Thursday, August 13, 2009

Whitehall Police Beating of 84 Year Old Black Woman Shocks the USA and Overseas

On August 5, 2009, we reported here that a policewoman in Whitehall, Ohio flipped an 84 year-old Black woman over, banging her head on the ground and causing her head to bleed. The police had been called because the elderly woman was walking around a mall parking lot with her walking cane in one hand and a steak knife in the other. news reports:

[Virginia] Dotson, who is believed to be 84 years old, was treated and released from Mount Carmel Medical Center for the head injuries she received when she was taken to the ground.

All seemed said and done with the incident until the video hit YouTube.

Now, Whitehall police are receiving phone calls from around the nation—even though there was little outrage in Central Ohio when the incident occurred.

“We’ve had people from Hollywood calling. We’ve had people from St. Louis, Houston, New York,“ said Whitehall Police Chief Richard Zitzke.

Zitzke estimates the department has received between 100 and 150 calls, some which tied up the phone line for an hour.

“We’ve had one or two people that just called and yelled and hung up the phone. We’ve had actually some death threats towards the officer,“ he said.

As far away as the United Kingdom, the DailyNewsOnline has reported on the case and posted the YouTube video, taken by a Black man on his cell phone at the scene.

Even the white supremacist "White Power" group Stormfront has felt compelled to report on this case, with Stormfront quoting an article by Elizabeth Gibson of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH newspaper, saying, "Police said Dotson [the 84 year-old woman] has Alzheimer's and lives at a nursing home. She was not charged with a crime."

I said at the time that if the Black woman had instead been a grizzly bear or an alligator then there was no way that police would bloody the animal's head in the process of corraling it and taking it to a game reserve. Have you ever seen a police officer shoot a dog in the back or beat a dog over its head with a night stick?

Even as some newspapers bend over backwards trying to justify the police response, they are unable to explain why the case makes news at all, if not for the shocking violence of the police response, against an old woman, walking with a cane, who lives in a nursing home with Alzheimers Disease. Beating up an old woman is shocking even when it's the police who do it, or particularly when it's the police who do it.

The police treated this woman more brutally and with less care for her safety than they would a wild animal. Would a bear, a moose or a deer or a dog have been smashed over on its head and left the scene bleeding?

Police don't treat Blacks like animals. They treat us worse than they treat animals.

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