Talking past each other: McKinney pool party fiasco

One thing seems clear: it sure appears that when the police responded to an incident at a pool party, one of the officers grossly overreacted and made a situation much more tense than it needed to be:

What happened: there is a pool in a residential area subdivision that is only open for residents of that subdivision. The subdivision, while mostly white, is still mixed and two black teens invited some friends. There are rules that allow only 2 guest passes per resident.

But more black teens showed up and wanted to be let in; a few climbed fences. They were asked to leave. Also, a fight broke out between a white woman and a black woman when the white woman used racially inflammatory language and a fight broke out.

The police were then called; and it appeared that, while some of the black kids HAD permission to be there (were residents or had proper guest passes), well, look at the video to see who drew the attention of the police.

(analysis from here and here)

You can see what some in the right wing are saying here. And yes, some said that the police did NOT overreact.

Now if the kids weren’t black, we might not be hearing about this on a national level.

Here are my thoughts and feelings:

1. Though this might appear to be a garden variety “wealthier neighborhood doesn’t want its things overrun by poor outsiders” situation, when the wealthier neighborhood IS mostly white, the non-white “outsiders” will stand out, and the non-white “insiders” will look like outsiders to law enforcement. I think that is human nature.

2. Lots of times, poverty issues have a racial tinge to them, given how concentrated poverty (or non-wealthiness) is in darker skinned communities. And sometimes wealthy or middle class minority individuals will be mistaken for “the outsiders” even when they belong; this happens all of the time.

3. Yes, some of the non-invited kids did wrong, but ..well, I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that as a teenager, I’ve sneaked in to places (not to escape a fee but just for the adventure, or to play ball when the court was closed). Sure I did wrong, but I didn’t become a career criminal. So, IMHO, being arrested by police isn’t always the appropriate answer for rowdy teenagers. It sure seems as if black teenagers (and possibly brown ones) get less benefit of the doubt than others.

4. It appears to me that some of the police officers tried to appropriately deescalate the situation by making the kids go home. But that one hothead appeared to be out of control.

And so it goes…and I don’t have an answer.


June 9, 2015 - Posted by | politics/social, racism, social/political |

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