On Nov. 11, the owners of Brewhemia coffee shop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, asked 65-year-old Melyssa Jo Kelly to leave after she became disruptive. When Kelly refused to comply, the police were called. The Cedar Rapids PD dispatched officers to deal with the situation.
What happened next is something officers are seeing more often.
Kelly decided to livestream the encounter on Facebook Live so the whole world could share in the experience.
Her abusive and nonsensical rantings were amusing and apparently the public thought they had entertainment value.
The video has been seen by hundreds of thousands of people. On Kelly’s Facebook page alone the video has been viewed more than 200,000 times with more than 3,500 comments.
Purusing her many postings, it’s evident Kelly considers herself a community activist.
I have to admit I think there is some value in letting people see the profanity-laden rantings, if for no other reason it allows the viewer to experience firsthand the exemplary display of professionalism and patience on the part of the responding officers.
The clip also demonstrates the type of abuse officers are subjected to and deal with on an almost daily basis. Imagine yourself on the receiving end of the verbal abuse. How would you have responded?
On the other hand, Kelly’s posting also allows for a single individual to make a very loud statement heard by hundreds of thousands of people in a matter of hours. Is every click enabling and supporting this kind of conduct?
I’m just glad the professionalism and patience of the responding officers made a much louder statement than hers.
Joe is a retired Anaheim Police Department captain. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.