Austin, TX — In an appalling case of police brutality, a 71-year-old deaf Florida woman found herself spending three days in jail and suffering a broken arm at the hands of Austin’s finest. All of this happened simply because she was unable to hear instructions from a gate agent at an airport and asked twice to get on an earlier flight.
As violent crime rates continue to rise and go unsolved across the nation, this incident serves as a chilling reminder of how police choose to go after “low-hanging fruit” and target vulnerable individuals in our society rather than violent criminals.
On September 13, 2022, Karen McGee was connecting in Austin on her way to Seattle. As a nervous flyer traveling alone for the first time in her life, she was already feeling overwhelmed. To make matters worse, her hearing aid wasn’t functioning properly.
Unbeknownst to her, she missed a gate change announcement for her flight. As her departure time passed and she didn’t see her flight boarding, she approached an Alaska Airlines gate agent for assistance. Although she was rebooked on a later flight that evening, McGee mistakenly thought there was another plane at the same gate headed to Seattle and inquired if she could get on that flight instead.
Struggling to hear the agent’s explanation, McGee asked another Alaska Airlines employee for help. Shockingly, instead of providing assistance to the senior citizen, the agent called the police.
When officers arrived on the scene, they informed McGee that she was trespassing at the airport. Unable to hear their instructions, she was forcibly placed in a wheelchair and pushed to the front of the airport, where she was handcuffed and arrested on trespassing charges. This was just the beginning of a horrifying three-day nightmare.
Upon arrival at the jail, McGee was shoved against a wall, and the elderly deaf woman was stripped of all her clothing. When she questioned the instructions from an officer she couldn’t hear, the officer twisted her handcuffs with enough force to break her arm. The break was so violent that McGee passed out from the pain.
After losing consciousness and waking up in a jail cell with her clothes on inside out, McGee spent three days in detention before finally being released. Upon her release, she collapsed from pain and exhaustion, at which point an officer called an emergency medical technician who helped her contact her husband and arranged for her to stay at a hotel for the night. The break in McGee’s arm was so traumatic that she had to have surgery on it after returning to Florida.
Even if McGee had been animated or aggressive, which there is no evidence to suggest, her treatment by the police is inexcusable. The incident raises questions about the priorities of law enforcement in Austin, as they seemingly chose to act on this trivial matter while ignoring more serious calls amid protracted union contract negotiations with the city.
This is your security force, America.
Article posted with permission from Matt Agorist
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