Interfering with the police while they’re doing their job is a crime. It’s called Resist, Delay, Obstruct in some states, and the name varies in other states. The charge is primarily the same, and it carries an arrest behind it. If the charge wasn’t there, citizens could interfere with police while they were doing their job at a traffic stop, taking a report, or in this case, investigating a shoplifting call whenever they wanted to without repercussions.
At a San Jose Macy’s, officers arrested several bystanders because they were interfering with the police. It’s not the public’s job to judge police officers’ behavior while they’re working. The people likely didn’t see the entire interaction and understood the whole situation. If an officer tackles a man walking through a store and a violent exchange ensues, who’s to say that man wasn’t only shoplifting? He may be wanted for violent crimes or even murder. Nobody knows besides the officer and the man. Place a woman in the same situation, and the result is the same.
NBC Bay Area reported, “A phone video obtained by NBC Bay Area Saturday night appeared to show an officer asking a lady outside Oakridge Mall to back up, and then an incident followed.”
The takeaway phrase is “officer asking a woman to back away.” It wasn’t a George Floyd situation where the woman was stepping in to stop the police from harming someone with little to no justification in doing so.
Anna Hamed said, “The police decided to come too near to my mom and essentially clutched her arm. She had to toss his arm off, and he became even more agitated when she told him what he was doing was inappropriate. And that’s when he grabbed her and smashed her to the ground.”
She had to fling his arm off? At no point should a citizen fling an officer’s arm off them. That’s a form of assault on a police officer.
The video shows the officer walking toward the woman who was right up on the scene, and he tries to grab her arm, and the woman shoves his arm away. That’s resisting arrest in a situation where she should never have interjected herself. The woman was resisting arrest, and the officer decided to place her on the ground. That’s what happens when you violently, and that’s what the woman was doing, resist arrest. You get put on the ground.
Ultimately, the woman created an officer safety situation, and she had to be removed from the situation. She placed herself there, and it was her fault and responsibility that the situation resulted in her arrest.
The woman said, “At one point, I thought he was going to attack me as soon as he started coming in that direction. I backed up because I was afraid.”
She was afraid because she pushed the officer to the point of arrest. It wasn’t the officer she was scared of; it was the arrest.
It’s not the police officer’s job to be the judge and jury on the scene. The police are meant to show up and control the situation. The woman created a situation that was further out of control, and when that occurs, the order has to be restored. Officers can’t let a random bystander interfere, and they should never be expected to.