Sunday, February 20, 2005

Moms tell about their day in the park

This is an email from someone who knows the people in the original story. Here is their account.

This homeschool group had been meeting there for years. This year the playground has been used as a recess area for a nearby elementary school because their playground is covered with portable classrooms, and it's been hard on everyone. The teachers now walk the classes to the park for recess. The teachers know who the homeschooled kids are. And the police department is next door, and presumably they know who the homeschooled kids are too. A teacher called the police rather than talking to parents.

What follows are eyewitness accounts from two moms. This particular kid wears his knife on his belt, as do many guys. One of the public school teachers that uses the park with us now, saw his knife on his belt and called the police saying that he had it out flashing it around their children, . . .A plain clothes investigator charged the shelter shouting at (another parent's) son to take his hands out of his pocket and then shouting at my son that he was talking to him, he never announced that he was an officer, where his badge and gun were at on his hip no one could see at the time, when he reached out for my son, a mother stepped in and tried to keep him from grabbing him. He shoved her backwards while she held another mother's baby. She shouted for someone to call the cops and he shouted he was the cops. He shoved my son to the ground and shouted for a uniformed officer who was catching up to him at this time to cuff her and arrest her. They walked **** to the police car and cuffed him and put him the car. She was already driven up to the police station and placed in a cell, all because she protected my son from a strange man that was being chased at a distance by uniformed officers. My son was arrested for carrying a deadly weapon/concealed weapon. She was charged with felony assault on an officer. One officer said he was about to draw his weapon, he had already unsnapped it and was pulling it out to draw and aim at my son, because he thought he was about to pull the knife on the plain clothes investigator. This same officer said no telling how many people could have gotten killed, in other words he was prepared to shoot towards the shelter with all the small children around. . .

And from the other mom: The plainclothes officer was incredibly belligerent and angry right from the moment he rushed under the shelter. He could so easily have stopped as soon as he came up to us, announced that he was a police officer and needed to talk to the boy with the knife, but he didn't do any of that. Instead he shouted, shoved, verbally abused, intimidated. He acted so horrible it never occurred to me, or to any of us, that he was a police officer. He just seemed like a crazy man. He never announced who he was until he had shoved the woman holding the baby and then she asked the mother of the baby to call the police. Only then did he say he was an officer. I asked him how we were supposed to know that and he said he was wearing a gun and a badge and so it was obvious. The gun and the badge were on the side of him that was turned away from all of us, I think, so I don't know how we were supposed to see them. Also he was yelling so much we didn't think to look at his belt. Anyway, I asked to see his badge and he thrust it at me. About this time a uniformed officer had come up and he confirmed that the plainclothes guy was a policeman. The plainclothes guy told the woman holding the baby to put him down, that she was going to be arrested. I asked him what he was arresting her for since she hadn't done anything wrong. He told me for assaulting a police officer. I protested that she hadn't known he was a police officer. He told me to shut up or I would be arrested too. So not only can he arrest a boy for carrying a knife that was not concealed, and charge him with carrying a concealed weapon, not only can he assault a woman holding a baby, then arrest her for assaulting him, but apparently he can arrest people just for arguing with him. After the policemen took away the boy who'd had the knife and the woman who'd tried to protect the boy, the other kids started to show how upset they were. Some were crying. None of these children want to go back to that park ever, and we've been going there since xxx and I first started xxx nearly five years ago. We've felt very safe there before, and having the police station just beside the park seemed to be an advantage. We felt like nobody too bad would bother our kids with policemen so close by. We never thought it would be the police themselves that would be the frightening ones, the ones who would make our kids feel unsafe, who would make them have nightmares or keep them from even being able to sleep. . .

Does zero tolerance apply to public parks? Or maybe they were worried the baby's diaper was loaded!


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