We are living in peculiar times. As much as I like the internet it also has opened a huge doorway to false media facts. Or better said half-truths. I am one of the 1 billion people who have a Facebook account and actively use it. Though not addicted (I think) I do admit – rather shamefully – that I can’t imagine my life without. More than a way to stay in touch, Facebook has become the fast track medium for news items. No longer does one have to search for the stories behind the items. Other do this for you and all you have to do is tune in every now and then and scroll down your wall to get the juicy details. Wrong…
I’m sure like many of you, I have been baffled by the countless video’s that have appeared on Facebook and other social media sites of police officers harassing and attacking innocent civilians. Only today one surfaced of Dutch officers pushing, attacking and hitting a guiltless girl. Oh how we love those clips and even more, how we love to comment on them. Especially where it concerns people in power positions. And lets face it, police officers are people with power and apparently they obuse it as much and on as many occasions as they can. Wrong again.
I sometimes wonder if I am the only one who puts question marks by the things that flow over my smartphone screen in an ever increasing pace. Let me explain by example of this video of Dutch police officers attacking an innocent girl that surfaced only this morning. Here’s what you see at first: It is evening or night (hard to distinguish due to the many smartphone lights on the scene). A group of officers are hanging around a car and the girl nicely approaches them. One police woman pushes her, apparently so violent, it makes the girl fall backwards hitting her head on the ground. She seems to have taken a hard hit as it is obviously very difficult for her to get back on her feet, but once she managed, with the kind help of a young man who immerged from the public that has by now gathered in defense of the girl, she approaches another officer, maybe to ask a simple question, only to be assaulted by him. This is what was sent into the world, for 1 billion people to see.
No let’s look at what we didn’t see. Or better said, let’s look at what our eye, searching for fast track sensations, refused to register at first glance: It is evening or night (hard to distinguish due to the many smartphone lights on the scene). A group of police officers is standing around a car, obviously working on an arrest as they are putting someone inside. A girl approaches them and if we look at the body language it becomes very clear this isn’t the first time she does that. Clearly she is part of the incident. A police woman pushes her, not very violently, but enough to make her clear she is not wanted there. The girl trips and falls backwards. We are not medical experts so we can’t really see if she hurts herself, except we see it is difficult for her to get up her feet and she cries out loud. She cries out loud probably because of the emotions and shock. She can’t get up her feet probably because she is under influence of alcohol or other substances. Her actions later on are proof she didn’t really hurt herself so much. Anyway, she manages to get up with the help of a young man that seems to have been part of the incident as well. A group incident we can conclude. Back on her feet she verbally and physically attacks another police officer who uses his hands and tools to stop her, as is his right. Mind you, we can’t follow any conversation so we don’t know what is being said, but I think it is safe to say this girl has been warned before. In both scenarios we do not see what happened leading up to this incident or afterwards.
Let me ask you an honest question. How many of you are angry seeing a video like this and ready to instantly blame those bad bad cops. People who have trained to walk the streets, face dangerous situations and know how to handle in order to maintain order and defend innocent civilians. Trained to answer to calls of distress and help victims of brutal attacks by strangers or even marriagal conflicts. Or worse, how many of you are among the first to pull out your smartphones and film the incident in order to get it online faster as you can say police aggression. Just to make sure everyone out there can be witness of this brutal scene.
We are living in peculiar times. Times where people accuse other people, judge other people and attack other people, without know the whole story, or the fact leading up to it. And we should all be aware that today we are those who spread the fast track sensations. But tomorrow we might very well be the fast track sensations. –BM-