Friday, July 27, 2007

Kansas City: A Great Place to Drive (Unless You're, You Know... Not White...)

You might remember the case of Sofia Salva.

Salva is a Kansas City resident who lost her baby after police refused to get her medical attention after a traffic stop. Salva was driving without proper tags, and had outstanding warrants, and police arrested her and made her spend an evening in the slammer before finally releasing her to get medical attention. All of this despite the fact that she was bleeding, and had requested medical help a dozen times.

At one point, an officer responded to her pleas that "I have a baby in my stomach and I'm bleeding!" with "How is that my problem?"

You'd think that the ensuing lawsuit and controversy would convince the police that, you know... maybe treating non-whites like shit just for being non-white isn't such a good plan.

Not. So. Much.

So, what, exactly did this woman do to deserve the treatment she got? Well, she was black, and in a vehicle that may have matched the description of a vehicle implicated in a crime. It's ridiculous. Since when did driving the same type of car as a criminal give the police the right to treat you like that? Why didn't they run her tags? Why didn't they take into consideration that she was cooperating and pregnant?

At Tony's Kansas City, some of the comments, I think, lend a bit of insight into why the police acted the way they do. I have to admit that this was the first time I've stumbled upon Tony's blog, but if the quality of comment his post attracted is any indication of the general sentiments in the area, I guess it's not a surprise that the police acted like total asshats.

It's still most disheartening, though. How do you take comments like "Seems to me that you believe every story that some Black offers." (emphasis mine), to:

Did she even have license plates to run? I'm guessing from her ethnicity she had temp tags.

And for those self-righteous politically correct d-holes who are about to call me racist? Drive around and count temp tags and note the race of the driver. Driving while black? More like driving with a "temp tag/pull me over" sign in the window.

Stories like this are outrageous, and it always blows my mind when there are people out there who try to defend such blatantly hurtful and hateful conduct. I must confess, though, that stories like this also leave me feeling completely impotent. After all, what can I do about a story like this? I can blog about it, and talk about how it makes me feel, and how horrible it is... but does that help the woman involved? Does that help push the police into changing the way that they treat people?


Cara said...

Ugh. Ugh, ugh, UGH.

Dewey said...

This sort of thing is exactly what infuriates me when I hear people trying to claim that racism isn't really a problem any more.

Kate217 said...

I'm so glad that I haven't eaten lunch. After that, I probably won't. How indescribably nauseating.