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ItsAHabit's avatar

Why Have So Many People Seen the Video of the Seattle Cop But So Few Have Seen the Video of the Congressman Assaulting a Student?

Asked by ItsAHabit (2297points) June 17th, 2010

It appears that few people have seen the video of Congressman Bob Etheridge assaulting a well dressed and consistently polite college student who asked him if he supported the Obama agenda. The student even continued calling the congressman “sir” as he was being assaulted!

However, the media have widely shown the video of the Seattle cop defending himself from two abusive people who were assaulting him while calling him a “Mother F..ker.”

Do you have any explanation for this apparent double-standard?

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14 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

I disagree with your premise. I have seen the video of Etheridge time after time on FOX,CNN, MSNBC and all three networks.

filmfann's avatar

I’ve seen both. Just saw the Seattle thing this morning.
Why are you asking this?

MrItty's avatar

How, exactly, does it “appear” that few people haver seen the video you referenced? I’ve seen both. I saw the Congressman video a couple days ago, and the police video today.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Seaofclouds's avatar

I have seen both and I don’t even watch the news. The Seattle thing has started getting more attention because it is newer.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Thanks for the useful feedback. Guess I should watch something in addition the Ed Show, Stephanie, and Keith Oberman.

Cruiser's avatar

Well heeled white college students getting pushed around by an aged Congressman is nowhere near as sensational as a white tough guy cop decking a sassy black 17 year old girl. I bet many were rooting for the Congressman to deck him too! Smartass preppy! lol!

PandoraBoxx's avatar

It would have been helpful to post a link to the video in your question. I have seen both.

Two things that are glaringly different the two instances: The students should have identified themselves, the school they are with and that they were part of a school project. Throughout the altercation with the students, at any given moment, the students could have settled things down by identifying themselves and their school. That was stupid and bad manners. Do I think Bob Etheridge overreacted? Absolutely. Judging by the look in his eyes, either he was medicated, drunk or is in the early throes of dementia.

Secondly, the girl that got punched in the face was interfering with an officer making an arrest. There was nothing that her presence in that struggle could have in any way helped. There was no indication in the video what cause the arrest, but there were plenty of guys hanging around, watching, which leads me to think, based upon the video footage, that the reasons leading to the arrest of the first girl was valid. Was punching the girl in the face out of line? Absolutely? Was butting into a struggle between an officer and the person he was trying to subdue stupid? Absolutely. I can’t imagine how else a police officer could hang onto someone to cuff them while someone physically interjects the presence into the arrest.

IN BOTH INSTANCES, the people who were assaulted were to blame in part for the outcome. The students should have identified themselves. The girl in pink should have stayed out of it.

Several years ago, a block from my home, my husband and I were headed to the day care center around the corner to pick up our daughter. We were right at 6:00, pick-up time. We were pulled over for brake lights not working. The officer asked for my husband’s license, and told him to stay in the car. I told my husband I was going to get out and walk to the daycare center to get our daughter. When I started to get out of the car, the officer pulled a gun on me, and radioed for backup. I got back into the car, and he yelled at me, “What part of STAY IN THE CAR don’t you understand?” When the back-up came, I pointed to the day care center, and said that all I was going to do was walk over there to get my daughter. The officer explained that when they pull over a vehicle, they have no way of knowing who’s in the car or what the danger to the officer is, and that situations go much better if people just do what they’re told. I could not imagine that in a navy suit, pumps and pearls, I looked too dangerous, but you never know.

ItsAHabit's avatar

The student was under no obligation to give his name. He asked a reasonable political question and explained why he was asking it. He was well-dressed, polite, did not block the congressman’s way, and posed no threat. The congressman was similarly under no obligation to give an answer. If he chose to respond he should have simply answered the question or said “No comment.”

Seaofclouds's avatar

@ItsAHabit For the most part I agree with you, except that from the start of the video it looks like the student had is camera (which looked like it was a cell phone) shoved right in the Congressman’s face. The beginning shuffle to me seems like it is the Congressman getting the camera out of his face (which I think he had a right to do, but not necessarily the way he did it). He should have just kept walking and ignored them completely.

Though I have always been told that while doing projects for my school I am supposed to properly identify myself by stating who I am, which school I go to, and what I’m doing the project for. So if that was me as the student, my school would have a problem with the way I handled it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’ve seen both so I don’t know the answer to your specific question. But I am appalled at the cop hitting the girl video – it really shows how free the people in power feel themselves to be in regards to violence against those who are ‘beneath’ them like women of color. I don’t care what that girl said but the amount of force used in that punch made me incensed and I know that that jerk off of a cop knew that he could throw that punch and get away with it.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I have seen both videos.

Despite what the African American Female said to the officer attempting to subdue another African American Female for Jaywalking, the officer’s conduct in sucker punching someone cannot be justified.

As great a crime as Jaywalking is in a free society, I suspect that the race and gender of the alleged criminal played a role in the fact and manner of the arrest. This may have provoked the bystander who was punched to intervene.

When brute force is deemed to be required to subdue jaywalkers or outraged but non-violent observers, something is wrong and needs to be addressed.

The conduct of the politician assaulting well behaved people asking questions of a public official is equally egregious.

Where politicians or peace officers require force to protect themselves from bodily harm, they should use as little force as necessary. Where they are only at risk of bruised egos, not physical force is justified.

@ItsAHabit, your question, as worded, passes judgment based on far too few facts about the incidents than are available to you. If you want to hear what people know and think, you might do better to refer to the two incidents in a manner that does not prejudge or limit discussion.

Depending on the news source you watched, the incidents may have been edited in different ways to create different impressions.

ItsAHabit's avatar

I viewed a rather long video of the police incident so I don’t think it was taken out of context. Didn’t think the skin color of the women who were pushing the cop was relevant. The woman didn’t get punched for jaywalking, but for threatening the officer. The situation, with his being surrounded and their being physical, looked very threatening to me.

cbbg's avatar

@Cruiser totally unsubstantiated claims of sassiness and preppiness—what gives?

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