To car-owning snobs, public transportation is viewed as a cross between a grimy theme-park adventure and an object lesson in Aberrant Sociology 101. That view is unlikely to be changed by an Internet video that shows a male Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy slugging an apparently mentally challenged woman in the face.
Army veteran Jermaine Green and his fiancée, Violet Roberts, noticed a woman climbing onto the 266 Lakewood Center bus Monday night, pulling a stroller full of pillows with her. At the next stop, two L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputies, one male, one female, boarded the bus and, according to witness accounts, addressed the pillow woman by name and directed her to exit the bus. A scuffle sandwich broke out, with the woman as filling between the two cops.
One miracle of miniaturized personal technology is that at least one passenger on any given city bus will be fondling a handheld video camera.
Says Jermaine Green: “It was very obvious that she, you know, had special needs.”
The action escalated from unnerving diversion to disgusting display in the instant it took for the male peacekeeper to set his bulk and slam a forearm and elbow full-force into the woman’s jaw.
One miracle of miniaturized personal technology is that at least one passenger on any given city bus will be fondling a handheld video camera. Jermaine Green was that cameraman. Green’s tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq evidently prepared him for the eventuality of gross battery of an imbalanced woman; he calmly and competently, bravely let’s say, filmed the interaction between the two public servants and the one defenseless woman. The cops made note of the filming.
According to Green, the male deputy demanded custody of the telephone and threatened a warrant check and arrest when Green refused to surrender the unflattering footage.
“I think they would try to cover it up,” said Green, explaining his second heroic act of the night. “I think a lot of stuff gets covered up. I think some people need to come forward. If they see something, report it. Because it can’t be fixed unless it’s brought to the public’s attention.”
Law-enforcement agencies seem to share Green’s faith in the power of public scrutiny. They express that faith in on-the-street physical intimidation and courtroom threats of extensive jail time to any citizen who feels duty-bound to document public servants’ abuses of power.
Popehat, a site with a fetish for civil liberties, notes that Google Reports is besieged by law-enforcement requests to remove YouTube videos of police brutality.
Pretexts for takedown include “criticism” and are often accompanied by demands for user identifying information.
According to Google reports: “We did not comply with those requests.”
That noncompliance may be changing. Boing Boing reports that YouTube dropped the Bellflower bus news clip, with “hate speech” cited as justification.
The only hate visible is in the elbow of the L.A. County Sheriff.