitive decline or impairment, sedation, headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, anxiety, seizures/convulsions, lethargy, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness dry mouth, vomiting, weakness, lack of coordination, light-headed, fainting and slow heart rate; Side effect and symptoms which cause immobility; NOT disruptive or aggressive behavior.
Despite the school knowing her condition, Shakara was told to leave the class and go to a “discipline room”. She declined. The teacher then summoned an administrator who repeated the instructions. Again she declined. So far there is no error by the school. But what happened next is a MONUMENTAL error. Knowing Shakara’s mental health issues they called in a uniformed thug known to the students as “Officer Slam”. Just how do you think he got the nickname? It’s pretty obvious; slamming people to the ground was evidently his trademark, it’s what he does when a student is uncooperative. FYI; Deputy Fields has 2 prior law suits against him in Federal Court (Attacking a Black man over a noise complaint and falsely accusing a Black student of being a gang member, the student was expelled).
Of course you’ve seen the videos of the deputy’s violent attack on Shakara, but let’s take a look at the frame by frame sequence. letourvoicesecho.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/1041/ In frame #5 you can clearly see Shakara’s face slamming against the floor, leg oddly elevated, arched back over extended; an extremely difficult and dangerous maneuver predominantly employed by seasoned gymnast’s and contortionists. Based on the angle she landed it’s lucky only her arm was broken and not her neck and or spine. If a parent had thrown their child around like an old rag doll like Officer Fields did they’d be in jail and the child removed from the home!
Defenders of the deputy violently attacking Shakara claim she was “disruptive” however the teacher’s initial issue was she was not participating in class and was looking at her phone; disruptiveness was never an issue. A quiet introspective teenage girl in a brand new school with mental health issues and impaired by heavy medication. According to her foster family the medications make her even quieter than normal for a 16 year old. Every student in the classroom was interviewed, and each student described her as being quiet and subdued.
Let’s review established facts vs internet rumors and opinions:
Opinion: She is a disruptive thug who doesn’t follow orders
Fact: Shakara had already put her phone away: She wasn’t yelling. She wasn’t disrupting the class. She wasn’t a threat to anyone. Also she was diagnosed as mentally ill, suffering from *schizoaffective disorder* and heavily medicated. The school administration was well aware of her family circumstances and medical condition.
Opinion: She is entitled and spoiled by her parents
Fact: Shakara didn’t have parents. Her mother died earlier this year and grandmother had recently passed away. No mention of her father who it appears is not in the picture, she was considered an orphan and living in a foster home and obviously not entitled or spoiled by her.
Opinion: The school ordered the teen off campus and the deputy was there to arrest her for trespass.
Fact: The sole request of the school was for her to go to the “discipline room”, so there was no trespassing involved.
Opinion: The teen had violated section 420 of Chapter 17 of the South Carolina criminal code.
Fact: 420 Chapter 17 reads, “It shall be illegal to…interfere with or disturb…students or teachers”, the law presumes students and teachers are not within the meaning of “any person”. Accordingly, Deputy Fields was not arresting the teen for a nonexistent violation of section 420 – nor did he claim to internal affairs investigators he was affecting an arrest for section 420.
Opinion: She struck the officer. The Deputy was just defending himself
Fact: The video clearly shows Deputy Fields initiated the physical aggression. Shakara raised her hand as a natural reflex mechinism to maintain her balance and center of gravity ONLY after he toppled her chair backward. What happens when you’re sitting calmly in a chair and it suddenly rocks backward hard without warning? I’ll supply an answer for you; your hands immediately fly up and forward in an autonomic response; it’s your body attempting to shift weight and momentum to counteract the backward tipping motion. Look where his hand is... It's pulling up on her pants leg in a pistol grip.... A pistol grip is a jujitsu term, meaning how you grip material; it’s used to defeat a bigger stronger opponent by allowing you to control your aggressor and keep them off balance.... Deputy Fields accompanied the pistol grip by pulling back Shakara’s head and lifting her leg while dragging her off.
Opinion: The cop was right. People who think he’s wrong are just cop haters.
Fact: If she was being “disruptive in class and aggressive towards the officer” please explain and provide documentation as to why Deputy Fields own Dept. fired him stating he was wrong. The National Association of School Officer’s are refusing to defend him. The school district admintrators said what he did was reprehensible and the FBI has opened a criminal investigation against him.
Every fact I’ve contributed is validated; If Deputy Fields had been affecting an arrest when he became violent with Shakara he might have arguably received a suspension for unnecessary use of force, however he would not have been fired. Deputy Fields was fired because an officer can only use violence to affect a detainment, which would require a reasonable suspicion of probable cause, criminal intent or illegal conduct for an arrest, none of which existed.
And your opinion is: “the student initiated the situation and was so disruptive in class that the officer had to get involved in the first place”
And my opinion is: …. It’s imperative people research, analyze, scrutinize and take into account every factor in a situation prior to forming an opinion.
And just for some extra statistics: According to a 2015 report by the African American Policy Forum and Columbia Law School's Center for Intersectional and Social Policy Studies, Black females were suspended from school six times as often as their White counterparts, and 12 percent of Black girls were subjected to exclusionary suspensions in comparison to only 2 percent of White females. Outside of school, Black women are also vulnerable to prison time. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 50 percent of America's female prison population is White and 21 percent is Black. Black females are 4.1 times more likely to be imprisoned than White females.
Let us not continue to perpetuate unsubstantiated information by circulating or allowing the media to influence opinions without first employing all means of investigation.
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The last sentence in the paragraph 2nd from the bottom should have read:
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 50 percent of America's female prison population is Black and 21 percent is White. Black females are 4.1 times more likely to be imprisoned than White females.
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