Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Just a really quick post while I'm looking around and researching some things.

I had the news on and they were talking about the little five-year old girl who was handcuffed in Florida. I don't have enough background on the hows and whys and whether it was appropriate to handcuff a five-year old (well, I have one comment), but there was a statement in the interview of her mother that deserves comment.

The interviewer said to the effect that "People will question her upraising". Not the exact question, but close. Her mother replied that her upraising was just fine. Oh? A kid who throws a fit like that has had perfect upraising? Even if mommy feels that she's done just fine as a loving parent and the fits aren't attributable to her, the upraising argument falls short. After all, even if homelife is perfect with a loving mommy and a loving daddy and all that, good parents would have taken a cue from the child's history (yes, she has a history) and sought counseling or some other form of help.

Mommy (don't know if there's a daddy) is suing for huge sums of money, but she says it's not about the money, but only to draw attention to the (perceived) injustice of handcuffing a small child. If that were truly the case she could achieve the same effect by suing for $1.00.

I've always taken the failures of my children personally. After all, I'm raising them. When they fail, who else could possibly be responsible other than me? And if they fail big enough to be arrested I guarantee you it was my fault and not the fault of the police officers who had to deal with the situation.

As far as handcuffing the child, I don't like it. BUT--had the police restrained her in any other fashion-and she did require restraint-they'd have opened themselves up for all manner of abuse from the mother, the ACLU, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrukhan, Al Sharpton...you name it. Instead they adhered strictly to regulations regarding the restraint of out of control persons. A little latitude would have been nice. After all, it's not so difficult for a grown man to restrain a five-year old, but it is exactly the people/organizations I just named that make that impossible. Descretion is anathema. It'll only get you in trouble. Stick to the SOPs and you'll at least keep your job even though it tastes bad from time to time. SOP for deranged suspects is handcuffs, ergo all deranged suspects, even five-year old children, get handcuffs. I don't think for a second that any of the officers on that scene enjoyed cuffing that child, but they did what they had to do. What they were forced to do by the same people who are now condemning them for it.

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