The Rihanna/Chris Brown Incident

This has been plastered all over the place. I wasn’t going to tackle it all, because abuse of any kind makes me lose my cool. But then two things happened yesterday. The first was that I caught up over at Shapely Prose and found Kate Harding’s very eloquent rant on a particular aspect of this case. She highlights multiple examples of people excusing Chris Brown and standing by him because they don’t know both sides of the story.

Pardon me. I guess when person A and person B are in some kind of altercation and only one of them is left with physical injuries and hospitalization, I tend to think that’s ALL we really need to know.

Not only did that sicken me all afternoon, the second thing happened: I saw an equally disturbing story on the news about “alleged” use of excessive force by a Seattle police officer.

Court records say Schene kicked the teen in the upper thigh area, then pushed her into the back wall before taking her down on the floor and putting her in a handcuffing position. Once on the floor, Schene grabbed the teen’s hair and yanked her head and neck upward, the document said.

With the help of the other deputy, Schene then handcuffed the teen, the document said. While doing so, Schene appeared to strike the teen twice overhead, investigators noted. However, due to the angle of the camera, they could not determine whether the deputy had actually hit the teen.

Watch the fucking video provided and try to tell me the angle of the camera makes it difficult to determine what happened there. If you can’t see it, I’ll tell you. The officer escorted a fifteen-year-old child to a holding cell. Words were exchanged. She kicked her shoe at him. He responded by violently kicking her in the thigh, grabbing her by the hair and tossing her first into a wall and then onto the floor, where he knelt on her and punched her in the head twice. He and another brave officer finally subdued the fifteen-year-old child (who was not fighting back) and saved the day.

The police attorney:

We had argued strenuously that the video tape released to the media this morning not be released because it does not tell the whole story of the incident. As we argued to the judge, it will inflame public opinion and will severely impact the deputy’s right to a fair trial.

Again, like the Rihanna/Chris Brown case, I’m left just furious about this attitude. Are there two sides to any given story? Sure. But the way this is all going down makes it difficult not to infer that all of these people are implying the victims (who happen to be female – this would be just as much an outrage in any gender) are somehow at fault for what happened to them. That because the perpetrators are “good guys,” clearly the women involved provoked the attacks upon them and probably deserved what they got.

It would take a lot of convincing for me to believe anything Rihanna said or did means it is A-Okay for her boyfriend to beat the crap out of her and walk away without a scratch.

It would take a lot of convincing for me to believe a child flicking a shoe at a grown man is justification for the excessive force used against her.

Comments

  1. ACW says

    This sickens me. The fact that he punched her in the back of the head (where her hair would hide bruising) leads me to believe he’s practiced in the art of hiding brutality. I know the second fellow was just a trainee, but basic human instinct should tell you the first officer’s behavior was way outside the realm of acceptable. How did it get all the way to another officer’s review of the original case before it was discovered?! …and, no, the girl wasn’t resisting; if she were struggling in any way her feet would have been moving. She’s laying there, perfectly still (probably dazed and terrified) while he knocks her around. The shoe? It looked like a regular sneaker, and she tossed it in his direction, but even if she’d hurled a steel-toe boot at his shin, a 31yo man should be able to control his reaction… especially with someone under arrest… especially with a *child*… and, yes, even if she was “gettin’ real lippy”. I repeat: I am sickened by this vile excuse for a human.

  2. says

    Pardon me. I guess when person A and person B are in some kind of altercation and only one of them is left with physical injuries and hospitalization, I tend to think that’s ALL we really need to know.

    Exactly. Because you (and I) believe that only defensive violence is justifiable, and the evidence just doesn’t support the idea that she lashed out physically and he met her blows defensively. Therefore, he beat the crap out of her. That’s all we need to know.

    Except, some people think we need to know more, and no matter how pretty they wrap it, their reason boils down to, “Well, yeah, but did the bitch step out of line? Did she forget her place? Because you gotta slap ‘em around when they get uppity, and start thinkin’ shit like you’re not supposed to be cheating on them.”

  3. MaggieCat says

    Oh, this is just lovely:

    The second deputy said the alleged victim was “real lippy,” calling the deputies names and “basically trying to piss us off.”

    I’m sorry, but if a “lippy” 15-year-old is either shocking to you or something that will lead you to commiting assault, then I’d have to say you shouldn’t be allowed into a position of authority and certainly not permitted to carry a gun. Also, I’d be quite interested to find out how you managed to go through life without ever being or meeting a teenager.

    God, I mean at least when a former history teacher of mine snapped and got into a fist fight with a student (17 y/o male), all the other students in class at the time confirmed that the kid threw the first punch so it was initially self defense. (Although some of us had seen it coming years before but were completely ignored, which makes me wonder if that’s the case here as well.)

  4. SunlessNick says

    That because the perpetrators are “good guys,” clearly the women involved provoked the attacks upon them and probably deserved what they got.

    The Dymond Milburn case reeks of that too.

    Except, some people think we need to know more, and no matter how pretty they wrap it, their reason boils down to, “Well, yeah, but did the bitch step out of line?”

    Also infuriating is that this is couched in the idea of presuming innocence on that part of the violent party.

    The other thing that gets me about Brown and Rhianna is those celebrities and reporters that hope for a happy ending – fair enough you’d think, except that they always equate happiness with Rhianna forgiving Brown and going back to him – never that she frees herself of him and goes her own way.

  5. Patrick says

    Yesterday I listened to “Declaring Independence”, a podcast where Ed Brayton talked about police corruption and brutality, and that video reeks of just the same. The girl kind of flicks a shoe at the officer, and *she’s already in her cell*. You know what you do then? Close the fricking door! Not storm in and beat her up.

    Sunless Nick, I totally agree. The way people seem to be holding their breath for a Rihanna/Chris reunion gets my hackles up, too.

    I just read “Twilight” and couldn’t help think of it as the story of a battered wife. Sure Edward has a nasty temper, and he’s always saying he’ll kill me if he loses it, but he looooves me.

  6. babydraco says

    The people on TMZ, of all places, are baffled and angry that no one they interview is calling Chris Brown on his actions. THey concluding that the stars are all trying to protect their careers in case Brown gets away with it.

    ……yeah

  7. sbg says

    How did it get all the way to another officer’s review of the original case before it was discovered?!

    I know, right? It’s incredibly disheartening.

    There is absolutely nothing that girl could have said to warrant the actions against her. I don’t care if she insulted the officer’s mother or called him something nasty.

    And you bet public opinion will now be colored against him – I don’t happen to think that’s a bad thing.

  8. sbg says

    “Well, yeah, but did the bitch step out of line? Did she forget her place? Because you gotta slap ‘em around when they get uppity, and start thinkin’ shit like you’re not supposed to be cheating on them.”

    It’s like it’s impossible for some to believe it could ever simply be the fault of the guy. Hell, even if someone is provoked, that is no excuse for abuse. It never will be.

  9. sbg says

    but if a “lippy” 15-year-old is either shocking to you or something that will lead you to commiting assault, then I’d have to say you shouldn’t be allowed into a position of authority and certainly not permitted to carry a gun.

    Exactly this. I don’t really doubt that the girl probably said some things, but that is no reason to beat the crap out of her. There is simply no way they were containing an actual threat there – she was already in the cell, and both officers were considerably larger. Did they really think she was going to do them any damage at all?

  10. sbg says

    The other thing that gets me about Brown and Rhianna is those celebrities and reporters that hope for a happy ending – fair enough you’d think, except that they always equate happiness with Rhianna forgiving Brown and going back to him – never that she frees herself of him and goes her own way.

    There were already reports of a reconciliation yesterday. *sigh*

  11. sbg says

    I just read “Twilight” and couldn’t help think of it as the story of a battered wife. Sure Edward has a nasty temper, and he’s always saying he’ll kill me if he loses it, but he looooves me.

    I had to tell one of my 16-year-old nieces over the holidays that what was in Twilight should not be considered romantic. That if a man ever behaved that way toward her, she should run like hell.

    She thought I was being mean and slamming the book. The latter, I kind of was. But the former I meant with all sincerity. I dated a guy once who had to know my every move and would often have fits of irrational anger. Warning bells, anyone? I loved him, but NO WAY.

  12. sbg says

    The people on TMZ, of all places, are baffled and angry that no one they interview is calling Chris Brown on his actions. THey concluding that the stars are all trying to protect their careers in case Brown gets away with it.

    What a world that we live in if both speaking out against an abuser would hurt someone’s (besides his) career and also that anyone would put their own career above this seem to be the way to go.

  13. says

    Hey, you know what? If I took extreme emotional and verbal abuse from my father for my entire childhood, resulting in very high constant stress and PTSD “triggering” symptoms for me, and I was not morally or legally entitled to beat the crap out of him, then the cops in the case you’re talking about have no freaking excuse whatsoever. How many people endure years of emotional abuse including more stress than cops can even imagine* without resorting to violence like that? These guys can’t take a snotty remark from a teenager without losing it? No excuse. Not one. Forget it.

    *I am VERY sympathetic to what good cops go through – they have a tough job and aren’t always appreciated as they should be. But if you think dealing with dangerous criminals sometimes is worse than living with a sociopath every day, we need to have a lengthy conversation about that.

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