The outrage of the week(so far) has been the incident in a South Carolina high school where a school resource officer grabbed a student and flung her to the floor for refusing to comply with multiple requests to leave a classroom. After letting the issue percolate for a couple of days while waiting for more info, I've come to the conclusion that both parties were in the wrong, that "stupid" is once again the major factor in what happened and the response, and whatever ever moral indignation I can summon, and that's not a lot, is reserved for the student who started it all in the first place.
Like most people I think, I winced when I first saw the video. It was ugly, there's no doubt about that. But rather than respond with all of the intellectual heft of a flatworm, I waited for more context. That came in a definitive form today when the officer was fired for failing to follow department policies. Assuming that those findings are correct, then it seems reasonable to me that the sheriff needed to let him go. End of story there.
That's not to say I have any sympathy for the student. The truth is, I have zero sense of outrage about the actions of the officer. Multiple times the student refused to comply with the reasonable requests of her teacher, administrator, and the officer. By all accounts I've read she was breaking the law and then resisted arrest. When situations get to that point we expect law enforcement to act. That the officer apparently didn't follow proper procedures does not excuse the student's culpability in instigating the situation in the first place. She not only needs to be disciplined by the school system, she should also be prosecuted by local authorities.
The student acted stupidly and the cop did as well by not following policy. So have most people who have indulged in knee jerk responses. Now the feds have decided to join the stupidity party and try to make a federal case out of it.
One last thing here. Ahmed the Clock Boy deliberately provoked his little controversy a few weeks ago and it would not surprise me if that element surfaced here as well. Note the following:
Kenny said she and other classmates had their cell phones recording because of the officer's reputation.
"When he came in the classroom, I immediately told my classmates, 'Get your phones out, get your phones out. I think this is going to go downhill.' And it did."
I've seen no evidence that the officer was baited into this, and it wouldn't excuse his behavior anyway, but I wouldn't rule it out. As a society we are now creating incentives for all sorts of bad behavior by focusing solely on possible police error and ignoring the stupidity that started the problem in the first place.
Trayvon Martin was stupid when he went back to assault Zimmerman instead of going inside. Eric Garner was stupid to keep selling loosies after already being cited for it and then resisting arrest when he did it again. Mike Brown was stupid to assault a cop. Even Tamir Rice was stupid to wave around a realistic looking toy gun. None of that is to excuse whatever stupid behavior that followed, but ignoring the initial problem will do nothing from discouraging it in the first place.
More: And just to show how stupid a significant part of our society has become *cough* progressives *cough*, some woman I have never heard of named Raven-Symoné is catching hell for this completely reasonable statement:
“The girl was told multiple times to get off the phone. There’s no right or reason for him to be doing this type of harm, that’s ridiculous, but at the same time, you gotta follow the rules in school.”
Criticizing that common sense statement is just another chunk of stupid hurled at us from "sophisticated" people who are unable to comprehend that not everything in life is a zero sum game. Situations are often more complicated than victim vs. culprit. It is entirely possible, as in this case, for both parties to be wrong without turning it into a victim blaming situation. I'm getting more and more tired of such fucking morons.