Steve G.

Cops Gone Wild: Brutal attack on teen girl not uncommon police behavior

In Constitutional Rights, Cops Gone Wild, Corruption, Courts and Justice System, Crime, Human Rights Abuses, Law, People in the news, Police Brutality, Police State, Protest on March 13, 2009 at 6:15 pm

By now, unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve seen the video of the 15-year-old girl who was violently attacked by a Seattle (Kings County) cop while being booked, because she kicked her shoe off at him and called him a name.

For said cave dwellers, here’s the video in question from a news report.

The teen had been arrested when she and some friends were seen driving erratically; the car belonged to a friend’s mother, and had been taken without permission.  The girls were arrested and charged with stealing the car.

Bear in mind, I do not condone that behavior by any stretch of the imagination.  No one ever has the right to take someone else’s property without permission, and they were also a serious danger to everyone else on the road since their erratic driving along with their age suggests they had no training or experience driving a motor vehicle.  I therefore have absolutely no problem with the girls being arrested.

I do, however, have a very, very serious problem with cops violently attacking suspects in this manner.

In a nutshell, the 15-year-old girl (Malika Calhoun, who has since given media interviews so her name is in the public record) angered officer Paul Schene, age 31, by calling him a “fat pig” and kicking her shoe off at him (though the shoe was not kicked hard, so it could not have harmed anyone), and Schene reacted with a shocking level of violence.  As you can see in the video, Schene ran into the room in full attack mode, slammed her head against the wall, threw her to the floor, punched her in the head several times, then picked her up by her hair (don’t get me started on what the hair-pulling says about this cop’s psychological problems).  She complained of having trouble breathing after the attack, which I do not doubt.  If nothing else, she may have had a panic attack following the shockingly violent attack against her.

Should she have called him a “fat pig” and kicked her shoe off at him?  Obviously not, and it’s pretty clear that she is a troubled teen based on her being involved in auto theft.  At the same time, that kind of behavior in teens is not unusual, as many parents find out the hard way, and many teens engage in that kind of behavior but grow up to be perfectly respectable, law-abiding adults; in fact, that’s why the criminal records of minors are sealed, since they lack the maturity of adults and do many times make extremely poor choices.  Either way, her disrespectful actions toward Schene do not explain Schene’s reaction, and in fact his reaction says far more about him than her behavior says about her, given her age.  I therefore can’t say her portrayal of him as a “fat pig” was necessarily incorrect.  Why should anyone respect the authority of a cop like Schene, who acts like a violent criminal himself?

Even in light of the video evidence against him, Schene has only been placed on paid leave pending the investigation.  Yet it is very clear that he engaged in brutality, since even his defense – that she called him names and kicked her shoe off at him – does not in any way explain, much less excuse, his violent actions.  So why are taxpayers being forced to fund what amounts to a paid vacation for him?  Clearly he is a danger to the public, and thus should have been fired as soon as his actions came to light.  Steps must be taken to protect the public from Schene.  Pure and simple, this is a man who should never have been given a badge.  Paul Schene didn’t just snap and attack a suspect this one time, that much I can guarantee.  He merely got away with it until now, because he’s a cop.

While the various television talking heads are quick to point out that this is an unusual situation, they’re both completely right and horribly, terribly wrong.  This kind of violence toward suspects actually happens all the time, but is almost impossible to prove since the average person tends to believe cops over the people they arrested, so the public doesn’t hear about it.   The only thing truly unusual about this situation – not unlike the infamous Rodney King beating by the LAPD – is that the attack was caught on videotape.  In this case, the prosecutor who was assigned to examine the criminal complaint (filed by the cop against the girl, not vice versa) pulled the surveillance tape to see what happened.  Had Schene not charged the girl for kicking her shoe at him, the public would never have even known about this shocking instance of police brutality.  The truth is, few if any people would believe a 15-year-old girl over a cop, even if she went public with the allegation.  Schene was counting on that, too.  The fact that he knew there was a surveillance camera there, but still filed the assault charges against her, suggests that he was counting on the prosecutor looking the other way as well.

The other cop in the room, a trainee, never reported the incident even though he had an absolute duty to do so since a violent crime was committed in his presence.  Is this trainee really so stupid that he doesn’t recognize assault when it’s right in front of him?  Does that trainee believe that cops are allowed to brutalize suspects?  Was he afraid of getting into trouble for being there?  Or did the trainee not report it because he feared for his career, and possibly even his life since in the field he has to depend upon other cops to cover his back?

The trainee cop has not been disciplined, and has not been charged.  However, he should have been fired immediately for failing to report the assault.  It’s easy to fire a trainee, since they can be relieved of duty for any reason, or no reason at all.  Chances are he was not fired because he cooperated with the investigation into Schene’s actions, but that still does not excuse his actions (or lack thereof) insofar as his employment is concerned.  At most he should be granted immunity from prosecution, since he does not appear to have assaulted the girl himself (but could still be charged with conspiracy); however, he still should lose his job for not reporting Schene’s assault.

Schene, on the other hand, would be harder to fire because he almost certainly has the Fraternal Order of Police backing him up.  While the FOP is extremely powerful when it comes to defending cops who have been fired, it would also be extremely hard for them to successfully argue that Schene should not be fired in light of the video and his pathetic excuses for his actions.  Yes, it would cost the department quite a bit of money to defend against a union challenge, but that’s their mistake and they now need to correct it.  They obviously didn’t screen either cop very well, or else they would not be in this predicament at all.  They need to fire the trainee, fire Schene, fight any FOP challenge to the decision, and learn from it by more carefully screening their officers.  Either way, take the badge and gun away from this uniformed thug before he kills someone else.

Yes, you read that right.  Schene has been a cop for only eight years, but has already been investigated for two police-related shootings, one of which resulted in death.  He was cleared both times, which is also not at all surprising.  Cops are rarely found at fault in shootings, even when they acted improperly, because the cop’s claimed perceptions are given greater weight than the actual reality of the situation.  Schene’s shootings should be reinvestigated by an independent panel outside the law enforcement community and outside the area, given his actions in this case which clearly show that he has extremely serious impulse control problems which render him dangerous to others, as well as the failure of everyone within the department to report his assault upon the girl – though obviously numerous people knew, including the trainee and the medics – which suggests there may have been a coverup in the investigation of the shootings as well. 

This brings me to another issue, with regard to the complaint made against this girl which resulted in the discovery of this surveillance video.  Simply stated, charges of obstruction of justice and assault on a police officer are rarely legitimate charges.  More likely than not, they are used to pad other charges.  Sometimes, as in this case, a charge of assault upon a police officer is filed only to cover up violent behavior by the cops.  Those kinds of charges are also used as a trump card by the prosecution, to make defendants think they’re getting a deal by having some charges dropped in exchange for a guilty plea on other charges, when in reality there is rarely any evidence to back up the dropped charges beyond than the cop’s word.  That the girl would be charged with assault upon a police officer at all, given what is shown in that video, is disturbing at best.

What I find most disturbing of all, however, is the number of people who are defending Schene for committing a violent crime against a minor.  The internet is overrun by those making excuses for him, from “maybe he had a bad day” to “the girl had it coming because she stole a car”.   I hate to tell them this, but “having a bad day” is not an excuse for attacking anyone, or else it would be an affirmative defense for everyone accused of assault, murder, and other violent crimes; and there is no law in this country which states that the punishment for being accused of car theft is a violent beating by someone much larger than you, and trained to attack others. 

Those who claim to be law-and-order types are strangely the first ones to suggest that violent crime is acceptable, as long as it’s committed by a cop.  Those with the same mindset defended the animals-with-badges on the LAPD who nearly beat Rodney King to death (they claimed he was resisting arrest, though the video shows otherwise), and the NYPD cops who shot Amadou Diallo a shocking 41 times (they claimed they thought his wallet, taken out to show ID as he did not speak English well, was a gun), so making excuses for completely out-of-control cops is not a new phenomenon, but it never fails to be an extremely disturbing reflection upon our society.

At any rate, the US Department of Justice is now investigating Schene’s actions in brutalizing the teenager.  While normally I don’t approve of the feds intervening in local affairs, it is the best thing which could happen in this case since local authorities (and local juries) rarely take appropriate action in cases of police brutality, even when there is clear and convincing evidence and high public/media interest.  Even in this case, in which Schene was criminally charged, he was only charged with misdemeanor fourth-degree assault.  Chances are he will get probation at most if convicted of that charge, and based upon the long history of cops being acquitted for even more heinous acts against the citizenry, it is not even sure that he will be convicted despite the video evidence.  However, if convicted in federal court, he will likely be sentenced to federal prison, and caged like the animal he has proven himself to be.

  1. What a fabulous post, EMN. I’m working on something similar. I’m also blown away by the excuses made by the public for the officer. I have two daughters and each of them have driven my car without permission. While technically it is a theft (but what parent would wish theft charges by the state when the discipline could be handled in the home?), this would have been a great opportunity for the cop to peaceably demonstrate to the young woman how a lapse in judgement can have a horribly negative response. Too bad that this girl learned just how correct she was in calling the guy a pig.

    Rotten cops directly cause public distrust and hatred. It’s too bad that they don’t turn the tide of bad opinion by doing good things. FWIW, I was golfing in Shreveport, LA last week and was paired up with my girlfriend and a trainer for the Shreveport PD (firearms division). He was such a fun guy that we all went for crawfish afterward and he told me that video is making things better but this is an inbred issue. Police brutality has been the norm for years.

  2. Hiya, Miche! 🙂

    Many cops have a very peculiar psychological profile, which causes them to seek police work because it allows them absolute power over others. Even cops who don’t join the force for that reason are far more prone than the average person to divorce, alcoholism, and other stresses which may cause them to engage in brutality.

    While many larger police departments have tried to weed out recruits who fit those profiles, they have not been as successful as one might hope, and of course the cops who were on the job before they started screening are still on the job. It’s almost impossible to successfully fire a tenured cop, thanks to the FOP. Even when police departments feel they must fire a cop, it is daunting to face the nearly unlimited resources the FOP possesses to fight those dismissals. For that reason, a lot of bad cops are left on the street.

    Police departments need to be able to fire bad cops at will. For that reason, they need to start fighting far more strenuously against the FOP’s power. If they wrest that particular power away from the union, which currently protects its own at any cost, the cops (like non-cops) will start voluntarily falling into order so as to protect their livelihood and pensions. As it is, in large part thanks to the FOP, bad cops think they are untouchable. And in most cases, they’re right.

    Unfortunately the thin blue line is alive and well in America, and until cops stop covering for other cops, these kinds of extremely serious issues will continue to plague us all.

  3. I was shocked by the content of the video, and angered by the incredulous response of the “thugs with badges”. I’m also further disillusioned with our “system” because cowards like this are like cockroaches in that if you see one you know for sure that there’s a thousand of them you don’t see. Oh also,loved your blog,just great!

  4. Perhaps had this girl’s parents slapped her around a bit during the many years during which the rotten child was developing her contempt for the law and for those good people who devote their lives to enforcing the law, she would not have been arrested in a stolen car.

    Try to look at this intelligently, dear anarchist.

    The girl was caught in a stolen car. Her response should have been contrite repentance, but instead she is disrespecting the police and further insulting them by kicking her shoe at them. She should have been beaten.

    Her parents should be ashamed of their daughter’s behavior: she casts shame upon their failure to raise her properly.

    If your rotten child curses me and kicks her shoe off at me, I will beat her, and beat you ther parents if you complain.

    Failure to nip this behavior by delinquents is exactly the wrong headed reinforcement that destroys a society.

    Failure to teach the difference between right and wrong is what lands children in real jail as adults.

  5. Ngoldfarb,

    I didn’t write this post- ElfNino’s Mom did. However, since you addressed me I will tell you that my daughters (one married with kiddos and the other an out of the house 17 year old with two years of college under her belt) have never nor likely will ever run afoul of the law. It’s not because they respect the law or cops either. On the contrary, they’ve been taught (and yes spanked as children) right from wrong and they’ve been taught that there are asshole cops that are nothing like the nice one who lived across the street from Grandma. They have seen firsthand that cops are often more crooked than the criminals they were supposed to be protecting the public from. They’ve been steeped in a healthy dose of philosophy and law- from Aristotle to Aquinas, from Bastiat to de La Boetie- and they know to avoid people like you. And, I promise you that you’d never beat a child in front of me as exampled in the video linked because I’d go batshit crazy on you until you were dead or close to it.

    But, since I’m sure you’re just talking smack on a comment thread, allow me to offer you something that might help you in the future. It’s a favorite quote of mine: “When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.”

  6. I was really surprised that the girl kicked her shoe about five feet and hit no higher than the deputy’s thigh. I’ve been attacked by adolescents with serious psychological problems and have handled such situation without allowing my rage to drive me.

    I am appalled, too, that someone thinks a potential head injury is just punishment for theft of property. I’d be even more interested to hear about the deputy’s upbringing and how well or poorly the value of human life was stressed. This is a 15-year-old girl he assaulted.

  7. ngoldfarb-

    Hey Nancy, I can only hope someone brutally pounds someone you care about someday. And then pounds you for good measure. And then both of you again, one more time just to keep you quiet.

    But lucky for you, there are persons that can actually see this for what it is. A cruel act of brutality by an authority figure. It really isn’t even debatable.

    Perhaps you’d like this country to regress to a third world country. But I like a progressive society where people must take responsibility for their actions. Do me a solid, move to Iran or Turkey. You strike me as someone that would approve of that sort of assbackward thinking.

  8. Nancy Goldfarb aka Ruth Goldman: I wrote this post, and I am not an anarchist. I am, however, a Criminologist, so I found your comment – that I should view your strange beating threats “intelligently” – to be even stranger than the threats themselves.

    So I visited your Nancy blog, wherein you describe yourself as “brilliant” with a “scintillatingly beautiful mind”. What I found when I read it, however, is that you are nothing but just another marginally intelligent hatemonger, with absolutely no respect for the rights of others. When I saw where you called autistic children “grotesque”, I’d seen more than enough to confirm my suspicions.

    I then ran your IP, and saw that within the space of 12 hours you have posted here under more than one identity, and in fact regularly post on the internet under more than one identity since you have at least two blogs, under at least two different names.

    What I found particularly amusing is that, despite doing something that obviously stupid, you claim on your Nancy blog to have an IQ of 188. Um, yeah. LOL

    So the truth of the matter is that you are just trying to get an argument out of people to satisfy your own twisted sense of self-importance, rather than attempting to engage in intelligent conversation about an important social issue.

    I refuse to play your childish little game by responding as if your comment was legitimately made, not so much because you’re a liar and a troll, but simply because garden-variety sociopaths like you bore the living hell out of me.

  9. Funny ENM! I didn’t bother checking out who she was before I commented on her pingback to my post. (still awaiting moderation at her place but I copied it in my comments.) She’s likely looking to piggyback on traffic.

  10. Hey dude, I’ve just seen your blog and very nice work for what I’ve read for now. Keep it up.

    See ya.
    Campaign 2.2

  11. Hi, dokieh. I’m not a dude, but thanks. I think. LOL

  12. Dear ngoldfarb,

    Neither you nor I have all the information regarding this case. I cannot say, and neither can you say, precisely what the relationship is like between young Malika Calhoun and her mother. Nor can we say what the relationships between her friends and her friends’ parents are like.

    We cannot say whether it is the case that young Malika Calhoun was slapped around by her parents or not.

    We cannot even say whether or not the girls actually stole anything from anyone–that is, unless you have more information about this case than I. All I personally can say is that the title of the car was likely under the name of one of the parents of one of the girls in the car. It’s always possible that the daughter had legitimately bought the vehicle from the mother, but that the two had decided to leave the title under the mother’s name for insurance or tax purposes.

    And perhaps this is not the case, and the mother truly was the owner of the vehicle, in which case we can agree that it truly was stolen. My point is this: we don’t have all the facts behind the initial crime–that’s what trials are for. Therefore, it is objectively irrational for either you or I to speculate about (A) the child’s appreciation or lack thereof for law (B) the nature of the upbringing of any of the children.

    Try to look at this intelligently, dear nihilist.

    Let us assume, for sake of argument, that the vehicle truly was stolen. If this is the case, then natural law dictates that the thieves are required to either return the stolen property or pay restitution to their victim based on the subjective valuation by the legitimate owner of the stolen property at the moment of theft. In addition to this, the thieves must also pay a little extra in order to account for loss of time-preference–thus, the longer the vehicle is out of the possession of the legitimate owner, the greater the additional cost to the thieves.

    The crime was one of theft, not one of physical assault. Both are crimes, as any libertarian will tell you, but certainly not crimes that are identical in nature. In only one way can physical violence be a legitimate punishment for the crime of the theft of alienable property: if both parties (criminal and victim) agree that a physical punishment is more desirable than (A) returning the stolen loot or (B) paying restitution for the stolen loot, then and only then may physical punishment be employed for that crime.

    If the crime was one of physical assault, then a physical punishment is automatically justifiable; but in this case, we’re dealing with theft and not physical assault. The one thing that comes remotely close to physical assault, i.e. the soft kicking of the shoe, was so soft that it hardly musters even being mentioned. In this case, we’re dealing with a totally different victim and a totally different crime, and in this case, the legitimate punishment–in accordance with natural law–could not possibly be anything more fierce than forcing the young girl to pay five cents for a band-aid.

    No, we’re not dealing with physical assault but rather theft. Thus, the girls may be legitimately forced–in accordance with natural law–to (A) return the car to the mother and (B) surrender additional money to account for the loss of time-preference. (In other words, the mother had o go without her car or some length of time. She should be compensated for that loss.)

    This, it seems to me, is what natural law rationally dictates. You, however, argue that “[Malika Calhoun] should have been beaten.” In saying this, you are advocating crime.

    Let me repeat that: you are advocating crime.

    (A) We have no evidence that Calhoun was aware that her friend stole the car being driven from said friend’s mother (assuming it even was).

    (B) In accordance with natural law, it is never a crime to call someone a “fat pig,” no matter how true or untrue the claim may be. The property rights of Officer Schene were in no way infringed upon by her making this statement.

    (C) At most, young Calhoun may be required to pay five cents toward the purchase of a band-aid for Schene’s leg.

    Nothing Calhoun did, to your or my knowledge, warranted her being brutally attacked. Thus, when she was brutally attacked, a crime was committed against her far in excess of any crime she (to our knowledge) committed. Even if we assume she was absolutely involved in the planning and execution of grand-theft auto, her legitimate punishment would be one of forced payment of restitution. The action taken against her by Schene was an irrational and, in accordance with natural law, illegal overreaction.

    Schene deserves for his crime any of the following: (A) jail time, (B) being forced to pay huge restitution fees to his victim, or (C) being beaten up himself by some brute even bigger than he.

    Crime must be punished whenever and wherever it occurs, and as such criminals such as Schene deserve neither our sympathy or support.

    Maybe someday you’ll be as pro-justice and anti-crime as I am, ngoldfarb.

    Part of me even thinks we should employ the death penalty against criminals like Schene, but then I worry that I be taking things too far. In any event, had young Calhoun had a gun, and had she used it to shoot her attacker, I would definitely be defending her action as self-defence.

    You write, “If your rotten child curses me and kicks her shoe off at me, I will beat her, and beat you ther parents if you complain.”

    Oh, wow. I didn’t realise you were such an extremist, that you favoured crime and hated law this much.

    I see your parents failed to teach you the difference between right and wrong. Beware, your attitude could easily land you in real jail as an adult.

    Sincerely yours,
    Alex Peak

  13. At most, young Calhoun may be required to pay five cents toward the purchase of a band-aid for Schene’s leg.

    I’d just subtract the nickel out of what he owes in restitution if anything.

  14. True. He owes her far more than she owes him. And that doesn’t even take into account how much he owes to his other victims—and to society at large, off of whom he leeches for his income.

    All in all, he has some major debts to pay off.

    Alex Peak

    P.S. I’d like to add that this whole episode shows just how superior a privately-funded system of competing defence agencies would clearly be. If Officer Schene were an employee at one of the competing private defence agencies (PDA) I advocate, he would have already been fired by now, as the PDA would not wish to keep as an employee someone who is so clearly a liability. The PDA, not wishing to get sued and thus lose profit, would fire such scumbags quickly; thus the citizenry under such a system would be far safer, as the PDAs would aim to hire only the best, most ethical of potential officers.

  15. I feel sorry for Americans. I am an Australian who lives in China at present. The Chinese police do not carry handcuffs, batons, tasers, let alone guns. I love the personal freedom that this “third world” communist country allows me.

    I have been to over 30 countries but I will never even transit through the US. This is due to the unanymously appalling reports of the conduct of security agents at US airports. These frequently-obese losers on $7.00 an hour must revel in the fact that they can feel important in their jobs by demeaning others.

    It strikes me as farcical that citizens of the US sometimes still refer to their country as “the land of the free.” This is a country that has the highest incarceration rate of anywhere in the history of the world. It is the land of the caged.

    I have read some comments on other threads that denegrate “third world countries'” police behaviour. I assure you I would take a cop from a developing country over a US pig anyday.

    Why aren’t you people rising up against this cancer? God help you all, you need to look outside your own borders to realise that the rest of the Western world has far superceded you.

  16. I think the girl deserved an ass beating. She assualted the deputy and I would kick her ass for a similar attack on me. Good job, Deputy Schene.

  17. George: I’m very sorry to hear your male ego is so fragile that you can’t tolerate even the thought of a 15-year-old girl kicking off her shoe in your general direction. Hopefully your health insurance covers the cost of psychological treatment. If not, check around. Most areas provide rage counseling either free or on a sliding scale, and I strongly suggest you make good use of that service. Otherwise, you may very well end up getting counseled by the barrel of an angry parent’s gun.

    Best of luck to you.

  18. ElfninosMom,

    Your statement “(B) In accordance with natural law, it is never a crime to call someone a “fat pig,” no matter how true or untrue the claim may be. ”

    I my view, her abusive treatment of the officers and overall disrespect for authority was a far greater moral crime than anything the officer did. I do know many of the facts of the case and the girl’s history. The girl is about as close to evil incarnate as you can get. Threatening to shoot someone the face (she was charged with a felony): Maybe the officer had a sixth sense about her and she could have kicked the other shoe at his face are made some other aggressive sort of move.

    Most people who are untrained in fighting arts and self defense will over interpret the video and not realize what was actually happening. From my expert eye (35 years martial arts), The officers response was very measured and controlled he had no intention of hurting the girl. The push defensive kick and take down and come along by grabbing the hair are standard take down and come-along technique that martial artists and law enforcement learn. And, when attacked, the best form of defense is offense.

    While you may think the officer had no reason to fear , you don’t know what the level of tension was and what transpired before the incident. Officers are spit upon, attacked by people they arrest and this officer was in at least one incident where 5 civilian witnesses came forward to say that the though officer schene would be killed by Pedro Jo (who the officer shot and killed in self defense). Such events traumatize people and people who have been through real life and death struggles will tend to react differently than the typical American.

    There is no reason to think a 100 pound teenage girl cannot be dangerous. Have you ever seen girls in a vicious fight? I once heard of a fight (I saw the aftermath) where two teenage girls scratched up each others faces, bit each other and left each other with teeth marks and bleeding scalps and bald spots they pulled each other hair so hard.

    In self defense situations trained people look for clues to aggressive intent that cannot be gleaned from the tape: Voice intonation, muscle tension, the level of anger or fear they detect. I once was attacked with a knife, but I knew the perp was up to something when his voice tensed, his neck, shoulder and arm muscles tensed 1-2 seconds before he actually pulled out the knife. Most untrained people will telegraph their aggressive intent with visual clues and voice clues at least 2 seconds before they make an aggressive move. Maybe she telegraphed such intent.

    If one of my four children (1 boy, 3 girls) ever spoke to an officer with such disrespect and assaulted him as Calhoun did, I would seek out the officer, apologize to him for my child’s awful behavior toward him, shake his hand for teaching my child an important life lesson, invite the officer to dinner and require my child to write him a formal apology letter. I would give my child a similar roughing up when he/she got home. I would never consider suing the officer and would try to get any charges that might have been filed dropped. My attitude would be different if the officer actually caused my child some sort of injury, but that is not what happened: the girl was unhurt and maybe she got an important life lesson.

  19. Hello, George. I didn’t write the comment about natural law. Alex Peak wrote that.

    However, since you did respond to me in particular, and since I did write the entry, I will respond.

    As for the cop having no intention of hurting the girl … I don’t know about you, but if I rush someone, knock their head against a concrete wall, throw them to the ground and repeatedly punch them as hard as I can with my fist, I fully intend to hurt them. Anyone who does that intends to cause harm, so let’s just be honest on that point.

    If my son were to act with unprovoked disrespect toward a police officer, I would also be embarrassed and apologize, I would make my son apologize, and there would still be a problem at home. We agree on that point. However, if my son had been that teenage girl, there would be a very serious problem for the cop. His response simply far outweighed any potential threat. The girl was in a cell, and she didn’t even approach him in a threatening manner. She certainly did not have a gun or a knife, as you seem to be suggesting may have been the case, and we know that because she was already in jail; so with all due respect, you seem to be grossly overanalyzing the situation. She petulantly kicked her shoe in his general direction, and didn’t even kick it hard enough to harm anyone even if it hit him. The shoe posed absolutely no realistic threat. He reacted out of pure anger, not self-defense or a need to subdue (since she was already in a cell) so his reaction constituted brutality.

    If you or I attacked an underage kid like that, we’d be behind bars, and rightfully so. Just as we cannot engage in child abuse, cops cannot engage in child abuse. Just as normal responsible adults do not violently attack children and beat them as if they are an aggressive adult, cops cannot violently attack children and beat them as if they are an aggressive adult. I’m not the only one who thinks that the cop committed a crime, either. Remember, it was the DA who decided the cop had committed a crime, and he had access to all of the facts.

    The cop should be permanently removed from duty, and he should indeed be prosecuted. We simply cannot give cops a pass in a situation of this nature, because it undermines public confidence in law enforcement. More to the point we should never give a cop a pass when said cop has acted like a violent criminal, as in this case.

    The girl did indeed learn an important life lesson: that cops can and do brutalize people, and worse, they almost always get away with it. The earlier our kids learn that, the better off they will be in life. I’d hate to think my son or yours might become the next Amadou Diallo, after all, and be shot 41 times for merely reaching for his wallet to show identification. However, it could happen, because it has happened. That should bother you. I know it bothers me.

  20. ElfNinosMom,

    “As for the cop having no intention of hurting the girl … I don’t know about you, but if I rush someone, knock their head against a concrete wall, throw them to the ground and repeatedly punch them as hard as I can with my fist, I fully intend to hurt them. Anyone who does that intends to cause harm, so let’s just be honest on that point. ”

    You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Self defense or fighting technique is an area you clearly know nothing about. In self defense situations the idea is to take down the attacker fast, in most cases before the attacker even has time to react. The basic idea is to startle, shock and intimidate to take the attacker completely off balance.

    I was taught to strike hard and fast with disabling blows or takedowns in my training and police officers are taught that as well. You are arrogant or stupid if you think you can come to a correct judgment from the video alone. The judge did not seem to think the offense was all that bad as he released the officer on his recognizance pending trial. The prosecutor asked for bail, but the judge said it was not warranted.

    You are wrong about your legal assertion as well: If you or I assaulted a girl the way the officer did (in other words we did not injure the person)in response to her attack, we would not even be charged with assault if we simply subdued her: it was legitimate self defense up to the point he swung at her on the ground.

    I don’t think cops should receive a pass, but they should not be treated any more severely than you or I would. We would not receive such publicity and public derision if we committed such an act.

  21. I don’t know about up there in Washington but these things happen all the time in Southern California. Pretty sure it happens everywhere in this great country of ours. It’s not a big surprise to me. They should give him some jail time, BUT… we all know that he is gonna be put on probation for 1 year. I’m 99.9% sure. I think I read something about the same officer killing two people prior to this too. He should be investigated for those as well

  22. George: You’re right. Compared to a self-described expert on self-defense like you, I don’t know what I’m talking about on the subjects of police brutality and law, ROFLMAO.

    I’ll throw you a bone, though. Go out and use your mighty “self-defense” skills by attacking a minor female in that same manner because she kicked her shoe in your general direction, videotape it, try to press charges against her for assaulting you, tell the cops you were only acting in self-defense, and we’ll see how fast you are arrested. Not to worry, I’ll wait for you to serve out your sentence so I can read your full report.

    Oh, and a word to the wise to shorten my waiting period: your silly self-defense argument absolutely will not fly in a case of that nature. That only works for cops who brutalize citizens while on duty. Citizens who do that to other citizens, especially when the other citizen is that much smaller and weaker and poses no realistic threat, are commonly (and correctly) known by the very simple term “criminal”.

    In the interim, though, at this point it seems clear that conversing with you is a complete waste of my time, just as I assumed from your first comment. I therefore now defer to my original response suggesting psychological treatment, and will not otherwise be responding to you further.

  23. Well, I say let’s see what happens in the court proceeding. I suspect the courts’ judgment on this issue will be far less harsh that what I see written on the messages boards. The Attounery’s will present their cases and the jury will decide. They will have many more facts than we do and I for one would accept their decision and being a much better one than I could make.

    Even the prosecutor’s office could find no evidence to support any charge beyond 4th degree assault (see below). The publicity is unfortunate, because it pressures the authorities to make a bigger deal than they would if there was no publicity. It is a fortunate thing, in my view, that police officers who are charged with crimes on duty have their defense paid for by the state as the role of an officer puts them in a position where they have to use force quite often and that force is open to misinterpretation by self righteous, chip on their shoulder, low IQ fools like ElfNinosMom who make sweeping judgments based on insufficient data.

    As for the justice department civil rights division , they are our own American racist Gestapo, stocked with racist Blacks (Kelly Harris is Black, by the way) who project racial intent into every situation where there is a white officer and black perpetrator and an allegation of excessive force: they use the civil rights laws as a way of by passing the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy and trying officers twice for the same crime. Seriously, how many times have you seen the reverse situation where a Black officer is brought up on civil rights charges for violating the rights of a white perpetrator?

    This is a comment from the prosecutor’s office regarding the reason the 4th degree assault charge was filed:

    ” We file charges based on the evidence we have in a case. UnderWashington State Law Assault in the 4th Degree occurs when anintentional assault occurs, regardless of whether any physical injuryresults. The crime of Assault in the Third Degree, then next degree up fromFourth Degree, requires an assault and “injury that is substantial painsufficient enough to cause considerable suffering for a period of time.” In this case, medical personnel examined the 15 year old victim shortlyafter the assault. She had no physical injuries other than shortness ofbreath, and showed no medical signs of any head injury or neurologicaltrauma. We cannot manufacture evidence of more serious injury in a case. Wecharged Assault in the Fourth Degree because the evidence supported it.I hope this information has been helpful. “

  24. First off, I just have to state, I am a dyed-in-the-wool conspiracy theorist, so take or leave my comments as you wish.

    I was appalled by the actions of the cop in this video. His response was completely out-of-line for ANY circumstances. You have to keep in mind that this is a 15-year-old child, for crissakes!

    I will give limited support to those above who think the girl should have been punished. She is obviously a spoiled brat. She’s a little old to be spanked, but proper application of discipline throughout her life would have been a benefit, and would have probably kept her from being in the circumstances in the first place!

    However, let’s think about the dichotomy here. Suppose, okay fantasize, that the cop in this case had been a public protector instead of a law enforcement officer, and had taken the kids to their homes and dropped them off with a stern warning. Then, suppose their parents gave them a reasonable spanking for their transgressions. In today’s big-brother society, those parents would have been liable to lose custody of their own children. (Getting them placed in public care, likely resulting in their being sexually and physically assaulted, but lets not get into that here.) Yet this cop slams her head against the wall and punches her, and he gets a free vacation? What’s going on here!

    This type of behavior on the part of cops is becoming rampant. Cops are shooting, tazing, beating, and otherwise abusing INNOCENT people. (Remember that trite phrase, “Innocent until PROVEN guilty?) We started the year–actually ended the last year–with the cops in…Seattle, was it?…headshooting a drunken reveler for no reason. Although I know it’s hard to imagine a drunken reveler on New Years Eve (he said with tongue firmly planted in cheek). All you need to do is do a search on Youtube (while it lasts) for “Police Brutality” or “Cop beats” to see example after example of the same type of behavior. Even skateboarders deserve corporal punishment, as long as it’s meted out by people wearing blue.

    Okay, stop reading here if you’re afraid of looking at the darkside.

    I firmly believe that our new Law Enforcement force has been either implicitly or explicitly given the go-ahead to act this way. Each time this occurs, more people are enraged, and their rage is directed at the men in blue.

    Browsing around the truth sites, I’ve seen a larger and larger number of what I call “Bubbas” who are prepared to start a shooting war against their own government. I don’t really want to discuss whether this is really what’s called for, but I do believe that’s what The Powers That Be want to happen. The likelihood of a group of untrained, disorganized, out-of-shape and under-armed ex-military and never-military being successful against a trained army is very low, although a lot on both sides are likely to die. And the angst I see is directed specifically at our protectors.

    But such an occurrence would be a perfect excuse for TPTB to emplace martial law on the citizens of the once-free United States. Whether you believe in the (claimed) 800-plus FEMA camps around the U.S. or not, we still have stadiums, public buildings, “closed” military bases, and the southern-U.S. desert where the people who would be rounded-up can be housed. And, let’s face it, most of the people in the U.S. are in such bad physical shape, a situation like this would result in a huge number of deaths of the infirm, elderly, and very young, even with our wonderful FEMA and Fatherland Security–oops, sorry, Homeland Security performing at its usual high level, as demonstrated in New Orleans.

    Unfortunately, the alternative to this shooting war is to use the legal means outlined in the Constitution to oust the crooked politicians, investigate crimes committed by them, try, convict, and punish them appropriately. And replace them with a group of legislators and administrators who will bring this country back to the constitutional guidelines by revoking those laws that go against that wonderful document. Unfortunately, the legislators can stay one step ahead of the reformers, either by passing legislation that would render themselves immune, or by locking up the people who would dare to ensure government stays within its bounds.

    I’ve always said that if prostitutes could pass laws, prostitution would be legal. I guess we’ve proven that, huh?

    Sorry for being so windy. This struck a nerve!

  25. A Black women with twelve children goes into a church for the first time and the Pastor says: : well madam, that is a fine brood of children. What are they called”

    The Black woman answers “ Tyrone”
    The pastor, a little puzzled asks “ what are the name of the other 11”
    The Black woman answers “De all bees called Tyrone so when I calls Tyrone de all comes a running”
    The pastor, still puzzled asks “Well, how do you call them if you just want one of them to come?”
    The Black woman answers “When I wants one to come, calls dem by de last name! ”

  26. Mr. George,

    First of all, it was I and not Ms. ElfNinosMom who mentioned natural law. The name that appears below a post is the name of the person who wrote it, not the name that appears above a post.

    Proceeding on…

    You write, “I my view, her abusive treatment of the officers and overall disrespect for authority was a far greater moral crime than anything the officer did.”

    I have to wonder, what is authority?

    It seems to me that the laws of nature dictate what authority is, and in accordance with the laws of nature, true authority arises solely in the individual, never in the collective. What is true in the “state of nature” (to use a term employed by Hobbes and Locke) must be true outside the state of nature; and, in the state of nature, all people are naturally equal. (This form of equality is often referred to as “equality before the law,” and if we’re dealing with the state of nature, we must be dealing with natural law, which is the highest law.) Man is naturally equal because all persons naturally possess equal natural rights.

    This, therefore, is the origins of all just authority. We must therefore conclude that authority can come in only three forms: (1) rights, (2) privileges, and (3) usurpations.

    Rights exist naturally in each individual. They cannot be created by any person or any government. They cannot be revoked. You have a right to not be murdered or raped, and a right to be secure in your justly-acquired property, for example.

    A privilege is the authority to do something granted from one person to another. This can be revoked. For example, if I own a plot of land, I can grant you permission to walk on it. I can also revoke this privilege.

    Both of these types of authority are just. The third type, usurpations, are unjust. This is the type of “authority” that exists when one man places a gun against the head of another. It clearly violates the true authority of rights—hence why it is not a just form of authority.

    This girl has natural rights. What rights does she have?

    So-called “rights” can be divided into two types: true rights, known to philosophers of ethics as “negative rights,” and pseudo-rights, otherwise known as “positive rights.” I could go into detail about why positive rights cannot exist or why all imaginable negative rights must exist, but suffice it to say that they cannot both co-exist (thanks to the law of non-contradiction), and therefore this girl has all imaginable negative rights. (We all, in fact, have all imaginable negative rights.)

    Because this girl has negative rights, it is her absolute right not to be harassed violently, and to use equal and opposing force against those who do harass her (so long as she has not violated the equal rights of others).

    All this girl did was kick her shoe. If we say the officer had the natural right to use equal and opposing force against her, then we must say he had no right to do anything more than kick his own show back at her, and with the same smallness of force.

    What did he do?

    He instead attacked her. He waited a whole five seconds, and then attacked her. (If he truly thought his life were in danger, why did he wait five whole seconds? Someone with martial arts training should realise that five seconds is the difference between life and death—yet he did not act. And she simply stood there.)

    He attacked. Therefore, we must conclude that he violated her natural, inalienable rights. No other conclusion is derivable. And since rights are the only true authority that exist (other than privileges, of course, which can only exist as an extention of rights), it was he that was showing an overall disrespect for authority.

    Because he was acting in violation of the natural authority of the girl, he should be punished, as should any other criminal who acts in violation of the natural authority of that girl.

    Crime, in short, should be punished.

    You write, “The girl is about as close to evil incarnate as you can get.”

    I think you have that backwards. It’s the criminal who attacked the girl who is “about as close to evil incarnate as you can get.”

    He acted without legitimate authority. He acted in violation of her natural authority (i.e. natural rights). He violated natural law. And he should pay for his crime. He is a criminal, plain and simple. He deserves punishment, equal in harshness to the crime he committed. Justice demands this.

    You write, “While you may think the officer had no reason to fear , you don’t know what the level of tension was and what transpired before the incident.”

    I do know that he waited five whole seconds. Not four, not three, but five. Surely you must admit, as someone with thirty-five years of martial arts experience, that this is an insanely long time to wait if one actually believes himself to be threatened. I studied martial arts for only five years, and even I know that five second is a life-time.

    To re-cap, the girl softly kicks her shoe. She stands in a non-offensive position for literally five seconds. Then she is attacked. Reason compells me to say that the criminal attacking her knew he was not in danger.

    You write, “[P]eople who have been through real life and death struggles will tend to react differently than the typical American.”

    This may be true, but it does not excuse crime. I’m a real stickler for obeying natural law.

    You write, “If one of my four children (1 boy, 3 girls) ever spoke to an officer with such disrespect and assaulted him as Calhoun did, I would seek out the officer, apologize to him for my child’s awful behavior toward him, shake his hand for teaching my child an important life lesson, invite the officer to dinner and require my child to write him a formal apology letter.”

    Will you automatically assume that your child was the unlawful party, or will you consider the matter objectively before sending out your invite?

    You write, “[M]aybe she got an important life lesson.”

    Yes, hopefully she has come away from the experience with a profound and healthy distrust of big government. Maybe she’ll even go off to become a constitutional scholar. We can only hope.

    You write, “The judge did not seem to think the offense was all that bad as he released the officer on his recognizance pending trial. The prosecutor asked for bail, but the judge said it was not warranted.”

    There are indeed some horrible judges out there.

    You write, “I don’t think cops should receive a pass, but they should not be treated any more severely than you or I would. We would not receive such publicity and public derision if we committed such an act.”

    If I committed that act, I should receive public derision. Indeed, I should be punished to the fullest extent of the (natural) law.

    You write, “It is a fortunate thing, in my view, that police officers who are charged with crimes on duty have their defense paid for by the state as the role of an officer puts them in a position where they have to use force quite often.”

    Taxation is theft, and theft is a violation of property rights. Property rights are rights, and a right is the purest form of true, natural authority. Thus, insofar as one supports taxation, one also shows a profound disrespect for authority.

    To use a similar argument to the one made by Ms. ElfNinosMom, if you or I tried to take a third of our neighbour’s income, we would be arrested, and rightfully so. Even if we took our neighbour’s income and claimed we needed it to “protect” him, we would rightly be considered criminals. Even if we were to claim to be our neighbour’s “rightful sovereign,” or if we were to claim to have support from the mass of the public, it would still be a crime, a violation of our neighbour’s natural and just authority to his justly-acquired property.

    The state does things that it would consider us criminal for doing if we were to do it ourselves. The state, therefore, is a criminal gang.

    This brings me back to a point I made earlier about privately-funded protection agencies operating on a free market. If we were to replace our state-monopoly police with a free-market system of private competing firms all vying for a greater share of the consumers within a given territory, not only would the crime prevention be far more efficient and effective, but it would be much less expensive than it is under a state-funded monopoly system we have currently. We wouldn’t need tax-dollars being stolen from us to fund the trials of aggressive cops. And we don’t.

    Respectfully yours,
    Alex Peak

  27. Bond is intended only to ensure appearance at trial, and cannot properly be used as punishment. There was no reason for the judge to believe the cop won’t show up for court, and every reason to believe he will do so. For that reason, it is not at all surprising for the judge to release the cop on his own recognizance, but the nature of the bond bears no reflection whatsoever on the seriousness of the charge since it is not a capital crime.

  28. The charge, 4th degree assault, is a very minor charge as well.

  29. Alex Peak wrote:

    “I do know that he waited five whole seconds. Not four, not three, but five. Surely you must admit, as someone with thirty-five years of martial arts experience, that this is an insanely long time to wait if one actually believes himself to be threatened. I studied martial arts for only five years, and even I know that five second is a life-time”

    I counted 2 seconds, not 5. That delay is within a reasonable reaction time, though perhaps at the tail end.

  30. Mr. George.

    The kick takes place at exactly 0:39. We first see officer Schene walking through to the door at 0:43. He does not charge until exactly 0:44. Ergo, he waited exactly five second before charging.

    Sincerely yours,
    Alex Peak

  31. Hey there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

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