This Is Your Irregularly Scheduled Reminder to
Be All In, Whenever and Wherever You Can Be

[Content Note: This post contains discussion of police violence. The video contains images of police violence, and its transcript contains corresponding descriptions.]

Here's the thing: Jermaine Green is hero. And what we're going to talk about is how he's a hero, not just because he filmed an incident of police brutality against a disabled woman, and not just because he refused to hand over the video to the deputy whom he'd just filmed, but because he is a man of color who did these things at the same personal risk any of us would face in standing up to police, plus the fuckload of additional risk because he is a man of color, and did them even when the white police deputy was being racist right in his face. (White men are not typically asked, "Do you have any warrants?" by police.)

What we're not going to talk about is how not all cops are bad (I know; my grandfather was a cop), nor are we going to talk about how hard cops' jobs are (I know that, too), nor about some supposed additional difficulty of dealing with mentally disabled people (because fuck that and look at the video where he punches her in the face for no reason, and no, "she's a constant pain in my ass" isn't a reason). We're not going to defend that bullying fuckery in this space.

I'm posting this video because I want to say thank you to Jermaine Green for being All In, even when there are mightily strong disincentives not to be, and thus encouraging us to do the same. And we're going to talk about him, and the woman to whom he made himself an ally, even though she was a stranger, because she was a stranger who needed his help.

[Transcript below.]

Also: "A sheriff's department spokesman told NBCLA over the phone the department would not comment on this case and would not look at the videotape, but the spokesman said the department does investigate all use of force claims." So they're going to investigate the claim without looking at the video? Awesome. Great job as always, LA Sheriff's Office.

Female Reporter in voiceover: When Jermaine Green and his fiancée Violet Roberts got on a Metro bus in Bellflower Monday night, they took notice of another passenger.

Jermaine Green, a young black man, onscreen: The lady got on the bus with her stroller full of pillows, and she was very polite—said hi to everybody and sat down.

Female Reporter in voiceover, over video shot by Green of two white police deputies, one male and one female, harassing a fat woman who appears to be white on a bus: At the next stop, two LA County sheriff's deputies, one male and one female, boarded the bus and called the passenger by name.

Green, onscreen, then over footage of the deputies tussling with the woman and the male deputy eventually punching her in the face: They said, "Get off the bus." She then, you know, started cursing at her (the female deputy), and you could tell, it was very obvious, that she was, ah, special needs—you know, had special needs. And after that, you know, they grab her, and she cusses him (the male deputy) out, calls him a big shot—next thing you know he gives her a big shot.

Female Reporter, in voiceover: Green captured the incident with his cell phone's video camera.

Green, onscreen: I couldn't believe it! I mean, he seen me taping him, and he looked—he looked up at the camera a few times and he still hit her like that. And I can't believe—I mean, he didn't try to diffuse the situation at all.

Violet Roberts, a young white woman, onscreen: Like, they were tired of dealing with her so they didn't try to—to—to talk to her or anything.

Female Reporter, in voiceover, over images of Green in fatigues: Green recently returned home from serving six years in the Army, including tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Green, onscreen, then over images of deputy punching woman: In the Army, they gave us extensive training for rules of engagement. There's, there's proper protocols and different steps you take. This lady didn't do anything—she was not combative, and he actually turned combative on her.

Female Reporter, in voiceover over images of Green and Roberts looking at Green's cell phone: Green claims the deputies then tried to intimidate him when he refused to hand over his cell phone.

Green, in voiceover, over images of his hand holding his phone, then onscreen: Then he comes to me and says, "Look, you can be under arrest if you don't give me that video," and then he said, "Do you have any warrants?" I said, "No, I don't have any warrants. I'm a veteran—I just came back. I did six years; I have no record. And he said, "Well, we'll see about that."

Female Reporter, in voiceover: Why didn't Green want to hand over this video to the deputies involved?

Green, onscreen: I think they would like try to cover it up, you know? I think a lot of stuff gets covered up, and I think some people need to come forward if they see something, report it, because it can't be fixed unless it's brought to the public's attention.

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