The hysteria generated after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis has had far greater ramifications than most of us have yet realised, including installing an unwarranted sense of paranoia in blacks as much as unwarranted guilt in whites. That paranoia already existed, and at times it can be warranted, but not in the case of Neomi Bennett who was stopped by the police late at night in April last year.
The entire encounter in Wandsworth, South London was captured on bodycam. While the police can be thuggish, or just downright awkward, the patrolmen in this case did everything by the book. Anyone out late at night on foot or in a vehicle is fair game to be stopped by the police, especially in the capital. This can be inconvenient or simply annoying, but in this age of terrorism and sundry vehicular-related crime, it is something we all have to tolerate. A woman of Neomi Bennett’s age and obvious intelligence should have realised this. Had she cooperated and especially if she had flashed her NHS ID, she would have been away in a couple of minutes.
Unlike in the United States where vehicular stops can be dangerous for both parties, the for the most part unarmed British police do not shoot first and ask questions as an afterthought.
Check out the video and ask yourself if you were stopped in this fashion, would you complain much less cause a scene? Here is the Guardian’s take on it, pathetic or what? Now compare this incident with the police stop of Sandra Bland, a young woman with an obvious attitude, and as proved by her suicide shortly afterwards, serious emotional problems.
In spite of the recent developments in her case, Nurse Bennett would be ill-advised to sue the police for wrongful arrest or anything else. In that instance she was the author of her own misfortune. Furthermore, if she is so easily susceptible to panic attacks, should she be working as a nurse? Before you answer that question, imagine she was asked to stick a needle in your arm.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.