Most all of us learn the proper etiquette for crossing the street when we are young children. You know the rules – be sure to look both ways before you cross, make sure it is safe to cross in the first place, etc. And, depending on where you lived as a young child, your parents might also have instilled into your mind to make sure you’re not jaywalking when you cross the street. Since not all of us learned the jaywalking lesson as children, people do it unawares all the time.
As some towns are notorious for giving out speeding tickets, some towns are also making a name for themselves when it comes to issuing citations for jaywalking. Recently, the town of Austin, Texas has been in the headlines for the way they treated one particular woman who was caught jaywalking, or rather, jayrunning. They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and I guess that rings true for police arrests as well.
Amanda Stephen, the young woman in the above situation, was enjoying some music via her earbuds while she was jogging recently. As she jogging across the road, she suddenly felt someone grab her arm. Naturally, she shook off the arm that came from behind, not having any idea who it was who was grabbing her. In no time at all, Amanda found herself handcuffed on the ground and came to the realization that the arm that grabbed her belonged to a police officer.
According to witnesses, the officer yelled for Amanda to stop, but since she had the earbuds in her ears, she states that she never heard him yelling for her to stop, which is quite a real possibility.
A photographer caught the incident on video, and it has been making the rounds throughout social media and raising the question, “Did the police take things a little too far?” Indeed, many people took to Twitter to voice their concerns. At the time of the incident, Austin’s Chief of Police praised the officer for the arrest, and stated that Ms. Stephen was lucky he wasn’t the one doing the arresting, whatever that was supposed to mean. According to the police, she was ultimately arrested for violating a traffic signal and for not identifying herself. Hey, if I was thrown to the ground out of nowhere I might not want to identify myself right away either.
What do you think? Were the police just doing their jobs, or were they a little extreme in how they handled their duties? This also brings up another question – how far should the “I was wearing earbuds and didn’t hear you” defense go?
[Image via Wikipedia]