Frail Old Lady Needs Shovin’, Says Cop
March 1, 2017 (Fault Lines) — When you hear the term “elder abuse,” one might think of a caretaker milking a centenarian’s finances, or leaving them to fester in ulcerous bed sores, maybe neglect. These things happen all too frequently, and when the perpetrators are caught, the consequences can be dire.
Unfortunately, there’s another form of it and the perpetrators seem to suffer no consequences even when it’s caught on video.
In Modesto, California last year, the police were called to a housemate dispute in which Patricia Mugrauer, an elderly disabled woman, was the landlord. She was attempting to mediate the dispute between her tenant who was staying and his ex-girlfriend who was leaving. The departing tenant wanted to enter the dwelling to retrieve her belongings and Mugrauer wanted her to wait until the other remaining tenant who was expected soon arrived.
Mugrauer was being respectful and pragmatic. The departing tenant may have taken something that wasn’t hers, so waiting on the remaining tenant was the wisest choice to settle the matter then and there and avoid a repeat.
Along comes officer John C. Lee, who attempted to school Mugrauer in landlord-tenant law. Lee didn’t have a warrant, emergency or any other exigency, yet he decided to barge into Mugrauer’s home, knocking her down and breaking her hip. Lee was well aware of her age, since at the start of the video he asks her for her date of birth. It’s clear she is a frail woman. But she was challenging his authority, so he decided to use violence on a 68-year-old disabled woman.
Mugrauer sued and won a $750k judgement, but she died before she ever saw a dime. It’s widely known that a broken hip can be a death sentence for many elderly people. Studies have shown that people in their 70s are at risk of dying within a year after breaking a hip.
Nobody has claimed Officer Lee is the cause of Mugrauer’s death, but a guy who goes around shoving elderly women should not be on the job.
Officer Lee isn’t the only one doing it.
Since last November there has been a significant surge in political activism and much of the action has been on the streets. In the past, had you been caught up in a street protest with the Occupy movement, you might’ve wondered if people were just protesting the use of soap.
But today, the protests are populated with far more women, children and the elderly, creating significant challenges for the police. For the most part, cops seem to be conducting themselves accordingly. Except for this guy, who doesn’t understand or care that stiff-arming an elderly woman could result in her death. She was irate and wagging her hand at him, but his response and subsequent pepper-spraying of another elderly woman attempting to assist her were way out of line.
If a cop cannot deal with a disabled, frail elderly person in a manner that does not risk that person’s life, they don’t have the skills to do the job, especially when the woman appears to be less than 5 feet tall and under 100lbs.
Even more egregious is using a Taser on a 66-year-old while falsely arresting her for “failure to identify.” Your only excuse for that would be:
Unfortunately, the city chose to issue lethal weapons to a complete idiot and let me loose on the streets to wreak havoc on the taxpayers.
It’s hard to predict if the political climate will settle down or become more contentious. But cops need to find a better way to handle elderly citizens exercising their First Amendment rights. People can die, and there won’t always be a way to “spin it.”