So why would cops terrorize a family?
They have a reason to give. Someone had reported a tan Toyota in which someone had allegedly been waving a gun out the window. (Was it a toy? We don’t know.) So naturally the police officers in Forney, Texas, pulled over a red Nissan. (Hey, Toyota and Nissan both share one letter of the alphabet, so it was close, right?). In that suspiciously different vehicle was a mother, Kametra Barbour, driving her four children—four children all under the age of ten who have been taught just how much their lives matter to law enforcement in the United States.
As Reason.com reports:
They pulled Barbour over at gunpoint, forcing her and her children to put their hands up. Police admit they made a mistake but aren’t going to apologize, because officer safety.
To be clear here, if any one of these children had made a sudden move to his waist, in the panic and fear of the moment, the police could have shot and killed that child and never been prosecuted. You don’t believe me? Then you haven’t been paying attention.
My favorite part is the cop telling the woman to “calm down” while humiliating her and making her fear for her children.
Officer safety justifies all this.
I have an idea how to guarantee officer safety. Tell these unionized public employees to stay home.
This isn’t like an argument about whether or not police should have body armor. In that case, “they need to come home alive” makes some sense. But pointing a gun at a woman and her young children cannot be justified by officer safety. The entire rationale for the police is to protect and serve such people. But that idea has nothing to do with reality. Instead they threaten the innocent and put them in harm’s way all because they can’t afford to risk any danger.
Based on a report this woman and her children had deadly weapons pointed at them (except the report described a different vehicle!). What if she had panicked or even merely stumbled while being forced to back up to the police car. How on earth can this be protecting and serving? How was she better off to have police “on the job” in her community?
In the movies and in TV shows we are presented with cops who take risks all the time to protect women and children. Are those noble tales to inspire us, or false visions to delude us?
Just to clarify, I realize bad things can happen while trying to enforce the law (though that video makes me crazy angry). But refusing to apologize and telling a woman that she and her children just don’t count next to officer safety isn’t an unhappy mistake. It is a policy of exalting the police at the expense of the people they are supposedly assigned to protect.
That woman is never going to be the same again. Be honest with yourself. She was mugged. She is the victim of gun crime. There is no way to deny it.