A video released by the Cashion Police Department in Oklahoma shows a woman being arrested after she refused to sign a ticket for a tail light violation. The video has gone viral and solicited a significant amount of commentary on social media.
There are two camps. Either the officer is knuckle-dragging moron who overreacted and is just another example of everything that is wrong with American policing today, or the woman though sheer stubbornness, lack of respect for authority, and bad decision making is just another example of a society where people feel the rules don’t apply to them.
Some say the officer was extremely patient, others say he wasn’t patient enough.
Of course there are also comments asking why the police aren’t out catching robbers and rapists instead about worrying about little things like broken tail lights. Actually, Cashion police posted pictures of the violation. The whole back end of the woman’s car was smashed and the tail lights weren’t working at all.
Her attorney has already provided a statement: “The actions of the Cashion Police Department on July 16 were egregious and unnecessary. The thought that a 65 year old woman, known to the community as the grandmother of two boys lost in the 2012 Piedmont Tornado, deserved to be tased and arrested for not signing a ticket offends common notions of decency. The people of Cashion and the State of Oklahoma are no safer because of the actions of Officer Missinne. His unnecessary escalation and use of force served no purpose other than to torment and embarrass Ms. Hamil. We are exploring all legal actions which may be taken to vindicate Ms. Hamil’s civil rights.”
The Cashion Police Department has stated that due to the pending court cases it would be inappropriate for them to comment on the case at this time.
The driver, after telling the police officer she wasn’t going to sign **** and drives off, left few options for the officer other than to arrest her. Her unwillingness to submit to arrest meant the officer had to go hands on. Then she started kicking him.
There are an infinite amount of “what ifs” that could have taken place. It’s the same with any police contact. Ultimately the officer’s use of force to take her into custody was a given after she physically resisted. How much force to use is debatable and of course is fodder for social media ranting.
In the end, wouldn’t it have been a great idea just to sign the ticket?[yop_poll id=”1″]
Joe is a retired police captain. You can reach him at email@example.com.