Woman Sues Police Union
A second lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Rickia Young, a black mother who last fall, in spite of breaking no laws, was ripped from her car, beaten, and separated from her toddler for a photo-op used in a social media post.
Last October, Young was driving home through Philadelphia with her two-year-old son and 16-year-old nephew when she accidentally found herself at a protest against police abuse. Just hours before, Philadelphia police had fatally shot 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr., a black man whose family had called for mental health help. As Young attempted to make a three-point turn to get away from the crowd, she was pulled over by police, who smashed in her vehicle’s windows before pulling her out and assaulting her.
After the beating, she was handcuffed and forcefully separated from her toddler and teenage nephew. Two days later, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the nation’s largest law enforcement union, posted a picture of her son on Facebook in the arms of a white female officer with the following caption:
“This child was lost during the violent riots in Philadelphia, wandering around barefoot in an area that was experiencing complete lawlessness. The only thing this Philadelphia Police Officer cared about in that moment was protecting this child. We are not your enemy. We are the Thin Blue Line. And WE ARE the only thing standing between Order and Anarchy.”
The post falsely painting Young as a neglectful mother has since been deleted, but not before it was shared over 700 times. Despite already having been paid $2 million by the city for being beaten and separated from her son, Young is seeking an additional $50,000+ from the FOP for the Facebook post. Her complaint accused the union of portraying her son as a “neglected and abandoned child” in order to “promote its own political propaganda” of police as the child’s savior, when in fact they were the ones that separated the child from his mother. Her attorneys claimed that she endured “harassment, anxiety, depression and a damaged reputation as a result of the social media post,” to NBC.
Two of the officers involved have been fired and an additional 14 officers are awaiting disciplinary hearings.
Rule of Law vs. Lawlessness
When the government attempts to aggressively impose order in the name of protecting liberty, it often results in injustice. In this instance, the Philadelphia police attempted to halt the chaos in the streets by cracking down on protesters and anyone who happened to be at the scene. Obviously, this just resulted in more chaos.
This is exactly what Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, a 19th-century French politician and one of the first popular thinkers to promote civil liberties, would have predicted. He famously characterized liberty as “not the daughter, but the mother of order.” Liberty begets social harmony and spontaneous order, whereas violations of liberty in the name of order begets chaos, conflict, and the lawlessness of tyrants.
The rights of man are created by God and protected by government. When the government fails in their role, it is the duty of the legal justice system and those lawyers that adhere to it to step up and aggressively defend those individuals who have been tread upon. Should you need some one to defend your rights please call Winslow Law at 843-357-9301.