What can you say when even a senior citizen isn't safe from police brutality?
Chattanooga Police Det. Kenneth Freeman will not face charges in an incident in which he shoved a 71-year-old greeter at the Wal-Mart in Collegedale to the floor after he tried to stop him while doing a receipts check.
Collegedale Police declined to bring charges, then the employee, Bill Walker, filled out a complaint himself. Collegedale Judge Kevin Wilson has reviewed the complaint and did not issue an assault charge.
In the incident on Christmas Eve, Mr. Walker said an alarm went off when Det. Freeman and another city police officer, Edwin McPherson, were leaving the store.
He said he reached to try to stop Det. Freeman and he was pushed against a soft drink machine and to the floor. He said the officer then hovered over him as he lay on the floor.
Oh, by the way, when a customer tried to chastise the officer for shoving an old man to the ground, he was thrown through a glass door of the store by Freeman.
A police report says a customer then told Det. Freeman, "You can't push down an old man" and began struggling with him. It says Det. Freeman then shoved that man, Gholom Ghassedi, through a glass door. Officers found Mr. Ghassedi with blood on his neck, but he declined medical treatment.
Sgt. McPherson broke up the fight between Det. Freeman and Mr. Ghassedi.
The disgusting, almost-surreal nature of this story spurred Jesus' General to propose that the Chattanooga PD star in a new reality show.
You deemed it a good beating and declined to arrest, or even cite Freeman.
That's it. That's what our show, "Greeter Beaters," will be about. Every week we will show Collegedale and Chattanooga police assaulting elderly greeters, parking lot attendants, and bystanders in the greater Chattanooga metropolitan area. I'm also thinking of giving each show a theme. One week might be "batons," another "tasers," and maybe "shootings" for each season finale.
Your involvement is crucial. I don't think we can find another police chief in the country who'd allow it.
The sad truth is, with the Oscar Grant execution and the rampant abuse of Tasers as "compliance-assurance" devices instead of its proper use as a gun alternative, the idea of Greeter Beaters is way too close to reality.