The Collateral Damage That Accompanies The Just-Comply-With-Police Fallacy
January 20, 2017 (Fault Lines) — “If he’d just have complied with police officer’s commands…”
I’m sick of hearing these excuses about incidents of ugly police force. They come from cops. From prosecutors. From law enforcement advocates. From everyday citizens.
The problem is, this speculation is founded in a huge assumption: that all people who defy, ignore, or resist police officers do so purposely and intentionally.
And I’m just not on board with that assumption.
This week, in Oklahoma County, the District Attorney’s office dismissed criminal charges against Pearl Pearson. In early 2014, Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers arrested Pearson, 64 years old (and deaf), after he drove away from the scene of a traffic collision in which he backed into another car. During the traffic stop-style encounter, troopers got into a scuffle with Pearson. (What actually happened occurs off-camera, and I’m not one to assume!) In the end, Pearson was charged with a misdemeanor resisting arrest. <SNIP>