I’ve heard “but things are so much better!” from several sources over the last week so it seemed like a good time to check out current events.
These tweets refer to Kaia’s arrest, but Orlando cop Dennis Turner arrested two 6-year-old students on suspicion of misdemeanor battery charges that day (story here). Apparently he felt the first graders at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy had lost their damn minds. Did the officer just have a bad day? Well, in 1998 Turner was charged with aggravated child abuse after “disciplining” his son for bringing home a bad report card. Turner was also the subject of two internal investigations – one in 2003 for threatening the husband of a woman he was dating and one in 2016 that concluded he used excessive force during an arrest.
Turner was allowed to retire from the police department. He was later brought on to the force’s reserve unit and through someone’s gross error in judgement became a school police officer. Turner was fired from the force this week, but Kaia will forever carry the experience of being handcuffed, loaded into the back of a police car, fingerprinted, and having her mugshot taken. The little boy was released and returned to school before being officially processed at the juvenile assessment center, but he also experienced plenty of trauma.
And these are only the kids that made the news.
The trial for the cop who killed Botham Jean began this week. A few of the things we’ve learned so far:
- The medical examiner testified the bullet entered the left side of Jean’s chest at a downward angle. She shot down at him while he was either lying, sitting, or trying to stand, throwing a real wrench in Guyger’s “he was rushing me” defense.
- Guyger’s arrest-warrant affidavit says she performed CPR on Jean, but she had no blood on her uniform and latex gloves in her pockets appeared unused. There are photos of Guyger in the hallway texting on her phone while police officers performed CPR inside the apartment.
- Photos of Guyger’s apartment show it is not at all similar to Jean’s – no wall art, prominent table, no computer desk, no bottles lining the kitchen, TV sits back against the wall instead of protruding.
- Judge allows the State to admit Guyger’s phone records showing she was checking her e-mail, Facebook, and Pinterest during that “stressful” 14-hour shift prior to entering Jean’s apartment.
- Guyger’s texts and call log prove she had a date planned with her married lover that night. They also show she continued to text him after the attack instead of rendering aid to the man she mistakenly shot.
Lest you think it’s just big news items, here’s some everyday run ins.
No, things aren’t better than they’ve ever been, and if we can’t look around with clear eyes then how will it ever change?