Megan Graham, a resident of Federal Way, Washington, is partially deaf and cognitively disabled. She was at a friend’s apartment building when a police officer pulled up behind her. She responded politely to him, but apparently failed to hear him ordering her to get back in her car.
The officer grabbed her, and escalated the situation considerably (as police are prone to do). As violent authoritarians who like to get drunk off power, police do not take kindly to being ignored. Ignore an ordinary person’s requests, and that person might grow irritated. Ignore the police and surely, one is at risk for a beat down. Ultimately, police are there to ensure compliance and obedience, not safety.
Sure enough, Ms. Graham ended up being brutally beaten by two police officers. She advised the officers that she had mental and hearing disabilities, and did not understand why she was being treated in this manner.
As she was being beaten, she called 911 for help (terrible irony). In the 911 recording, Ms. Graham said to the officer, “You attacked me before you said anything! There is no point whatsoever for you to touch me like that, especially with my condition, so how dare you even touch me?”
The officer in response repeatedly says, “You are under arrest.” This is typical police protocol. As they beat people, they scream “stop resisting!” and “You are under arrest!” to falsely make the victim appear like an aggressor. Police are now recommending that Ms. Graham be charged with felony assault on an officer.
During the 911 call, another officer also punched Ms. Graham multiple times in the face, and yelled for her to stop resisting. Ms. Graham denies that she was ever resisting, and an eyewitness backs her account. Deborah Fenwick said of Graham, “That woman was not resisting, I saw it. That woman doesn’t have a violent bone in her body. She’s got a heart of gold. If she would have understood the officer’s commands in the first place, she would have absolutely complied with him.”
Graham said she was hoping other officers would show up to deescalate the situation. Unfortunately, Graham, like many Americans, subscribed to the “few bad apple” theories about police – that they are mostly helpful, kind, protectors, with the exception of a few rare brutes. Time and time again, police have proven that this is not the case. There are plenty of bad apples, and as the full saying goes – “a few bad apples spoil the bunch.”