Tiffany Rent is eight-months pregnant, but that didn’t stop a Chicago police officer from using a taser on her. The assault and arrest occurred Wednesday morning outside of a drug store on Chicago’s South Side.
The Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy said that even though Rent was only a week or two away from giving birth, “you can’t always tell whether somebody is pregnant.”
Tiffany, however, said it should have been obvious.
“I was standing at the squad car close enough for him to see that I was pregnant,” Rent explained to the Chicago Tribune.
The Chicago Police Department, however says that their officers did nothing wrong. Rent, they said, had “attempted to take off” after parking in a handicap space outside of a Walgreens drug store. Why was she parking in a handicap space? Because she was almost ready to give birth and it was severely uncomfortable – even painful – to walk far.
The officer was not moved by her plight. Poor and frustrated with the $350 ticket, Tiffany tore up the citation saying: “I ain’t giving you sh#@,” according to the police report. In effect, she was tased, for nothing more than saying she wouldn’t pay a fine.
Superintendent McCarthy said this is a matter of “upholding the law” and that Rent should have been tased for her comments:
“Well, first of all, you can’t always tell whether somebody is pregnant. So, you want to use it where you are overcoming assault or preventing escape. That’s what it boils down to.”
To make matters worse, Tiffany was pulled out of her car in front of her two young children and her boyfriend, held down to the ground before being tased. Joseph Hobbs tried to stop the assault. Hobbs is the father of the child and said he was afraid the full-term baby would be injured in the assault. He suffered a dislocated elbow as a result.
Tiffany’s sister, Sharita Rent says that the officers also made racist “nasty, cruel comments” telling them that if they were upset about the abuse, they should “call Jesse Jackson.”
“How could you be that cruel to a human being? A pregnant human being?” Sharita asked.
Tiffany confirmed her sister’s observations, saying the same:
“They were laughing. They said … I know she’s pregnant. Then one of the other officers said I deserve it. Another officer said, ‘Go get Jesse Jackson,’” she said. “They were all laughing, like it was so funny.”
Hospital tests ran on Tiffany said that the baby appears to be in good health in spite of the attack by these rogue officers.
This sickening disregard of the Chicago Police for the safety and well-being of even the most vulnerable members of our society, has led to Sharita being award, just months ago, a settlement of $55,000.
What is the moral of the story? Police officials defended the actions of the officers involved until they couldn’t defend them any more. Once the video was released, the officer’s guilt was evident. When we hear police officials defending cruel and often racist actions of members of their force, we should realize that this is the default action of the any police department. As critical readers, we should automatically suspect the official police response to such crimes, as their response is always to support the rogue cops who carry them out, until the evidence of their guilt has turned the tide of public opinion against them.
(Article by M.B. David; image AFP Photo/Cengiz Yar Jr.)