A Cop and Cop A Feel

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?

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?

11 thoughts on “A Cop and Cop A Feel

  1. B. McLeod

    In this day and age, how can the department insist on assigning female cops to search females?

      1. B. McLeod

        Indeed. A department considering such a policy would soon become mired in a Serbonian Bog of impermissible stereotypes and assumptions.

    1. LocoYokel

      Go talk to your local TSA. They HAVE to treat a person how they present. If a biological male comes up in a dress they have to scan as a female and when the scan shows anomalies, which is guaranteed it will, a female TSA has to pat him down in all the areas that come up flagged.

  2. PML

    Notice he does it exactly the way TSA does and other agencies with the edge of his hand. He never groped her in any way or grabbed her.

    She was looking to make an issue if the background story is correct

  3. Kathryn M. Kase

    Just what did the cop expect to find there? For those who haven’t shopped for lingerie lately, Victoria’s Secret isn’t that there’s a pocket for a weapon.

    Beyond that, this was not the preferred search technique, which is to trace the bottom seam of the bra cup, preferably with a thumb and closed fist, not to fondle the lower breast. The failure to follow the correct technique gets you exactly what you got here: public outcry.

    1. SHG Post author

      As most cops will tell you, bras hide more secrets than tissue paper. Whether his method was proper or not (and there’s some dispute apparently), to suggest that any method would have avoided public outcry seems highly implausible.

    2. Sandia

      I’m not sure what you saw, but I watched it many times and he did exactly what you said would be right, tracing the bottom seam of her bra cup, granted with the back of his thumb and his hand opened versus your closed fist, but can you honestly say that was a fondle? She has large mammary organs, if he has to check to make sure there’s no weapons, so he’s got more to lift out of the way. That action performed on me would have looked like he was patting down a teenage boy.

      What I’d like to see is what is on the rest of the video that has been edited out.

      And no, there would have been no way for this cop to have arrested her and not had the mobs braying for his blood. I’m just glad to see his bosses stand up for him, seems like no one wants to stand up for anyone anymore.

  4. Guitardave

    I guess the cops didn’t hear her when she said, “…NOW GO AWAY OR I WILL HONK YOU A SECOND TIME!”

Comments are closed.