Remember the Halcyon days when a cop had to claim a young black man made a furtive movement before he could justify the use of force? Good times, but they’re in the past. We now have a new, even more nuanced excuse for a takedown, the “dehumanizing stare.”
And the puppy too? It’s not entirely clear how 14-year-old Tremaine McMillian could simultaneously be holding his puppy and clenching his fists, but if the police say so, who are we to question?
Tremaine McMillian learned a hard lesson about what it means to be young, black and armed with an intimidating stare. Turns out that you don’t even have to commit a crime to get choked out. All he did was shoot a few “dehumanizing stares” at officers who slammed him to the ground and put him in a choke hold. Police claim he was clenching his fists and looking menacing but the teenager claims that he was busy bottle feeding a puppy at the time.It’s not easy being a Miami-Dade police officer, with so many threats to one’s safety and never knowing whether the next dehumanizing stare will be your last. From Huff Post :
“All of that body language alone is already letting the officers know that this is a person that now is obviously getting agitated and can become violent,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta.
Zabaleta told CBS that the police report from the incident doesn’t mention a puppy.
“Of course we have to neutralize the threat in front of us,” he said. “And when you have somebody that is being resistant…that’s the immediate threat. At this point we’re not dealing or concerned with the puppy.”
Does Zabaleta watch himself, read his words, afterward and cringe, think aloud: “could I have sounded like I was more full of shit?”
Mothers, tell your children that they are not only to be kind and gentle with their new puppies, and not to raise a clenched fist when a police officer is anywhere in view, but also to avert their eyes, lest the police feel dehumanized, perhaps even bullied, and then do what they have to do to “neutralize the threat.”
And keep your cameras at the ready, because nobody would believe this utter load of crap being offered by Det. Alvaro Zabeleta and the Miami-Dade police. That they would be so ridiculously shameless isn’t so much a reflection on the police, as it is a reflection on how passive, how willing to bite on any nonsense they feed us, they view the public.
Can’t you hear them back at the station, saying “tell them the kid gave us a ‘dehumanizing stare’ and we had to take a 14-year-old kid holding a puppy down.”
“Come on, who would be stupid enough to believe that?”
Hey, you bought the “furtive movement.” Why not?
Update: And if you think Miami-Dade cops are twinkies for trying to justify their misconduct on Tremaine McMillian puppy-handed dehumanizing stare, how would they react to this: