In this disturbing clip, FOX’s Elizabeth Hasselbeck and some unknown shill of a cop break down the Sandra Bland arrest video, and pick upon the fact that she was smoking a cigarette at the time of the arrest as a legitimate reason for her unlawful arrest and subsequent detention, which led to her death under mysterious circumstances.
Hasselbeck begins her “anaylsis” by immediately dismissing the idea that the officer had behaved improperly: “Where would you say he went over the line…if at all?”
“It appears, looking at this, because she didn’t put out the cigarette next thing he knows, he’s asking the person to step out of the vehicle…You can’t take it personal. It’s the job” says former NYPD Officer John Rafferty.
“But, what if, I mean, there are times, I’m sure, someone has, in the history of this land, used a cigarette against a police officer,maybe chucked it at him, pushed it at him. If he thought it was a potential threat, was this the right thing to do?” asks Hasselbeck, framing a lit cigarette- an ember of flame on a two inch tube- as a dangerous weapon capable of somehow harming a grown, armed man beyond a minor burn.
Rafferty, doing his job and telling her what she wants to hear, no matter the utter absurdity of the question and the flagrant bias at play here:
“I think because you know, you have to know you’re being recorded — you have to say, ‘Listen I need you to step out to sign this warning,’” said Rafferty. “I wouldn’t want somebody stepping out with a cigarette. I mean, I’ve had a cigarette tried to be…I’ve had somebody try to put a cigarette out on me…I guarantee, you speak to many cops out there. But the way you say it, unfortunately you’re locked into it. Because now, it’s being recorded. Unfortunately, these officers have to remember that.”
It is enormously offensive. According to this pair, it is unfortunate that officers have to have body cams, unfortunate that they cannot harass or even summarily execute minorities without some kind repercussion. Once again, whether it’s the case of Trayvon Martin, or Sean Bell, or Michael Brown, or Eric Garner, the dead African-American is painted as the dangerous aggressor, a volatile beast that could erupt into violence at any moment, threatening our poor, bigoted police officers. It’s absolutely disgusting and even more proof of why the #BlackLivesMatter movement is growing so quickly in our nation. Something has GOT to give.
Watch it here:
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.