Baltimore, MD — Nothing highlights the lack of training, the irrational fear, and brutal nature of police officers quite like videos of them beating elderly women. While this may sound shocking, it happens and is caught on video far too often to be an "isolated incident." In fact, TFTP just reported on an elderly grandmother being attacked and tasered in her own home by cops after she demanded a warrant before they entered her home, and now, it's happened again.
Family members are speaking out after infuriating and disturbing video surfaced showing 76-year-old Rena Mellerson being dragged from her home and violently assaulted outside. According to WBAL, police were at Mellerson's home last Friday in search of her granddaughter Cierra Floyd on charges of disorderly conduct.
Police say the charge of disorderly conduct came after Floyd allegedly cursed at officers earlier that day. TFTP would like to take this time to remind our readers that cursing at police officers is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution—so is flipping them off. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in City of Houston v. Hill, that police must tolerate even more abusive speech than an average citizen—which certainly includes a young woman cursing at them. The court concluded that "in the face of verbal challenges to police action, officers and municipalities must respond with restraint,” and added that, “the First Amendment protects a significant amount of verbal criticism and challenge directed at police officers."
Apparently, the cops who went to Mellerson's home on Friday couldn't have cared less about the oaths they swore to uphold the Constitution.
Police claim that when they entered Mellerson's home to arrest her granddaughter for practicing her first amendment that Mellerson "interfered" in Floyd's arrest. They also claimed Floyd "moved towards an officer in an aggressive manner" which forced them to use pepper spray and tasers inside the home.
As the video shows, Mellerson doesn't appear aggressive at all. In fact, the elderly woman is peacefully walking out of her home when an angry cop runs up on the scene, violently grabs her and slams her to the ground. An attack like this could have proven fatal for someone as old as Mellerson. Luckily she survived but her daughter says this 76-year-old woman, whose never had so much as a speeding ticket, has other scars.
"My mother is a 76-year-old woman, lives alone, minds her business, never broke the law. She doesn't even have a moving violation," said Mellerson's daughter, Barbara Mellerson. "For her to go through something like this is ridiculous, and every time she talks about it, she starts shaking. I had to take my mother to the hospital."
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After the video was published to local media, police were forced to respond and a spokesman said the incident is under review.
WBAL reports that in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, Chief Melissa Hyatt called the video "unsettling" and said she has "ordered a thorough investigation." After that investigation is complete, the body-worn camera footage will be made public, she said.
"I thank the individual who taped the incident - our residents are important partners in our communities," Hyatt said. "We hold our officers to a high standard of accountability. Maintaining the trust of those who live, work and visit Baltimore County is paramount as we continue to work together to keep communities safe."
County Executive John Olszewski Jr. also responded.
"Every resident of the Baltimore County community deserves to be treated with respect by law enforcement," he said in a statement. "This video raises serious concerns and warrants a full and thorough investigation."
How many more grandmothers need to be attacked before Americans realize this problem isn't going away?