I see through your games CNN — police reform is sorely needed.
Ohio woman tased after she refused to leave a middle school football game for not wearing a mask
An Ohio woman was tased and arrested for refusing to leave a middle school football game after police say she refused…
This story from CNN is today’s example of how everything we consume from “trusted” media sources is painted with a political undertones in one direction or another depending on the outlet. While I commend the individual author for their factual representation of the incident in the context of the article. I can see they make no attempts to sway reader’s opinions in any direction and just reports the facts of the situation. However, I am critical of the editorial decisions that led to the titling of this article and its included video.
The editorial staff at CNN is entirely aware that headlines and subheadings are what most viewers who are not critical of their news sources consume. When you see similar of headlines over and over again, from multiple “trusted” sources, they become truth in your subconscious unless you are actively critiquing the information you intake. Article headlines, subheadings, and snipped titles are all vehicles for psychological manipulation. The two examples from this article are:
“Woman tased after refusing to wear a mask at football game 01:59”
“Ohio woman tased after she refused to leave a middle school football game for not wearing a mask”
These headers are subtle but intended to illicit outrage to gain clicks and shares. They are targeting peoples fear, anger, and anxiety surrounding highly contested mandated mask orders. Headers are carefully crafted to retain their factual integrity and at the same time omit key context so they can continue the dissemination of their political agenda. In this case, these titles suggest that authoritarian behavior is normal and seed the notion that if the viewer were to refuse wearing their mask, they too would be subject to this treatment. It’s very subtle, but it’s there if your looking for it. Does this sound like crazy talk? Then I guess you don’t know what a marketing department does.
While the lack of diligence on the readers part is hardly the fault of the publication directly, they still take advantage of this known trait of human nature. They use it by curating stories that sway opinions and judgements passively to their end of the political spectrum. They know that a single article on its own is never enough to sway public opinion. However, when applying this dubious psychological programming technique across all stories among all their publications, it has the affect of subliminally validating the publications authority of their media sources.
While I personally recognize that the taser incident was due to resisting arrest and removal from the property and not specifically refusing to wear a mask. It is still indeed for non-compliance of a constitutionally questionable edict by an overreaching elected government official. The legality of these orders are still doing battle in our courts. We will have to wait and see how precedence shakes out for those whom have already been victimized by the authoritarian behavior of these officials.
Now to examine the legal position of this specific incident. Keep in mind that I am by no means a lawyer, just an outside objective observer providing my opinions of the facts of the situation. Take it for what you will, but don’t take me for an expert on legal matters. I am just applying common sense to the evidence.
First, lets pull up the Ohio 2020 Executive Order that mandates masks and see the rules as outlined by official ohio.governor.org press announcement:
All individuals in Ohio must wear facial coverings in public at all times when:
- At an indoor location that is not a residence
- Outdoors, but unable to maintain six-foot social distance from people who are not household members
- Waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, such as a taxi, a car service, or a private car used for ride-sharing.
The order only requires those 10 years old or older to wear a mask. Additional exclusions include:
- Those with a medical condition or a disability or those communicating with someone with a disability;
- Those who are actively exercising or playing sports;
- Those who are officiants at religious services;
- Those who are actively involved in public safety; or
- Those who are actively eating or drinking.
Schools should follow the guidance previously issued pertaining to masks.
Now examining the video evidence and the fact reported by the article which I have no reason to doubt. However, I see a problem for the prosecution beyond that of what Ms. Kitt’s attorney has presented.
The video shows the event was occurring outside, which only requires a mask be warn if unable to sustain the 6 foot social distancing mandate. I see no other people within a 6 foot radius around Ms. Kitt outside of the officer assailing her and the woman attempting to assist her. The bleachers are clearly sparse enough that no mask was required. This means that the lawful order to put on a mask was in fact not lawful to begin. Since the executive order in question permits that outside events don’t require masks when 6 foot apart. So this whole ordeal further muddies the waters on the right to refuse unconstitutional orders.
I now must agree that this is indeed an unfortunate event as I am forced to conclude that the office in question was in the wrong from the beginning. Legal for resisting mandated mask orders is still not in, the officer failed to understand the law he was enforcing and enforced in correctly. This was done twice in that the original order to put on a mask was unlawful, as well was his refusal to accept her overtly stated exception to the law he was attempting to apply. So Ms. Kitt was not resisting arrest and force was not legitimate despite the officer believing it was. The officer believed he was detaining a law breaker, when he was the law breaker the entire time. His attempt to arrest her was a kin to kidnapping which the victim has every right to resist. I personally would have following orders and then sought punitive damages for false detainment after the fact.
Now there is something to be said for motive and intention with the officer’s action. I would also personally err on the side of giving the officer the benefit of the doubt, specifically when it comes to attempted kidnapping. However, I would still recommend some form of penal and punitive action for the officer. Just following orders only goes so far as it has been used to justify atrocities for decades. We must hold our police accountable for when their action or inaction break the law or violate someone’s civil rights. It is every law enforcement officer’s duty to know the law and apply it correctly, with proportional force to resolve the situation. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for civilians so it goes double for law enforcement. Had the officer known the edict he was enforcing, he would have realized that escort off the property was not the only resolution. If Ms. Kitt was within 6 feet of another person, all he had to do is remind her of the 6 feet social distancing rule when outside and then moved on. Instead we get this demonstrable example of how government edicts make life difficult for both law enforcement and their suspects.