It’s often easier to find something offensive, even outrageous, and be shocked to see it happen, than it is to consider why it happens and whether it should be allowed. Or, if you want to look at it a different way, how sacred are women’s breasts?
White Officer of Austin Police Department gropes the breasts of a woman as she continously demands a female officer!
THIS IS SEXUAL ASSAULT PLAIN AND SIMPLE!
DEMAND JUSTICE FOR THIS WOMAN!!!
This is OUTRAGEOUS!!!!pic.twitter.com/3iY0s0RQC9
— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) July 7, 2020
The odd notation of the cop’s race aside, he was clearly arresting a woman and, in the process, touched her breasts. While cops have done far worse, and inserted their digits in places where they should never go for reasons far less justifiable, seeing it happen makes it different and very hard to stomach.
In the video, which circulated Tuesday, the woman, identified by police as Rosalinda Nuno Trevino, demands a female officer while the officer continues to search the woman in front of a parked police vehicle.
In a statement published on July 7, the Austin Police Department defended the officer’s conduct. It said the officer, who has not been publicly identified, told Trevino that a female officer wasn’t available.
Austin isn’t your typical Republic of Texas city, even though there’s some decent barbecue to be had. It issued a press release explaining what happened in the video.
Regarding Case# 20-1860985, on July 4, 2020, Austin Police Department Motor Unit Officers were riding their motorcycles behind a protest march to keep people safe from vehicular traffic. Ms. Trevino was driving a white SUV behind these motor officers. Ms. Trevino began to follow the officers very closely with her vehicle and honk her horn continuously. She drove through empty parking spaces and attempted to move her vehicle around the officers’ motorcycles. Officers told Ms. Trevino to stay behind their motorcycles to ensure the safety of the people marching. Ms. Trevino then stopped her vehicle, ran up to an officer and requested his badge number, which the officer provided.
At the intersection of 2nd Street and Congress Avenue, Ms. Trevino started to honk the vehicle horn a second time and drove through a red light. Ms. Trevino then stopped her vehicle again and approached officers. Ms. Trevino was placed under arrest for the multiple hazardous traffic violations to include, running a red light, failure to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, improper use of a horn and failure to maintain an assured clear distance. As a crowd began to form, officers moved Ms. Trevino to the front of an officer’s vehicle to conduct a search before transporting her to jail. While conducting the search, he advised Ms. Trevino that a female officer was not available. He conducted the search in front of a police vehicle where a vehicle camera could document and at least one other officer was present, as required by APD policy.
The press release continues by providing a highlighted portion of the departmental search protocol which shows that the officer complied with the regulations.
Assuming the allegations of the officer to be accurate, Trevino’s conduct presented a problem in itself. Many would consider it, at least to some extent, acts of justified civil disobedience, acts of protest even if not specifically directed toward anything the officer was doing at the moment. Of course, many people misconstrue the nature of civil disobedience, that people find conduct so offensive that they were willing to suffer the legal consequences for disobeying the law. It does not mean you get a free pass from breaking the law.
So Trevino chose to act and, as a consequence, was arrested for it. Whether she is a hero for her bold actions or not is left to your sensibilities. As for the officer, his decision to arrest her was certainly within his purview. But then, when a cop arrests a person, they search them before putting them in a squad car to be sure they have no weapons or contraband on them. He did so.
In the video the man behind the camera can be heard shouting at the officer: ‘Don’t you f***ing touch her like that. Get your f***ing hands off her. Get a female officer in here now she’s f***ing being manhandled.’
This raises a second curious phenomenon that happens with some regularity, that observers both challenge the police in the performance of their duty, as if the cops owe an explanation to the satisfaction of any random watcher who demands it, and gets to order cops to do, or not do, what they believe to be the “right” thing.
In this video, however, the observer wasn’t so much wrong, as having a female officer conduct the search was certainly the far better way to handle matters, but that the protocol when that wasn’t feasible was being followed. Yet, the appearance of a male cop’s hands on a women’s breast for violating traffic laws is the sort of thing that rightfully causes shock and outrage. It was groping, even if it was permitted (if not required) search protocol. What’s a cop to do?