You might think that the recent riots in Ferguson and Baltimore would serve notice to police officers nationwide to watch themselves, and avoid going completely ham on black people for no good reason. So why do we keep seeing more instances of police abuse? The latest incident involves a pregnant woman who was thrown to the ground and arrested, seemingly because she got into an argument with a white woman. Oh, and she committed the unforgivable sin of refusing to give officers her name. Here are the details, straight from TheGrio.com:
The woman who was slammed to the ground by California police while eight months pregnant says she was scared for the life of her child.The ACLU of Southern California released footage of Barstow officers taking Michelle Cooks to the ground while pleading with the officers to take care, because she was pregnant.
The officers had responded to a traffic incident in which she and an unidentified white woman accused each other of hurling threats over a near collision.“I felt like he took her word over mine automatically,” Cooks said. “He automatically assumed I was guilty.”After Cooks refused to show ID, which she had a legal right to do, the argument between Cooks and the officer escalated.“Cooks should not have been arrested for failure to identify herself,” an ACLU statement said. “A person who is not suspected of a crime has no obligation to identify herself. Even if an officer is conducting an investigation, in California (unlike some other states), he can’t just require a person to provide ID for no reason. The officer can ask for ID, but the person can say no.”
It would be simple to lump the blame on just one person, but as is usually the case, this episode of police brutality is the combination of mistakes and general stupidity from all involved. As you can see in the video, officers tell the white woman that no crime has been committed, but when they approach Cooks, they get aggressive and treat her like a suspect. Cooks was charged with resisting arrest. Exactly what was she being arrested for, if no crime was committed? Arguing with a white woman? Failing to ID? Getting sassy with a cop? Officers should have coughed this up to two women getting far too upset over a parking issue, and left it alone, but instead, they escalated things.
As terrible as the treatment of Ms. Cooks was, she didn’t help her cause by refusing to identify herself and having an attitude with officers. It’s obvious the cops were biased in their approach and questioning of the two women, but Ms. Cooks could have defused the entire situation by simply cooperating and calmly explaining what happened. Yes, Cooks has a right NOT to identify herself. However, such behavior sends up warning flags with officers, and just like Chris Rock says, if you don’t want your ass beat by the police, BE POLITE! We have included Chris Rock’s informative video below, as a public service to all of our minority readers.
Finally, did anyone else notice that the ACLU never fully addressed the fact that the woman’s unborn child could have been harmed or killed in the incident? When you still have the legal right to murder your unborn child, it seems their black lives don’t matter. Yet.