Saturday, February 11, 2012

Me, APD, and 'Babysitting While White,' Part Deux

A few years back Grits posed the question, "Is babysitting while white reasonable suspicion for police questioning?" after my granddaughter and I were detained and questioned at length in my neighborhood on suspicion of some nefarious deed (it was never quite clear what). In that incident, the police were pretty clear I was stopped solely because Ty, like her mother (who came to live with my wife and me when she was a child) is black, while I'm an almost stereotypical looking white Texas redneck. At the time, Grits was amazed that three squad cars were dispatched to question me for walking down the street with a child of a different race, detaining me for no good reason and scaring the bejeezus out of then-two-year old Ty.

Last night, though, Ty and I got the full jump-out-boys treatment, making our earlier interaction with Austin PD seem downright quaint. It could only have been more ridiculous if they'd actually arrested me, which for a while there didn't seem out of the question. (This is a personal tale much more than a policy analysis, so if you're only interested in the latter, don't bother to read further.)

Our story began at the Millennium Youth Center in central east Austin, which is a city-owned rec center just a few blocks from my home of 22 years. Ty, age 5, often spends the night with us on Fridays to give Mom and Dad a night off, and we'd taken her there to go roller skating after dinner out as a reward for a week's worth of excellent behavior scores in kindergarten.

Perhaps at 7:40 p.m. or so, after she'd had her fill of skating (if the event were put to music, the appropriate theme song would have been "Slip Slidin' Away"), I asked Ty if she'd like to walk home and let Grandma take the car. It was cool but pleasant out, and we were just a short distance from the house, with a city-bike path where we often walk dogs together taking us most of the way there. She was elated: This sounded like a big adventure, and within moments she was bouncing off the walls with excitement, making me think a walk home was just the thing to burn off some energy before bed time.

This was a terrible mistake on Grandpa's part. Not because we live in a relatively rough neighborhood. I know many of my neighbors, saints and scoundrels alike, and I did not and do not fear becoming a crime victim walking that route, even with a five year old in tow. No, apparently the only folks Ty and I had to fear were in uniform.

Our interaction with law enforcement began after we left the Millennium Center on foot, with the giddy five year old racing ahead and me trotting along behind admonishing her to stay out of the parking lot and stop when she gets to the sidewalk, don't run into the street, etc.. She was in a good mood, obeyed, and we held hands crossing the street and as we walked down the bike path toward Boggy Creek and back home.

Then behind us I heard someone call out, though I couldn't make out what was said. We stopped to look back, and there was a dark silhouette crossing the street who Ty thought was calling out to us. We waited, but then the silhouetted figure stopped, crouched down for a moment, then took a few steps back toward the rec center, appearing to speak to someone there. I shrugged it off and we walked on, but in a moment the figure began walking down the path toward us again, calling out when she was about 150 feet away. We stopped and waited. It was a brown-suited deputy constable, apparently out of breath from the short walk.

She told me to take my hand out of my pocket and to step away from Ty, declaring that someone had seen a white man chasing a black girl and reported a possible kidnapping. Then she began asking the five-year old about me. The last time this happened, Ty was barely two, and I wasn't about to let police question her. This time, though, at least initially, I decided to let her answer. "Do you know this man?" the deputy asked. "Yes," Ty mumbled shyly, "he's my Grandpa." The deputy couldn't understand her (though I did) and moved closer, hovering over the child slightly, repeating the question. Ty mumbled the same response, this time louder, but muffled through a burgeoning sob that threatened to break out in lieu of an answer.

The deputy still didn't understand her: "What did you say?" she repeated. "He's my Grandpa!," Ty finally blurted, sharply and clearly, then rushed back over to me and grabbed hold of my leg. "Okay," said the deputy, relaxing, acknowledging the child probably wasn't being held against her will. (As we were talking, a car pulled up behind her on the bike path with its brights on - I couldn't tell what agency it was with) Then she pulled out her pad and paper and asked "Can I get your name, sir, just for my report?" I told her I'd prefer not to answer any questions and would like to leave, if we were free to go, so I could get the child to bed. She looked skeptical but nodded and Ty and I turned tail and walked toward home.

Ty was angrier about this, even, than I was. "Why is it," she demanded a few steps down the path, stomping her feet and swinging her little arms as she said it, "that the police won't ever believe you're my Grandpa?" (Our earlier run in had clearly made an impression, though she hadn't mentioned it in ages.) "Why do you think it is?," I asked, hoping to fend her off with the Socratic method. She paused, then said sheepishly, "Because you're white?" I grinned at her and said, "That's part of it, for sure. But we don't care about that, do we?" "No," she said sternly as we walked across the bridge spanning Boggy Creek just south of 12th Street, "but the police should leave you alone. It's not right that they want to arrest you for being my Grandpa." More prescient words were never spoken.

Just as Ty uttered those words, I made her hold my hand so we could trot across 12th Street amidst the sporadic, Friday night traffic, waiting for a police car to pass before heading across just west of the railroad tracks. Literally my intentions were - the moment we made it safely across the street - to resume our conversation to explain to Ty that nobody wanted to arrest me for being her Grandpa, that that wasn't against the law, and that the deputy had only stopped us to make sure Ty was safe. But we never got a chance to have that conversation.

As soon as we crossed the street, just two blocks from my house as the crow flies, the police car that just passed us hit its lights and wheeled around, with five others appearing almost immediately, all with lights flashing. The officers got out with tasers drawn demanding I raise my hands and step away from the child. I complied, and they roughly cuffed me, jerking my arms up behind me needlessly. Meanwhile, Ty edged up the hill away from the officers, crying. One of them called out in a comforting tone that they weren't there to hurt her, but another officer blew up any good will that might have garnered by brusquely snatching her up and scuttling her off to the back seat of one of the police cars. (By this time more cars had joined them; they maxxed out at 9 or 10 police vehicles.)

I gave them the phone numbers they needed to confirm who Ty was and that she was supposed to be with me (and not in the back of their police car), but for quite a while nobody seemed too interested in verifying my "story." One officer wanted to lecture me endlessly about how they were just doing their job, as if the innocent person handcuffed on the side of the road cares about such excuses. I asked why he hadn't made any calls yet, and he interrupted his lecture to say "we've only been here two minutes, give us time" (actually it'd been longer than that). "Maybe so," I replied, sitting on the concrete in handcuffs, "but there are nine of y'all milling about doing nothing by my count so between you you've had 18 minutes for somebody to get on the damn phone by now so y'all can figure out you screwed up." Admittedly, this did not go over well. I could tell I was too pissed off to say anything constructive and silently vowed to keep mum from then on.

As all this was happening, the deputy constable who'd questioned us before walked up to the scene and began conversing with some of the officers. She kept looking over at me nervously as I stood 20 feet or so away in handcuffs, averting her gaze whenever our eyes risked meeting. It seemed pretty clear she was the one who called in the cavalry, and it was equally clear she understood she was in the wrong.

A supervisor arrived and began floating around among the milling officers (I have no idea what function most of those cops thought they were fulfilling). Finally, she sidled up to repeat the same lecture I'd heard from the young pup officer who'd handcuffed me: "When we get a call about a possible kidnapping we have to take it very seriously," etc., etc.. By this time, though, I'd lost patience with that schtick. Interrupting her repetitive monologue, I explained that I could care less how they justified what they were doing, and could they please stop explaining themselves, focus on their jobs, and get this over with as soon as possible so Ty and I could go home? She paused as though she wanted to argue, then her shoulders slumped a bit, she half-smiled and replied "Fair enough!," wheeling around and issuing inaudible directions to some of the milling officers, all of whom appeared to continue doing nothing, just as before. Not long after that they released us.

Ty told me later that back in the police car she'd been questioned, not just about me but about her personal life, or as she put it, "all my business": They asked about her school, what she'd been doing that evening, to name all the people in her family, and pressed her to say if I or anyone else had done anything to her. Ty was frustrated, she said later, that they kept repeating the same questions, apparently hoping for different answers. She didn't understand why, after she'd told them who I was, the police didn't just let me go. And when it became clear they wouldn't take her word for it, she began to fear the police would take me away and leave her alone with all those scary cops. (I must admit, for a moment there I felt the same way!) On the upside, said Ty, when they were through questioning her one of the officers let her play with his flashlight, which she considered a high point. Don't you miss life being that simple?

Part of the answer, of course, to Ty's Very Good Question about why I wasn't released when she confirmed my identity is that I was in handcuffs and she was in police custody before anybody asked anyone anything. "Seize first and ask questions later" is better than "shoot first," I suppose, but it's problematic for the same reasons. I found out later police had told my wife and Ty's mom that I'd refused to let them question the child - a patent lie since they'd whisked her away into the back of a police car while I was handcuffed. I wasn't in a position to refuse anything at that point.

How hard would it have been to perform a safety check without running up on me like I'm John Dillinger and scaring the crap out of a five year old? I didn't resist or struggle, but they felt obliged to handcuff me and snatch the kid up for interrogation away from any adult family member. Nine police cars plus the deputy constable all showing up to investigate the heinous crime of "babysitting while white."

Moreover, there was no apology to be had at the end of this charade, to me or to Ty. They interrogated the child but no one tried to comfort her beyond handing her a flashlight to play with. And when it was over, not one of those officers, the supervisor included, thought to take a moment to try to explain to the child what had happened, why they'd behaved that way toward her family, or why they'd treated her grandpa like a criminal. They just opened up the door to the squad car as the cuffs were coming off me and Ty came running back and lept into my arms with such force it almost knocked me down.

After the cuffs were off, I said nothing to the APD cops as I carried the child away toward home. But I did pause when I passed the deputy constable - who still could barely look me in the eye - to say aloud to her, "You knew better. This is on you."

Ty was understandably shaken by the incident, and as we walked home she told me all about her interactions with the officers and peppered me with questions about why this, that, everything happened. She said she tried to be brave because she knew I'd get into trouble if the police didn't believe her (she was right about that!) and she was especially scared when she thought they weren't going to accept her word for it. Poor kid.

As we turned onto the last block home, two of the police cars that had detained us passed by and Ty visibly winced with fear, lunging toward me and wrapping her arms around my leg. I petted and tried to comfort her, but she was pretty disturbed and confused by the whole episode. Luckily, it also left her exhausted so she was out like a light soon after we got home, half an hour past her bedtime. This morning she stated bluntly that she had decided not to think about it - a practice my wife encourages when bad things happen - and it seems to be working. She's her normal happy self, though at the park this afternoon she wanted to pretend we were hiding from kidnappers. But I hated for a five-year old to be subjected to such an experience. I'd like her to view police as people she can trust instead of threats to her and her family, but it's possible I live in the wrong neighborhood for that.

UPDATE/CORRECTIONS (2/17): Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to review the documentation, video, audio and police reports related to this incident in Art Acevedo's office and heard his pitch why this blog post was unfair. There are really only two corrections I'd make having now seen the videos and other documentation Chief Acevedo showed me yesterday. (I'm probably going to write about it again over the weekend.) First, I recollected in the blog post that an officer had a taser drawn and from the video the officer's arm was only crooked and prepared to draw. It happened in a flash and like many eyewitnesses, when under a perceived threat, my mind filled in some pieces erroneously, I'll be the first to admit in light of the video evidence. It was not an intentional error. That said, I correctly perceived that all of a sudden a LOT of cops were on us out of nowhere and if I'd made any sudden or untoward moves I'd be tazed or worse. I think it wasn't unreasonable for either of us to feel threatened by them rolling up on us like that.

The other error was that the original post cast unfair blame on the deputy constable. Her report said that after we'd spoken, she was heading back to the Millenium Center thinking the incident was over when the dispatcher patched into the constable's frequency because they'd heard from the Millenium Center she'd gone after us. In the dispatcher's audio, she tells APD just before they roll up on us that she'd spoken to us, gave them Ty's name and told them I was her grandpa. Though I blamed her (unfairly) both at the scene and in the initial post, falsely thinking she'd called in the cavalry, she did not. In fact, in the scheme of things she got it right. Basically two departments with overlapping jurisdictions responded to this complaint: One came at us based on a community policing approach where she walked up calmly, asked a few questions, and according to her report was satisfied and had begun to return to her shift until she heard on the radio APD was coming. By contrast, APD handcuffed first and asked questions later. That's the big difference between the two departments' approaches.

AND MORE: See a followup post here.

484 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   401 – 484 of 484
THE TRUTH said...

Tell the truth grandpa. You are lying your azz off about the contact and APD has called you out. The cops did their jobs and you lied and slandered them. Good job! Teach your grandchild to be a lier as well. I can't wait to see the video showing you as the fool you are. All the the other cop haters should take note. Somebody posted a blog that wasn't true. What a concent! Good job APD!@

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/police-video-contradicts-bloggers-account-of-tasers-rough-2183449.html

Carole said...

So, I see that it has come out that you were lying about what happened. I'm not surprised. If you feel that the police ALWAYS overstep their boundaries then you will only see that even if they are just doing their job in a civilized and professional manner. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

I've been pretty outraged by this story, but then I read this:

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/police-video-contradicts-bloggers-account-of-tasers-rough-2183449.html

It is hard to tell what the truth is now.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable that Scott still cannot admit that he was wrong.

The unfortunate thing is that race is one of the first things we use in identification of someone because it is one of the most obvious things about a person.

When a citizen calls in about a possible kidnapping, APD responds as if it is a true kidnapping, their classification of a "HotShot" call, that is why you had 9 units show up.

Being in an interracial marriage, and my oldest daughter looks more like me and very little like my wife, I know how people can make judgments based on that... it is a fact of life and as you have already experienced it, you should know best.

A child can easily be influenced to say whatever an adult says. By your own disregard for the Deputy Constable's request for identification, you brought this upon yourself.

Now, for your final issue with respect to how the Constable handled it and how APD handled it, here's a clue: the Constable took the word of a child that can easily be manipulated and went with it. Your own reaction is one that should have piqued her interest and she should not have settled with your reaction of “I think we are done here, this is not the first time this happened". Although Constable's are law enforcement, their main job is to serve processes. They are not routinely patrolling, taking reports, or responding to criminal incidents.

Had you approached this in an appropriate manner, based on your past incident, it would not have turned into what it did.

Anonymous said...

In today's paper, Big Chief Assevedo calls you a liar. I know who I believe and he's not a little meglomaniac from California.

Anonymous said...

I am in a multiethnic marriage and my husband and I lived in Austin for 5 years. Although we never had any run-ins with the police, I can definitely see how this could happen. There is so much underlying southern Racism in such a nice liberal community. it sucks.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the Chief, the video, and the 911 call all PROVE that you are a liar! It's funny how your inaccurate slant on the incident gathers national news attention, and the FACTS proved otherwise. Nice try...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for wasting everyone's time. You are a joke.

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/police-video-contradicts-bloggers-account-of-tasers-rough-2183449.html

Anonymous said...

Wow I have never seen someone back track as quick as you did in this email. You need to quit blogging. Now everyone will know that your dishonest.

http://www.citizenobserver.com/cov6/app/alert.html?id=24448

Anonymous said...

Well, grats on making HuffPo. I'm sure you're honored to be rubbing headlines with crap like "OMG PARIS HILTON IS 31!!!"

I really hope that HuffPo just decided to pick up the story, and you didn't agitate for it--your "racism" angle is total whiny white-male-privilege bullshit. Black-on-white racism is a rare animal down here. A concerned citizen is better off calling the authoriTAYS if they think something is fishy; would you rather that random person try to hunt you down and tackle you instead of calling the cops to check it out? The cops really, really, REALLY do not like people who call in false/insane complaints repeatedly; it was probably one person who made an honest mistake because--actually think about it from their point of view for a second--they were concerned about Ty. At least give them credit for that; are you honestly so paranoid that you think the initial call was made solely to ruin your evening?

Like I said before--YOU made a massive amount of drama by not responding like a decent human being. You could've just told the first responder that you had adopted a black daughter and you were babysitting your non-biological-but-totally-family grandchild, and that you'd encountered this issue before, and thanks for your concern for my grandbaby's welfare but nothing is wrong here. Also, not giving your name to the cops is illegal in various patchworks of states, counties, and cities, and for fuck's sake--you give your name, you complain during office hours, and you're more likely to see some resolution.

It all comes back to you being a total ass and scaring the crap out of your granddaughter, and then having the nerve to make a self-serving blog post about it.

One: Your granddaughter doesn't actually share any genes in common with you, according to your own blog. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but what the cops see is: "Man refused to identify himself to peace officer and left scene with (I wonder why) upset black female juvenile." You'd've had really stellar blog post going if you'd mentioned how utterly reluctant the public and the po-po are to interfere when a child is being abused by a person who is obviously a genetic relative; instead... you're asking us to believe that you got picked on because you were white.

I could laugh myself a river.

If it had been me--after receiving a call that an older white male was chasing a very young black girl down the sidewalk at night--and I caught up with the two individuals who seemed to match the description, tried to open a conversation only to be told "no, I won't give you my name or tell you anything and I'm leaving NOW"--I would've called in the cavalry myself.

Racism has nothing to do with it. You being a jackass has everything to do with it.

You had dozens of opportunities to de-escalate the situation; you just kept being an asshole--which was your legal right, but don't blame the cops for scaring your granddaughter when you didn't do a single damn thing to reassure them that you were not, in fact, going to rape, skin, and eat her.

You didn't get tased or hit or anything; you weren't even arrested or detained. You want real racism, fire up Google.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and: Congratulations on making my (I won't call it OUR side, because of your fuckups) look like morons, BTW.

Anonymous said...

So.... it now seems you were lying about this whole deal. Who should hold you accountable?

Anonymous said...

No Grits, this was "on YOU." Shame on you for disparaging these officers when the were just trying to make sure your granddaughter was safe. You really do owe them an apology. I hope the unnecessary attention you've drawn to this situation doesn't deter APD from responding appropriately the next time there's a child abduction.

Incidentally, you, of all people, should have known there would be videos of the investigation and that the would be available as public information. You've really damaged you credibility, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with you people? Slamming the police for reacting appropriately to a possible KIDNAPPING? They can't win for losing!

No words changed, some removed, to meet the 4,096 character limit. See it in its entirety http://www.citizenobserver.com/cov6/app/alert.html?id=24448

From: Scott Henson [aka LYING BACKPEDALLER] Feb 17, 2012
To: Acevedo, Art

I'd told Ty's Mom I wouldn't do any media on this

Despite the fact that media have filed open-records requests, it's not at all clear that you're obligated by law to release everything. Under Section 552.108(a)(2) of the Government Code the department is not required to release records "in relation to an investigation that did not result in conviction or deferred adjudication."

In addition, all the material related to Ty could be eligible for an exception. I believe that exception should apply in the case of a five-year old child and her family, particularly since under 552.108 the case "did not result in conviction or deferred adjudication."

I would like to reiterate that my first preference would be that you decline media requests, as I have - tell them it's at my request - and ask for an Attorney General's opinion whether the department is required to release any information at all about the stop at all under 552.108 of the Government Code. That's my preference as well as Ty's mother's.

Obviously, though, 552.108 gives the agency discretion to release information if it chooses to about investigations "that did not result in conviction or deferred adjudication." If you insist on going that route despite my stated first preference, I'm willing to do one MSM interview as we discussed, but I'd please like you to provide certain information to me directly, Specifically:

First, I'd respectfully request that before you release anything to the media, you send me the following documents.

The constable's offense report.
The audio of the 911 call.
The dispatcher/officer audio we listened to leading up to the incident.

Second, in the event you choose to release records in response to public information act requests without requewting an AG's opinion, I would respectfully request that you still send the following items to the Attorney General to ask whether the department is required to release them considering the totality of Sections 552.101, 552.108 and 552.305 of the Government Code:

Any audio or video including from traffic cams or from her interview that depict Ty, her image or her voice

Ask to redact portions of APD offense reports that include Ty's interview or any other details about the child, or any investigation, background checks, personal information of the child, her mother, my wife, or anyone other than me. I was the suspect so I'm fair game, but under 552.305(a) we think it's reasonable to redact information about "third parties," as the statute puts it.

Under 552.305, you can explain to the AG the family asked you to withhold this information. Ty's mother plans to write a Third-Party letter under 552.305 on Ty's behalf.

Finally, just so you won't think I'm sandbagging you, please know that if we're going to follow up on this in the MSM together (which I'd still prefer not to do unless you insist), I'll likely post about it at least once or twice more on my own blog, updating errors in the first post with new facts and alerting folks to our little MSM followup on the topic.

I told Patrick George when he first emailed about it that "I'm not sure it's much of a news story," and I'm still not, but people seem entertained by debating it and apparently that's what passes for "news" these days.

Give it some thought and let me know how you'd like to proceed.

Best regards,
Scott Henson

Oldschool said...

Pretty ironic that a man that spends so much time disounting the usefulness of police surveillance cameras hurts his own credibility by not accurately recounting an important event in the life of himself and his grand daughter when detained by APD investigating a "possible kidnapping". The fact that this is the second time this has happened, makes it even more "curious". The camera doesn't lie.

Steven Greffenius said...

Good story!

Phelps said...

I think all the anonymous coward comments from the APD illustrate just what bullies they are better than any article.

Phelps said...

From my reading of the article, the only difference in the story and video is whether or not tasers were drawn. If that is the "liar" standard then that confirms that every cop is a serial perjurer.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the truth is about to come out and Scott has a few eggs on his face.

David (The Pants) said...

Yeah I wouldn't say sue but do file a formal complaint. They took it TOO seriously; kidnapping suspicions should be taken seriously, but what they did was extreme.
Now you can blame the APD, I don't blame yo, but it's clear to me that the people living in your area are paranoid as all heck and their actions seem to be the root of your problem. But you cannot file a formal complaint with them.

David (The Pants) said...

Oh yeah and @Phelps I agree those anonymous comments are TOTALLY the APD trying to paint him in a bad light. Shiiiit that's funny but also offensive because of their calling him a liar for two small and mostly-unimportant details.

For shame APD anonymous commenters.

Anonymous said...

You are a disgusting sensationalist liar. Using your granddaughter to score readers. Everyone see the Austin American Statesman Article. Shame on you.



A police video shows that Austin officers responding to a call about a possible kidnapping did not draw Tasers or roughly handcuff a man as he had claimed in a blog that received national and international attention this week.

"He lied," Police Chief Art Acevedo said Friday of Scott Henson, who wrote about the incident in his "Grits For Breakfast" blog. Acevedo showed the video to an American-Statesman reporter Friday.

Henson said Friday that after watching the video with Acevedo this week, he had made some errors in his blog but was still critical of officers' response.

"It happened in a flash and like many eyewitnesses, when under a perceived threat, my mind filled in some pieces erroneously," Henson said in an email.

Police detained Henson, who is white, after receiving a 911 call Feb. 10 that a white man had kidnapped a black girl from the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex in East Austin, Acevedo said.

Henson wrote in his blog the next day that he was walking home from the complex with his 5-year-old granddaughter, who is black, when a Travis County deputy constable questioned his relationship with his granddaughter and let them go. Henson wrote that a short time later, he and the child were swarmed by Austin police officers.

"The officers got out with Tasers drawn demanding I raise my hands and step away from the child," he wrote. "I complied, and they roughly cuffed me, jerking my arms up behind me needlessly. Nine police cars plus the deputy constable all showing up to investigate the heinous crime of 'baby-sitting while white.'"

According to the recording of a 911 call that Acevedo played in his office Friday, a woman at the Millennium Center called police saying she had seen a white man grab a black girl and chase her into nearby woods. Acevedo said Friday that when the constable caught up to Henson and the girl, Henson refused to identify himself and walked away. Officers would not have had to stop Henson if he had identified himself and cooperated with the constable, Acevedo said.

Henson on Friday said that before officers arrived, the deputy told them of the girl's relationship to Henson after speaking with him.

The police video shows an officer approaching Henson and asking him to put his hands up. The officer then has Henson put his hands behind his back and places handcuffs on him. Later, an officer asks Henson for the phone number of his granddaughter's mother as more officers arrive. Acevedo said eight officers responded.

Police later released Henson after verifying that the girl was his granddaughter.

In an email Friday, Henson asked Acevedo not to release the video, saying there should be an exception because a child was involved.

Acevedo replied, writing: "Scott, unfortunately we can't put the toothpaste back into the tube. You called us out on our response and I am in a position that I must show those interested that our officers not only reacted properly, but in an outstanding manner."

Henson said Friday that he felt threatened by the response.

"I correctly perceived that all of a sudden a LOT of cops were on us out of nowhere and if I'd made any sudden or untoward moves I'd be tased or worse," he said.

Acevedo said Friday that he would release the video next week but the girl's face won't be shown.

Anonymous said...

I'm having a really hard time reconciling your request that Chief Acevedo not release the videos of this incident after you completely went off on the APD officers and deputy constable on your blog. From the time that I began reading your blog it seem that you've always advocated transparency by law enforcement agencies. But now, in the midst of a controversy you initiated, you now want them to deprive the public of the opportunity to see what really happened and draw their own conclusions? I don't get it. You drew public attention to your granddaughter and how she was treated by the officers and now, under the guise of protecting her "privacy" you want the APD to hide the truth? That seems a little hypocritical if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

You really do fail to understand where these types of incidents start..within the community you live in. Somebody, with a racial bias, called the police, gave them your description, and made the assumption that you were a child molester. This thought did not initiate within the mind of a police officer. In fact, just about every police officer would have probably driven by you and not stopped you at all had it not been for the call to the police. You are lucky to live in a country the follows English law even though social flaws cause wrinkles.

However unfair, this is how our society works. Citizens call the police and the police have to use the information given to them. Now that you are sitting on the other side of the fence, it's understandable that you wouldn't want the video released. However, the video is a public document and if it does not meet the exceptions for not release, it will probably be released. Acevedo is correct here.

Anonymous said...

It must blow to be called a liar in a major newspaper. You can hide comments here but the article at the Statesman is forever.

hillbilly said...

I'm glad that APD took the care to be sure the child was safe. Children are kidnapped by people who have pictures of them sometimes. That proves nothing. The officers had to do what they did to be sure everything was right. A grandparent or a parent can still be a kidnapper. Overreact much?

hillbilly said...

New name for blog grits and crow for breakfast

Anonymous said...

Phelps, read more carefully. The article, in addition to correcting taser usage (or lack thereof), also illustrates that he was not handcuffed roughly and Officers were only on scene for just over ten minutes, making Scott's claims even more ludicrous. Furthermore, it also proves there was an independent 911 call which started this, and was exacerbated when Scott tried to ignore the constable.

The only complaint left is the number of Officer who responded, which is just silly. I for one think a little girls life is worth the time of 9 police officers for thirteen minutes. In fact, unlike a lot of people posting here, I'd be fine of both numbers were astronomically higher.

Phelps and Pants need to chill. Nothing else, after the new article, needs to be done to paint Scott in a poor light. He managed o do that all by himself.

Anonymous said...

Mike, we both know you are not above "stretching" the facts if it paints cops in a bad light. I had to laugh at your attempts to educate Chief Acevedo on ways to get around the open records act so that the tape wouldn't surface showing just how much you will stretch the truth. But don't worry, your followers won't blink an eye and will continue to blindly follow your every word even after this incident clearly showing you can't be trusted to tell the truth.

Phelps said...

Whether or not the handcuffing was rough is an opinion that frankly, a reporter viewing a video is not qualified to give. Roughly has a lot to do with leverage and how the handcuffs are oriented -- cops know those tricks, and reporters do not.

The time issue is one where you have a reading comprehension problem. The time issue comes in when the officer says they have only been there two minutes, which with nine officers makes 18 man-minutes (2 min x 9 officers = 18 minutes/man total.)

Frankly, the only thing inconsistent with his account is the Taser issue. What is completely consistent is that all the police shills here were ready to scream liar at the top of their lungs, and virtually all of them (including you) weren't even willing to put a pseudonym behind the name-calling.

Like I said, you may think you are vindicated. All you have proven is that APD cops are petty, bullying, and far from being part of the community.

Anonymous said...

Mike, we both know you are not above "stretching" the facts if it paints cops in a bad light. I had to laugh at your attempts to educate Chief Acevedo on ways to get around the open records act so that the tape wouldn't surface showing just how much you will stretch the truth. But don't worry, your followers won't blink an eye and will continue to blindly follow your every word even after this incident clearly showing you can't be trusted to tell the truth.

Phelps said...

I also love how the cops here seem to think that there's something wrong with not wanting video of a five year old in a cop car released.

"We overreacted because we heard are just trying to Protect the Children!

"Wait, we have to get the child caught in the cross-fire in order to slander a citizen as a liar? Fuck her! Just another civilian in the way (like the one killed at the train station here in Dallas by the cops, BTW)."

Anonymous said...

Wow, the comments relating to this latest development further show the lack of common sense among the general public.

For those trying to minimize what was seen on the video and still wanting to act as if the police were horribly wrong and should be sued: I'm by no means an apologist for APD, but you need to put yourself in their shoes in getting the calls that they received. In simple terms, better safe than sorry. Yes, he was put in handcuffs which was certainly traumatic for both he and the child. However, it isn't as if they beat him up or threw him in jail or anything even close to that.

For those discounting the blogger's experience as nothing but an elaborate lie to bring down APD, put yourself in his shoes and keep in mind that all of us are prone to misremembering events, particularly highly emotional ones. Obviously he is extremely sensitive and clearly has (at minimum) a tinge of an anti-police perspective to begin with. I think anyone in this position would have been very upset, rightly or wrongly.

I think this can serve as a lesson to not jump to conclusions so quickly. I would advise Mr. Henson in the future to identify yourself to police and be cooperative in a manner that does not violate your legal rights. You may also want to step away for a bit and reevaluate your own biases.

Anonymous said...

So uh... the Statesman is saying your little story is an outright lie. And your excuse is that, in the heat of the moment, you didn't remember things correctly. Can you imagine what the reaction would be if a cop was caught lying and his only excuse was that in the heat of the moment he didn't remember things correctly?

Anonymous said...

I can't wait until APD releases the video of your incident next week so we can see other fabrications in your story, not that I don't believe you, but you squeezed the toothpaste out of the tube and you can't put it back.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of APD, but it's fabrications from folks like you that make me question accounts of people on the receiving end of APD. I can't wait for the video next week. Time for Damage Control for Breakfast.

Anonymous said...

Oh Phelps, you poor misanthropic illiterate fool. I'll cease arguing with you (even though numerous posts, unknown if cops or not, have asked for the release of the video but to keep Ty out of it, and how foolish Scott now looks is blatantly obvious).

Just go live in your little lonely world where you taint everthing you touch and only interpret actions based on your world view. Stay up in Dallas, and keep stereotyping an entire work force despite stating you abhor such practices. Hypocrite.

Jeff Sepeta said...

Do I smell a LAWSUIT? If this event happens repeatedly, and your granddaughter needs counseling, perhaps the perps (from the police chief on down) need to make a public apology. And I'm not opposed to that apology taking place 'South Park Style' (everyone kisses Jesse Jackson's ass)

Zeety said...

Fool me twice, won't get fooled again.

Anonymous said...

You intentionally painted APD in a negative light by over dramatizing every single detail, from beginning to end. You wanted to paint this picture of such a lovely evening with your grandaughter making sure to emphasize details such as "a giddy five year old racing ahead," like everything that night was absolutely perfect...until the cops show up right? I myself am in an interracial marriage and have 4 beautiful children. My husband is black althougth my children are very, very light complected like myself. I don't care how many times APD gets called out on a possible kidnapping in progress. I want them to respond each and every time they receive that call to make sure my babies are ok. They are there to protect and serve and that is what they were doing. Shame on you for trying to sway these readers to believe otherwise. I understand that you might have been "butt hurt" because this happened before, but that should tell you that each and every call is taken seriously and responded to in the same manner without bias. And this does not have to be a traumatic event for Ty, it only is because you are choosing to make it one. Instead of being that grandfather that encourages her and re-establishes her belief in law enforcement, you decided to rant and rave and twist the facts about what really happened that night when they were only responding to do one thing, make sure she was ok. It was all about Ty. You over reacted at the scene by assuming it was the constable that "called in the calvary," and you're over reacting now. And for all you that are in agreement with him and are dogging APD, you will be the first ones calling 9-1-1 asking for the "calvary" when you have a real emergency. Kuddos to APD for handling it the way they did.

Anonymous said...

You should rename this "babysitting while white: part faux" i read your email requesting APD not release any video, even though it might show them to be something other than what you make them out to be. You have no credibility. Shame on you.

Phelps said...

The email didn't request that "no video" be released. The email requested that no video OF THE FIVE YEAR OLD be released.

Dallas_BK said...

Sorry to hear about the incident but am not surprised. Was detained similarly here in Dallas even though it was my own 6-yr old son and we're very much the same race. It was reported as a kidnapping in progress because I was holding his hand as we walked on the sidewalk of a busy street. The officers questioned him pretty hard which of course scared him so badly he clammed up then burst into tears. I'm sure that caused at least 30 of the 45 minutes we were under the heatlamp...

jarhead said...

"Anonymous said...
So uh... the Statesman is saying your little story is an outright lie. And your excuse is that, in the heat of the moment, you didn't remember things correctly. Can you imagine what the reaction would be if a cop was caught lying and his only excuse was that in the heat of the moment he didn't remember things correctly?"


Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.

Anonymous said...

"Phelps said...
The email didn't request that "no video" be released. The email requested that no video OF THE FIVE YEAR OLD be released."

It's obvious that Scott's intent was to not have any of the video released. That is evidenced by his statement in the email to the police chief...

"I would like to reiterate that my first preference would be that you decline media requests, as I have – tell them it’s at my request – and ask for an Attorney General’s opinion whether the department is required to release any information at all about the stop at all under 552.108 of the Government Code. That’s my preference as well as Ty’s mother’s."

He clearly wishes to not have ANY INFORMATION AT ALL ABOUT THE STOP AT ALL (he even used 'AT ALL' twice) released.

WillowTheWhisp said...

I don't think it matters all that much now whether the video is seen or not. We have heard the police version of the story, and even in Scott's own account it seems that the real problem arose when he refused to give his details when asked. The whole situation could so easily have been avoided. I was initially sympathetic to what seemed to have been rough treatment by the police, but my views have changed since this seems to have been exaggerated out of all proportion. In the case of a possible kidnap of a child I would far rather see the police err on the side of caution. Too many children are really abducted and end up dead. Far better a few moments inconvenience than the death of an innocent child.

Anonymous said...

Perception is always in the eye of the beholder. It started with the initial 911 call that a white guy chased a black girl into the woods.
If it actually had been a child fleeing from a pedophile, particularly your child, you would want as much police response as necessary to save you child from the trauma of being sexually assaulted and possible killed. Everyone should consider what would have been in the headlines had Ty actually been kidnapped, etc.
I know it was Scott’s right to refuse to answer questions about who he is, where he lives, etc., but even as he complains about how the Constable responded, I believe he missed out on a great opportunity to demonstrate to Ty that good police work includes ensuring she is safe by checking out what another citizen called in as suspicions activity. If he had spent just a few minutes having a conversation with the Constable, Ty could have come away from the encounter having a warm and fuzzy feeling that the police are not bad guys and can be trusted.
And back to perception. It was Scott’s perception that he was handled roughly and that no one was checking into his explanation, when in fact APD was checking into the story. He made several false assumptions in his observations of the situation, but that was his perception of what was occurring. APD legally detained him while they sorted out a possible felony. Could it have been handled differently, sure, but give me 10 police officers dealing with the same scenario and it is highly likely I will see close to 10 different ways to deal with the scenario.

man with no name said...

When you willing stoke the flames of discontent, don't be surprised when you get burned by them.

The video will clearly show that Scott's "version" is nothing more than a flat-out lie. That's why he begged Acevedo not to release the officers' car video.

Tanya said...

My Henson,
I am so sorry for what you and your erogurpressuregranddaughter went through !! Something simular happen to my family over the summer, my husband ( Black) and my daughter ( White) were at our neighborhood pool and other parents called the police because my husband my playing in the water with our daughter and because she kissed him on the lips....when they got home the police arrived and cuufed him, put him in the police car and questioned my daughter, and they tried to insist that they question her without me there, which I refused !! I explained that we are a very affectionate family and we show and tell our children that we love them...I was told by the woman " Cop" that she hasn't kissed her dad on the lips since she was 3, I told her " maybe you should have and you would be more understanding about good parenting" she didn't like that at all....they made a report for CPS ( whom we never heard from ) and all of our calls to her supervisor went unanswered.
Hopefully one of these days the police will be color blind like my daughter is.
Good luck and keep up the great grandparenting !
Tanya in San Antonio

man with no name said...

Tanya, did you miss the whole part about him lying about it?

Phelps said...

You lot keep saying it, but it doesn't make it true.

Anonymous said...

Blacks receive this kind of treatment all the time -- driving while black, walking while black, shopping while black. Imagine what would have happened to a black man with a white granddaughter.

Anonymous said...

Someone said the deputy constable took the word of a 5 year old child and constables are not trained in routine patrol, taking calls, etc. However a lot of deputy constables come from other police departments and sheriff departments. I'm sure it was more than just the little girl's story that made that deputy believe she was not in danger. Mr Henson wasn't under arrest at the time either for those who keep saying he fail to id himself.

Anonymous said...

Actually my dad (step-dad) is black and Im white - My mom and him got married when i was 5 (35 years ago) and he got stopped on several occasions when him and I were together without my mom, although not one time was it ever such an ordeal as this one (we lived in CT) and its a shame that in this day and age they behave that way - I believe your civil rights were violated but that's just my personal opinion (I also work for attorneys so its easy for me to jump the gun - LOL)
I also agree with you 110% NEVER talk to the police without an attorney present EVER - They will twist your words to suit whatever it is that is on their agenda. I hope you never have to go through this again. Good luck!!!!

Anonymous said...

"I am in a multiethnic marriage and my husband and I lived in Austin for 5 years. Although we never had any run-ins with the police, I can definitely see how this could happen. There is so much underlying southern Racism in such a nice liberal community. it sucks.

Obvious racism. They were protecting the BLACK child. Is that correct? Seriously, how in the hell can you make that racist???

Anonymous said...

Ahahaha what a dick... a blogger lying, imagine that.

Anonymous said...

I am an Austinite and have had nothing but negative experiences with APD. I just got a ticket on my bike and the cop was very harsh, and I felt disrespected. I wonder if he would talk to his mother in that tone.

I was watching the local news and saw the police chief saying it was unfair that APD should get a bad rap for this incident and thatthey were responding with the child's interest in mind, and that APD's sole purpose is to keep people safe.

But if you have to defend yourself dont you think that something is wrong? Handcuffing people, detaining people, taking peoples blood during no refusal weekends; all these things degrate a citizens worth.

What happened to respect?
Do you think people respect law inforcement after the way they treat civilians?

APD is out of control. Art Acevedo is a joke.

Anonymous said...

you people are the most ignorant people i have ever heard. Next time ur getting raped or your family is getting murdered don't call the cops. You cutless pieces of craps only want the cops when it benefits you, otherwise you think the cops are all evil. Don't cal them, take the raping up the arse and call ur ignorant friends to help you. You ignorant dumba$$'s make me sick. If y'all dislike it here so much then get the hell out. I wish your house would get broken into only to hear to hear you whine that the cops took to long or they didn't do anything to catch the criminal. You are all a bunch of pieces of garbage and Henson is an ignorant bastart himself. Go to HELL all you worthless pieces of oxygen users.

Anonymous said...

U lying piece of CRAP!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You lying piece of SHIT!! Funny how you called APD's bluff and they stuck it in your ass. How you like it now with the shoe on the other foot,, you freaking disgrace of human race.

Anonymous said...

Since the 911 phone call was released the cop's response makes much more sense. The passerby was concerned that the child was being chased. How exactly does that have anything to do with race? The police came the way they did to ensure the child's safety. All the embellishing doesn't seem necessary at all.

Anonymous said...

In your original post you wrote "The officers got out with tasers drawn..." Then, in your mea culpa, you stated that you had incorrectly stated and an officer had approached you with his taser drawn. Thais is what makes you a liar. You are not even accurate as to your own words. You originally wrote "officers" and "tasers," but now you claim to have written one officer with his taser. When you make such serious claims you canno be a sensationalist. You either wear the white hat or you don't.

Anonymous said...

You should have been happy that the police responded as fast as they did. You would have been the first one to complain about inaction if they had been slow to respond. You also made more than one mistake in your recollection of the details. The only one that needs to be held accountable, my sad, tortured friend, is YOU!

Anonymous said...

Back in 2003, I returned to Austin. I was driving my two friends home. I was the designated driver. They were plastered. The police stopped me and gave me a field sobriety test. I passed. I kept hearing this one younger officer telling the older officer, "he's not drunk. What are we going to do? He's not drunk." The older officer said, "Find something." After I was handcuffed and put in the back of the car, I heard them say that again. I replyed, "You know I can hear you saying I'm not drunk." The older officer then turned up the radio really loud so they can talk and I couldn't hear. The whole time a crowd was gathering, a man videotaped the whole thing. They were yelling, "Let him go! He's not drunk!" but the police arrested me anyway. $9000 later and I still don't have peace. That was 9 years ago. Some things never change. They still think they are above the law and no one will do anything. It's a terrible feeling that the people that are supposed to keep you safe are the ones that you fear the most.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to say that it's actually YOU that owe the APD an apology. One day you may actually need the APD and you'll feel differently. I'm proud of APD & their actions to quickly and correctly respond to what appeared to be a dangerous situation for a child. As a mom, I would only hope they would do exactly what they did to protect my or another's child.

Anonymous said...

BTW - I've learned from experience that showing APD respect will go a long way in their showing YOU respect no matter what the circumstances. If you start out an encounter by being rude, disrespectful, etc., they will surely think you have something to hide or are guilty of something. Each of you that had negative experiences with APD or other officers need to take a close look at how you treated or reacted to them before pointing any fingers.

Anonymous said...

LIAR!

Anonymous said...

Wow. It has not been a good week for Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo. He just fired two officers in an incident where one of them slapped a suspect strapped to a gurney.

Now, Chief Acevedo is going mano y mano with local criminal justice critic Scott Henson, who writes for a blog called Grits for Breakfast.

Last Saturday, Henson detailed on his blog the events surrounding how he and his 5-year-old granddaughter were detained in East Austin. Henson is white and his granddaughter is black.

Henson was walking his granddaughter home from the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex on Friday. Someone at the park called 911 and reported that a white man was chasing a black girl into the woods and trying to kidnap her.

Cops responded en masse to the area. They cuffed and questioned Henson before sorting his story out and realizing that the kidnapping call was bogus.

But Henson is a well known cop critic and he was mad. On Saturday, he posted a highly critical account of the incident, condemning the cops and their actions. He called it “Babysitting while white” and he accused the police officers of what amounts to racial profiling.

Henson also said that officers pulled Tasers on him.”The officers got out with tasers drawn demanding I raise my hands and step away from the child,” Henson said in his blog.

But Acevedo claims the video shows that no Tasers were involved and that Henson was lying to his readers.

None of this bodes well for Henson’s credibility as a journalist or his blog, Grits for Breakfast.

Henson has been a harsh critic of the police for a long time. He once served as a director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas’ Police Accountability Project. He then went on to work for the Innocence Project of Texas, a group that seeks to overturn wrongful convictions. He also did a stint as an associate editor at the far-left Texas Observer.

According to The Texas Tribune, “(Henson’s) interest in criminals justice issues started with a police brutality issued in his neighborhood, and he later co-founded the Sunshine Project for Police Accountability.”

Henson lists testimonials on his website from some heavy hitters in journalism:

Grits for Breakfast “is the best blog about criminal justice in Texas” and “as usual extremely fair” – Erica Grieder, The Economist

“A protein-laden dose of big thinking on criminal justice reform.” – Evan Smith, Former editor, Texas Monthly and current editor of The The Texas Tribune

But if Acevedo releases the 911 call and patrol car videos (he intends to do so) and it shows that Henson’s account of the incident to be overblown, his credibility will go out the window. If the video doesn’t show Tasers, then he will be proven to have flat out lied.

Anonymous said...

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/police-video-contradicts-bloggers-account-of-tasers-rough-2183449.html

It didn't go down the way to said it did. The officers should sue you

Anonymous said...

I am willing to bet that the 911 call was organized by you, in an attempt to get a controversy started. you are nothing but a troll dude.

Anonymous said...

You have lost your credibility sir. What happens when a Law Enforcement Officer is found to have falsified evidence, or lied on a report? They are terminated or face criminal punishment. It is only right that you should no longer be allowed to write your fiction and spread it around as fact, for your cult followers to lap up. Shame on you.

Plumbata said...

So, it was all a lie on your part? Why didn't you want the video released?

Anonymous said...

A liberal liar? That's not unexpected nor new.

Anonymous said...

So... you lied about what happened and refused to cooperate with the Police? For all those suggesting he file a complaint, where should the Police Dept. file a complaint against his lies?

Anonymous said...

I was going to type a response about you being a real drama queen and having absolutely zero credibility. I was also going to point out that if the police conducted some namby-pamby response and a child died because of it you'd gripe about that, too (the cops can't win no matter WHAT they do, but that's great for your blog, isn't it?). I was also going to point out that you are a non-contributing zero that would rather stand idly by on the sidelines pointing out all that is wrong with the world rather than shutting up, getting your hands dirty and making this world a better place without making such a fuss about everything. I was going to write all that, but then I read an earlier post that summarizes my thoughts: "Racism has nothing to do with it. You being a jackass has everything to do with it."

You live a sad and unproductive life. You'll never know the highs and lows of being a producer and a contributor. You'll always be an armchair quarterback that speaks of things you know nothing about.

Paul Johnson said...

Scott, You have a very warped sense of how police should do their job. The police misconduct was not on the part of the APD as you incited. They didn't do anything, no one got killed or hurt. The only reason they had to re-contact you and re-question you and your granddaughter and detain you for as long as they did, is because the constable did not do her job.

You implied that the constable investigated the call appropriately by believing the possible kidnap victim when questioned in the presence of the possible kidnapper. Then she didn't even identify the possible kidnapper before allowing him to leave. The constable's action of not appropriately investigating her initial stop is the only place in your sad story where there is potentially any police misconduct.

When the APD got the call and made their contact with you, they did everything right. What difference does it make if they used 1 cop to question you or 1,000? Everything they did to you was warranted and proper. How silly would you feel if your granddaughter was kidnapped, you made the call to the police, they stopped the suspect and let him got without identifying him?

I'll remind you of the case where an on-duty TCSO deputy was kidnapped. Several hours later when police were directed to a general location in Williamson County, a WCSO deputy stopped a male walking in the area. The deputy didn't identify the guy, but believed whatever he said and went about his search. Just a few minutes later other deputies realized that the guy could actually be the suspect and they decided to re-contact him. The second group of deputies approached him with guns drawn and multiple deputies. They frisked him and found the deputy's gun on him and arrested him. Later when interviewing him, he told investigators that after the first deputy let him go, if other police approached him, he had already decided that he was going to just shoot them. Fortunately, the subsequent deputies were not as lax, and they lived to go home to their families at the end of the day. Not only did they live, but they caught the bad guy, and located and rescued the deputy victim.

Whether you think you have a right not to identify yourself when you are detained for investigation or not, you knew that the original deputy was investigating a kidnapping-in-progress, and that you and your granddaughter matched the description of that suspect and victim. For you to refuse to identify yourself under those circumstances forces the police to use other means to try to determine if a crime has occurred and if you are involved in it.

Everything that happened after the initial stop not only was done appropriately, but you brought it on yourself. Get over it. Nothing happened. Quit whining.

Phelps said...

Sorry, Paul, but he wasn't a "possible kidnapper." If that's the standard, anyone walking with a child is a possible kidnapper. "Possible" doesn't get cops anyways. They need probable cause, not possible cause.

You have the right to walk down the street, with or without your granddaughter, without having to answer to the cops. It's that simple. Unless they have reason to believe that you probably did something, they are overstepping their bounds into misconduct by detaining you longer than it takes to search for weapons (Terry stop).

Paul Johnson said...

Phelps,

It would be handy to know ahead of time that the call they were responding to was misunderstood by the caller, but the information that the cops did have was that a white male was kidnapping a black female and went into the woods. Just a few minutes later the constable found a white male with a black female in the woods, and had more than enough probable cause to make an investigative stop and detain the suspect as long as it takes to determine if a crime had occurred and if he was involved in it. This couple was not stopped because they were just walking down the sidewalk.

Anonymous said...

I feel for you, your frustrations, and for your granddaughter. On the flip side, if that had been my lost daughter and she was taken by any type of man I would be happy the cops responded so quickly. So would you if your granddaughter was missing.

isasi248 said...

Have a wallet-sized picture taken of yourself with your Granddaughter; have it labeled "I love my Grandfather"; put you name and hers on the back of it and have it laminated. Then carry it in your wallet wherever you go. Not a perfect solution, but we live in an imperfect world, and this could help stop harassment.
Sorry this happened to you and your family.
And btw, to the person who complained that you were "babysitting"..... I have several advanced degrees, and I cannot think, offhand, of a better or more commonly used term than that. Some people are idiots.

Anonymous said...

I found your experience to be rather shocking. I would sue them and put an end to this nonsense. What kind of world do we live in where racial profiling has no boundaries. I'm a Black man with interracial children and even I have not experienced such events. I applaud you as a man, as a father and as a grandparent your words resonate within me it is clear you love your family and grandbaby.

Lone Star Ma said...

That's just terrible. Your poor grand-daughter! I would have been livid and living at the PD until some people lost their jobs. She sounds like a resilient girl - I'm glad she's taking it well.

I'm the first to ask kids and adults questions if something feels wrong to me regarding a child, but you don't send the cops on someone for no reason!

Rachel said...

It is so stupid, but if I were you, I would probably make a business card that has a nice picture of the two of you, and states that your grandaughter is your grandaughter, with a list of phone numbers for the cops to call for confirmation.

You shouldn't have to, but clearly when it comes to APD you need to CYA.

Anonymous said...

It's a sad story and i feel for you both. It should have never happened but like many posters have said your granddaughter learned a valuable but sad lesson. Cops are not our "protectors or servants anymore". It's sad, bad and true and getting worse everyday. I grew up in Las Vegas in a Fire Dept. family and grew up knowing how crooked the cops are here. Not one cop here has had a "bad shooting" ever and have gotten away with murder many times. I have known since a young age as a white man knowing cops are not my friends and can't imagine how bad it is for blacks here. It's too sad that they have turned a huge section of Americans against them. Through bad experiences I don't and ne4ver will trust a cop. Better to learn the lesson young and better to learn your rights to protect yourself against them.

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