The girl punched in the face by an officer in Seattle has apologized. One of the frustrating things about how incidents like this play out is how rarely anyone in the situation apologizes, or has anything explained to them. Many people operate under misunderstandings on how policing works, and it’s pretty rare for anyone to explain the law to a defendant. It’s rarer that an officer would apologize, since departments believe that would open them to civil liability. (Though it would be nice if officers could acknowledge that most of them don’t really spend their days hoping to get in fist fights, and they would apologize as well.)

I have no way of knowing this, of course, but I would guess that the amount of attention this case got meant that this young woman had access to an attorney who explained to her what the videotape caught her doing: assaulting an officer. The only real way to handle that evidence is to apologize for it. Prosecutors take a defendant’s acknowledgement of their wrongdoing into account in negotiations, and judges do when handing out punishment. That’s how wealthier people really game the system effectively. They just know what to do.

  • R.A.B.

    Right on, Mon.

  • You nailed it on so many levels. I wish the level of dialogue around this whole incident had been as informed as what you just posted. I have read so many rants about how jaywalking isn’t a crime; pulling on the officer wasn’t assault; the officer can’t hit a ‘girl’ in the face, etc.

    I hope the young woman –now that we know she is 19, can everyone stop calling her “a girl? Thanks.– does have some sense of accountability for what she did, if not outright contrition, so that she doesn’t end up in further encounters with law enforcement.