Richard Sherman is at a bad point now, facing legal issues and clearly fighting personal demons. The combination of police and media are not making things much better.
Wednesday’s headlines about Sherman’s situation give the impression of a very different story from what happened and continues to unfold.
And, Deadspin, in the interests of transparency: Richard Sherman arrested on suspicion of “theft of domestic violence”
The arrest of one of the best defensive backs in NFL history is newsworthy, of course, but titles like these strongly suggest that Sherman did something heinous. It takes up to the fifth paragraph of the NFL website’s history to reach a key component, Redmond police chief Darrell Lowe said, “the domestic violence component stems from Mr. Sherman’s relationship with the occupants of the residence, not due to him physically assaulting his significant other. Malicious malice is the result of the damage he caused to the door of the residence. ”
And he was deep in it u Seattle Times’ history that Sherman’s wife, Ashley Moss, said clearly, “My children were not harmed in the incident. He is a good person and that is not his character. We do well, just looking to get rid of him. [of jail]. I want people to know that no one has been hurt. “
Learning the context of the incident, that Sherman – according to the 911 calls Moss done – threatened to commit suicide and tried to enter his in-laws ’house, the story is very different. Moss’s claim that Sherman had consumed “two bottles” of liquor before hunting suggested a serious crime that should be investigated: drunk driving that caused damage in a construction area. Apart from that, this is an incident that speaks of a need for institutional reform to give people in need the help they need.
Lowe said police officers responding to the robbery call parked some distance from the house and approached on foot. They talked and joked with Sherman for at least 10 minutes, but once officers announced they were arresting him, Sherman tried to walk away, Lowe said.
It was at this point that a police dog was used to arrest Sherman; Sherman suffered a cut in his lower leg that was caused by the dog, Lowe said. An officer took Sherman to the ground, Lowe said, adding that one officer also suffered a minor injury. He said Sherman was treated at a hospital before he was booked into prison.
What sense does it make to deal with a man who has told you that he is intoxicated and suicidal in this way? Announcing that you are going to arrest him? Drying a dog on him and then, after the dog bit him, carrying him to the ground and beating him? Who helps? How do you make the situation better?
In fairness, it’s worth mentioning that in the 911 call that was leaked to the media (and someone needs to watch out that one also), Moss told the 911 dispatcher that Sherman was “aggressive” and “belligerent,” that he “fought” with his uncle and “tried to fight” with him. She tells the dispatcher, who looks unusually short-tempered and useless, that Sherman has become physically involved with the people in the residence. And the lawyers for victims of domestic violence will be the first to tell you this threatening suicide is a game in the book of abusers. But we don’t have all the facts, and probably never will.
Still, it’s a good thing that the headlines don’t talk about Sherman being shot by the police while he was resisting arrest, because that happens for much less. And that’s where the concept of “breaking the police” really comes into play. First responders to an incident like this should not be focused on making an arrest, they should help the man who is in danger, and they should deal with any crime once this situation has been resolved. A physical confrontation should be very much down on the list of options, and while “talking and joking with him for at least 10 minutes” is better than a lot of cops in this country would do, it’s still good enough, especially since it was the police. which has therefore scaled things up – the opposite of what needs to be done.
All of this could have been so bad. Sherman should be held responsible for the car crash, of course, but for now, attention should be placed on this man who receives the help he needs and the fortune he is still living with.
If you or someone you love knows about the violence of an intimate partner, call her National Domestic Violence Line at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).