Ahh, Memorial Day Weekend: patriotism, military remembrance, barbeque, time off work, and…woman-beating?
At the beach in Wildwood, New Jersey Saturday, a policeman held down a 20-year-old girl and pelted her in the head.
The tweeted bystander-filmed footage has gone viral, garnering over three million views. In it, Emily Weinman can be heard protesting:
“You’re not allowed to hit me and choke me like that.”
A bystander constantly chides, “Stop resisting. Stop resisting.”
According to Public Safety Commissioner Tony Leonetti, there is more to the story than the video reveals:
“The officer was assaulted first, kicked in the groin. She took off running.”
Emily was guilty of underage drinking. She claims she passed a breathalizer test, but what does that mean? At 20, she was breaking the law.
@HewittLex posted the video to social media, remarking, “I was sleeping on the beach and I woke up to this.. I can’t believe it..”
I was sleeping on the beach and I woke up to this.. i can’t believe it.. pic.twitter.com/UJE5Sy7E4G
— Lexy (@HewittLexy) May 26, 2018
As reported by HuffPost, Weinman’s account differs from that of the authorities:
“In a Facebook post that’s since been deleted but has been reported by several news outlets, Weinman said the officers had first approached her on the beach because they’d spotted her with some alcohol. Weinman claimed the alcohol was unopened and she passed a breathalyzer test, according to NJ.com.
“She said the encounter soon turned ugly, however, after one of the officers began following her as she walked away to make a phone call. Weinman said she questioned whether the officer had nothing ‘better to do … than to stop people for underage drinking.’
“’The cop said, “I was gonna let you go but now I’ll write you up” and he asked my name,’ Weinman said in the Facebook post, adding that she refused to provide her name.
“Weinman acknowledged that she was ‘partly wrong’ for not giving the officer her details ― ‘but I was scared,’ she wrote.
“She said she was backing away from the officer when she tripped and fell, which is when the officers tackled her, she claimed.”
Police work isn’t supposed to be a UFC match. Officers are not allowed to unduly harass citizens, and the public is obligated to comply with the cops. What happens when those lines get crossed, on either side or both? Apparently, a few fists to the head.
It seems to me that the officer’s punches were completely out of order. They were unnecessary and unacceptable, and he should be fired.
How can the public trust the police when they see things like this? No one is perfect, and any agency is going to end up with some bad apples. The problem, I believe, in this current state of society-against-the-police drama, is that the bad apples don’t seem to get thrown out nearly as unceremoniously and often as they should.
Emily Weinman may have broken the law; secondly, she may have even broken something else, which once healthily resided beneath the polyester crotch of a public servant’s pants. Still, in my view, punching a girl — or even, dare I say, a man — in the head is beyond the (beach) pale.
What do you think? Is the officer’s behavior justified? Tell the world (and me) in the Comments section below.
For more even lack of civility, check out my article on Trey Gowdy making mincemeat of James Comey.
And if you know what’s good for you, you’ll follow Alex Parker on Twitter.