It was only a matter of time before the gang on Fox News would try to rewrite the story of the cop who stopped Sandra Bland in Texas. Elisabeth Hasselbeck found herself some expert with whom she watched the videotape, and then tried to make the argument that the cop was entitled to demand that Bland put out her cigarette because it could have been used as a weapon.
So what’s the problem with this argument? The problem is this:
- While a cigarette can be used as a weapon in some circumstances — and yes, cops have on occasion been burned by a lit cigarette — that clearly, clearly, clearly was not the case here.
- The encounter was essentially finished. The cop, Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia, had already run her plates and issued her a warning. It was clear that she wanted to be on her way and was not getting out of the car to assault the officer.
- Encinia only asked her to put out the cigarette because he was miffed that she was irritated with having been pulled over, and he wanted to remind her who was boss.
This is so Fox News, making what sounds on the surface like a reasonable argument in such an unreasonable way. It’s also interesting that other cops and apologists for Encinia complain that she didn’t show him the proper “respect” and that’s why the situation escalated.
That, my friends, is a completely ass-backwards argument that shows how out of touch these cops really are. This woman was just profiled by the cop for no reason other than that she was black and driving through his county, and she should show him “respect” for that? You’ve got to be kidding me!
Yeah, I probably would have put out the cigarette if I were a smoker, but I’m also a middle-aged white guy. I don’t get profiled. She was absolutely in her right to keep smoking in her car, and this asswipe couldn’t take it that he didn’t “respect” her after pulling her over. Grow up, Mr. Fragile Ego.