I don't want to make too much out of this, but there is something just a little funny about a reporter being robbed on camera and then running, in tears, to the police. No, it's not funny because somebody is robbed. No, it's not funny that she was traumatized by it. It is just a little funny because at the same time she might be filing a report about police brutality, who does she run crying to when threatened? The police.
Or... maybe she's just harassing an innocent unarmed youth. After all, the guy said he didn't do it.
It's the moral equivalence that bother police. The idea that people would take word of the mob purse snatcher as equal to a cop's word. Even worse is the idea, which I hear a lot of, that these guys are actually morally superior to working police officers. It's absurd. (You can get another take on this from a previous post.)
Here's the thing about the guys who were threatening her: it's not like they just appeared yesterday and won't be here tomorrow. Police deal with these guys literally every day. These dozen youths are out there every night in the streets of Baltimore. They might not always be acting up quite so much. But sometimes they are. Too many people pretend it's all about bad police oppressing good people. But they don't live or work in neighborhoods where they get harassed by these specific youths. But good people do. And they call the police. I'm talking class, not race.
Police handle "routine calls for service" like this every hour. When I texted my friend working the Eastern last night wishing him well, he replied, "Thanks brother. Just another night in the hood! Lol."
A typical call may be because Pops called 911 because these kids on the corner, in front of his house, are being loud, rowdy, breaking bottles, and otherwise disrespectful. You get the call. You pull up. You're solo. There they are. Deal with it. That's what cops do. Every goddamn day. You know, I got tired telling the same group of drug dealers to get off the same corner every goddamn night. But I did. I had to. It was my job.
Usually what happens in the ghetto stays in the ghetto. Literally and figuratively. I spoke to many teenagers in the Eastern who had never been downtown. Never been out of Baltimore. Never left their neighborhood. It might be one thing to never leave your neighborhood if you live somewhere nice, but if your whole world is centered around Rutland and Crystal? (Go on, google-steet-view 1511 Rutland Ave, Baltimore MD 21213 and take a look around. Hell, buy that home for $8,000!) Take a stroll down the 1700 block of Crystal Ave. No wonder you're messed up. Who do you think is pulling the trigger on 200-plus homicides a year in the city of Baltimore? Since Freddie Gray died in police hands -- between April 13 and April 26 -- there have been 8 murders in Baltimore.
So yesterday -- along with hundreds of peaceful protesters -- a bit of the ghetto broke out of the ghetto. Now if you're so ideologically inclined you might think that's good. Or, if you're in a restaurant where things are being thrown through the windows, you might not (while praying that a Molotov cocktail doesn't follow suit). But here are a dozen human being society tries to ignore, until we put them in prison. I'm not talking about the protesters. I'm talking about these dozen thugs.
And I don't actually blame these kids for being foolish -- I know they're fools, but hell, they never had a chance. Look where they grew up. Look at their parents -- as much as I blame the people who apologize for their bad actions. Those who call mindless violence a "rebellion" or "giving voice to the voiceless." Those who blame police for trying to calm a disturbance. Those who believe in the false ideal of the gentleman thug.
So we pay police to deal with the problems of our country and to somehow contain these kids so they don't beat up working tax-paying voters. We, collectively, have failed. And then we wait for police to make a mistake and blame it all on them.