Don't make me chase you!
The chase started when the cops tried to pull this guy over, 'cause his car was similar to one they thought had been used in a crime. Turned out later he wasn't involved in the other crime. At the end of the chase the suspect bailed from his car, ran to a nearby strip of grass and literally dove to the ground face down, before the officers set upon him. Later the suspect, who was recently released from prison, said he fled, because he was driving on a suspended license.
Debate has ranged from the cops being justified to the cops being accused of brutality, since the guy was already face down and spread-eagle when they started to "subdue" him. I've been sort of on the fence. That was until I saw a kid and his mom in a "standoff" outside my barbershop Wednesday morning, and a real time analogy unfolded before my eyes.
I was actually sitting on a bench in the shop in downtown Miami, waiting to get my hair cut, when I noticed just outside the door of the shop a woman speaking in warning tones to a young boy - I'd say either her son, nephew, or someone she was babysitting. I'm thinking son, though.
Anyway, the kid couldn't have been more than 4-years-old. And who knows how old the mom was? What I do know was she kept telling him to come to her, but she didn't have the speed or athletic prowess to make him comply.
First it was "come here, please." When he declined and scooted further away from her, mom graduated to "come here." When Junior still didn't listen, mom took a quick step toward him and reached out. Junior sidestepped her hand and laughed. Mom didn't. She then moved on to "get over here" through gritted teeth. Junior danced just out of arm's reach and laughed some more. Then she said it. Mom raised her voice and snapped "get your narrow behind over here!" And that's when Junior stopped.
His facial expression changed. It hovered somewhere between I still think this is funny, 'cause she can't catch me, to I still think this is funny..., but I may just have pushed her too far.
Finally, as Junior contemplated his situation - and I mean you could see the gears turning and his face screwing up as he weighed his options - mom saw her chance and she lunged and got that little...angel by the collar! She gave him a shake - just stern, nothing abusive, in my humble opinion - and then proceeded to give him a hardcore tongue-lashing as she dragged him down the sidewalk and into a store. Memories of Homer Simpson chasing son Bart and yelling "Why you little!" followed by a soothing "I'm not gonna hurt you boy!" flashed through my mind.
I will never condone police brutality. I've been scared half to death before by a couple of cops who hassled me for no good reason. And I don't know - the cops involved in this chase may have a history of overdoing it with suspects. But in that moment in the barbershop, after thinking about the number of times my mom, huffing and puffing, scolded me "boy, don't make me chase you," I sort of felt for the cops involved in this particular pursuit.
Seriously, I would not make a good police officer, because if I told someone to "freeze!" or to pull over and they didn't listen and they made me break a sweat and chase them and stress my bum knee, I'm gonna be pissed off when I catch up to them. I ain't saying I'd beat 'em. But I'm admitting I'd want to.
Yeah, yeah. I know cops are public officials and therefore held to higher standards and expected to keep their tempers in check. But humans are humans.
And without justifying the alleged roughing up, don't forget this situation would never have happened if the guy had just pulled over and stopped when he was first told to. Of course, he chose not to stop, because he knew he shouldn't have been driving in the first place.