reply to post by Violater1
I was very disturbed by this story. My initial impression of both the article and the video was that it seemed extremely biased. Obviously the video
was edited to illustrate the wrongdoing of the police officers in stark detail...it was released by a blogger, not the media, who stated that he was
"annoyed" by the police giving citations to jaywalkers, so he decided to film them. I live very close to that area and have several friends who live
in Austin as well, so I decided to see if I could find any other accounts of the incident that had a broader view of the entire incident. I by no
means am siding with the cops in this situation, just to be perfectly clear, but here are a few more links that show both sides of the incident.
She was ultimately charged with failure to obey a pedestrian control device and failure to identify herself, according to the Daily Texan.
To be fair, she was
committing a crime when the officers initiated contact with her. Jaywalking is still a criminal act for a reason; it can
result in lives being lost...she could have caused an accident or been run over herself, especially if she was unable to hear anything due to her
earbuds (which is allegedly the reason she didn't respond to police attempting to get her attention). I mean, if you can't hear four police officers
shouting at you, then it stands to reason that you would not hear a car either. So it wasn't as if she was just "minding her own business", as the OP
states. She was breaking the law. And needlessly so...in that area there are numerous
crosswalks all up and down the streets. And even
though the police chief said some stupid things subsequent to the incident, he very clearly stated why his officers are actually enforcing the law
regarding jaywalking in that heavily trafficked area:
Acevedo says jaywalking is a serious issue in Austin. “I’d rather have everybody angry at me and my officers, then to see a young person lose
their life needlessly,” he said at a press conference. “I’d rather be up here talking about this, than going to our 97th fatality involving a
pedestrian or 1800th injury involving a pedestrian.”
After that, it becomes a "he said/she said" situation; the earbuds caused her to not be able to hear the officers, she pulled away from the officer
who took her by the arm out of startlement...the officers say that she refused to respond to a cop that was literally right in front of her trying to
get her attention, etc. I have a lot of law enforcement officers in my family and it really saddens me to see cops who truly abuse their power, but
in this case I think this incident was blown completely out of proportion by the student blogger who filmed her only after she was on the ground and
did not (by his own admission) like the fact that the officers had been ticketing jaywalkers. I also think that he realized that after the fact,
because he did some backpedaling of his own:
Photos and a video of the arrest of Amanda Jo Stephen, 24, were posted Thursday to the blog of Christopher Lee Quintero in which the University of
Texas junior questioned officers actions. The post has since been viewed more than 50,000 times after being linked in social media websites. Though
initially critical, Quintero said he could see both sides when he spoke to the Statesman on Friday. “Looking at the video it was not too bad,”
Quintero said. “Up until that point, I think (officers were) a little excessive. … But (Stephen) started yelling and making commotion. I think she
handled it poorly.”
The officers were not arresting her for jaywalking. They were going to write her a citation for jaywalking, just like they had done with six other
people that day. The reason it escalated to an arrest was because after they attempted to detain her and asked for her ID (which is no different than
asking for ID when a traffic cop pulls someone over), she refused to give it to them. At that point, she pretty much signed her own
warrant...she was breaking the law (which she knew she was doing) by jaywalking, got startled when the cop grabbed her arm, most likely got pissed off
about that, and when they asked for her ID, she started screaming and cursing at them, and refused to produce her ID, and when they put her in cuffs
to arrest her for breaking that
law too, she went limp and they lowered her to the ground. After which she sat there screaming, crying and
cursing. So no, they did not just converge upon a poor innocent jogger who was minding her own business and doing absolutely nothing wrong.
There are always two sides to every story. Had she not broken the law in the first place, she would not have even been noticed by those officers.
Once she knew she had been caught breaking the law, had she just handed over her ID (which they had every
right to ask her for) she would have
gotten a citation and that would have been the end of it. There are gobs of stories just exploding out there about true, legitimate abuse of power by
LEO's...but not this one.
Once again, let me be clear that I am not saying those cops were all sweetness and innocence themselves, or that I am siding with "the bad guys". I'm
simply illustrating the incident from a more objective point of view and adding information that sheds a bit of a different light on the whole thing
other than the "poor little innocent jogger who did nothing wrong gets abused by big mean cops with an agenda" slant that the OP's article states.
ETA: Not implying that the OP was responsible for the bias in said article, once again just to be clear.
edit on 24-2-2014 by tigertatzen because: (no reason given)