The Way This was Handled

Okay, Folks, this led to a lengthy and heated and gender-biased discussion in my kitchen this evening.

Would you please go over and read about Deputy Lawdog and Opal?  The post is March 2, but I think the link works correctly.

Especially if you are in law enforcement.
Or have been cheated on.
Or tried to get out of a situation without using any more violence.

The way the story is told is a bit humorous.  There is an undercurrent of discrimination.

I was told rather curtly that I should be sleeping on the couch for my opinion.

I have been out-numbered around here for long enough.

Please Discuss.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

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25 Responses to The Way This was Handled

  1. Darlene says:

    Can you please check the link – I couldn’t get it to connect.

  2. MrsDoF says:

    The link is to a Blogger account, which is known for being persnickety.
    I checked it Tuesday morning at 6:30 and it went right to the post.

    Here it is again:

    Smarter, Not Harder

    Doggone it, I really want another female opinion about this!

  3. Maria says:

    You should not be sleeping on the couch for your opinion. This guy is a good writer, but I too, was uncomfortable with the “good ol boy” attitude.
    It mocked blacks(I do believe although it was not stated that Opal was a black woman.) It also patronized women and victimized men. The stereotypes were unfair and ugly. The violence made me uncomfortable and the only thing I can say is the sheriff and the deputy were also stereotypes and I would not want to meet either in a situation where I was in need of help.

    Now get up off that couch and sing a chorus of “I am Woma

  4. momma says:

    Diane what do you want? That the first law man was wrong? That Opal was wrong? That the Sheriff was wrong to scare Opal?

    I feel that when the first lawman couldn’t reason with Opal immediately he should have called for backup and not touch her at all without a witness or aid to accomplish the rescue. Other than that I don’t know what I would do.

    What did your “Boys” say about it?

  5. Tee says:

    I’m with Maria.

    Though the story seemed humourous and very well written at first glance, the after taste was one of hatred and bigotry and I found it disgusting.

    If Opal had been cheated on – good for her. I don’t usually advocate violence but I would want to do they same thing.

    From a legal stand point the officer couldn’t just let Opal assault her husband – he had to take action, unfortuantly.

  6. george.w says:

    MrsDoF asked me to comment on this.
    Maria, you captured perfectly what I felt about that story. While funny, it seemed to degrade everyone involved. I especially agreed with your statement that neither sheriff would be my first choice if I really needed help. While the man is being assaulted, the sheriff is looking around in the ditch for bugs. Both men thought the assault was funny.

    Without mentioning the discussion in our kitchen, I asked a former MP commander and police officer how he would have handled the situation. He described several ways to bring the assault to an immediate end without inflicting serious injury on the assailant. The victim in this case was unfortunate that the deputy sheriff was apparently not so well trained.

    Let’s get several things straight here. In one sense, the gender of the assailant and the victim are unimportant; when the peace officer arrives the assault must. stop. now. In another sense the gender does matter because I am quite sure that if the peace officer found a man doing anything like that to a woman, he’d shoot the guy, and he’d get a medal for it.

    I agreed the story trivialized violence against men. For some reason, our entire culture does the same. Violence against women has, fortunately, been recognized for the evil that it is. Not everyone has gotten the memo, unfortunately.

    Yes; I understand she was angry with him about something, probably infidelity. If so, she should have divorced him. We all have impulses, some quite strong, which we cannot morally (or legally) act upon, and another person’s immorality gives us no license to abandon our own. We spend a lifetime teaching children not to hit, for the reason that when they grow up they will be able to inflict permanent injury.

    Nobody slept on the couch.

  7. Army of Mom says:

    Ok, here goes my take on it. Being from the south, I saw NO bigotry or misogyny (don’t know if I spelled that right) but that played out about the way we all act down here. I actually pictured the woman as a fat white trash gal, personally. Opal is more of a back-country white name than a black name. Just FYI. I think the deputy was trying to do his best to calm the situation. I dont’ see how this is belittling an assault on a man. I imagine as soon as the fat cow calmed down after the locust was out of her dress, then she was arrested and her fat-ass carted off to jail for assault. Seems to me the sheriff was trying to diffuse the situation without having to call in 14 cops to possibly injure that old gal who wouldn’t give up. I’m sure she was booked and her ample mug shot taken. I’ll ask my hubby, who is a former cop, what he thinks about it, too. I’m sure he’ll have some opinions.

  8. Army of Dad says:

    My take is also that the subjects in the story were white trash. I think the story was funny and as a former cop that is how “we” would have told the story. I would have called for backup right away, it was an obvious domestic violence call. Both parties frequently attack the police officer who attempts to intervene in domestics.

    It seems to me this was a country sheriff who likely doesn’t have to fear a lawsuit for dropping scorpions down the clothing of suspects.

    The overall situation appears to be a difficult one, but the deputies had to do something to stop the assault.

  9. Uzz says:

    Man…I was way off…I thought he should just shoot her. I guess I need to think this over.

  10. Tee says:

    Interesting comments. DOF had excellent points – particularly that if it had been a man doing this to a woman’s genitalia we would be outraged, but because it was a woman doing it to a man, we get a chuckle.

    I retract the “good for Opal” comment. While I can understand the rage that takes over when one is cheated on, one still needs to control themselves and be responsible for their own actions.

    I still think the personal attacks and weight insults were completely unnecessary. The writer has a talent and yet seems very ignorant and hateful.

  11. Les says:

    I read the comments above and had a great deal of difficulty with comments about undercurrents etc. I think he just presented you with a part of his day and with the people he has to work with. He showed them as they are, not as you wish. The Monday Morning Quarterbacks always have a better answer for how to resolve things “professionally”. The resolution worked, without anyone getting hurt. I thought their sympathy was mostly for her, but she probably went to jail anyway for assault. He did call for backup and is probably not used to getting one for a hour or so. As for humor, that is how people who deal with life and death situations and sometimes very sad human situations, live with it without going crazy. He showed you some of real life, and some of you spit on it and threw it back. How many of you do know how ropers are on caliche?

  12. george.w says:

    The resolution worked, without anyone getting hurt.

    Except the victim. Given the fragile nerves and blood vessels of the affected area considerable permanent damage was probably being done with each second of continued attack.

  13. Jenna says:

    Amazing how you assumed that Opal was black. Maybe you need to be checking yourself for racisim first.

  14. Dregan says:

    And exactly what would you have done?

    As a law enforcement training expert (firearms and tactics, but the concept is the same) the deputy did the correct thing – escelation of force until the subject complies. If you take the time to read the rest of his blog, you will realize that he was one of perhaps three (probably only 2)officers on duty to serve an entire county. This is not uncommon for rural parts of the country. He acted in the only manner available to him. Unfortunately, the subject was physically more determined than he was able to overcome. Lethal force was not an option in this instance, because neither Opal’s signifigant other’s life nor the deputy’s was in jepordy, let alone the remifications of having to shoot Opal. The deputy may not have had a chemical deterrant and if he did, he would have certainly hit not only the subject, but the victem as well.

    The Sheriff’s approach, while certainly not textbook, was an effective way of ending the assualt. I would not teach it, because it is unorthodox, but it in this instance it worked better than the force-meets-force.

    So, bottom line, if this was “the wrong” way to handle it, what it “the right way?”

  15. Les says:

    Except the victim.

    Anyone who is involved in handling a stressful situation can think of a dozen different ways to handle the situation, which might have worked (or not), within 5 minutes to 3 days after the event itself is over. The deputy had many things to think about, including what the other family members were doing or were going to do. The problem with a monday morning quarterback is he/she is not there, and a short story cannot tell all the parameters involved. I’ll bet the deputy’s report was much longer. As far as techniques to bring the situation to an immediate end without hurting the assailant, they all depend on the person one is trying to stop. Some people are just not stopped, even by shooting (for a while).
    By the way, there are plenty of lawyers and critics in Texas. The essence is, he told a story of what happened to him. Some of you filtered the story throught your politics and critiqued him and his sheriff with very little knowledge and background to make judgements with, instead of just reading and experiencing through his words a little of his workday. What, precisely, is a “good old boy”, how, precisely, did he “degrade women and victimize men”. What makes a person who has never met a person decide they are “stereotypes” and decide they are not good because of it? He came upon a situation out of the blue, handled it, and told you about it.
    Hope my accent doesn’t offend you.
    Best wishes,

  16. george.w says:

    As to strategy, I’d have to defer to my ex-MP/cop friend who said he’d have used his chemical deterrent (that’s what he called it, too) in spite of hitting the victim, because mace (he said) doesn’t usually cause permanent injury. Then he went on to describe/demonstrate a long array of (relatively) noninjurious techniques.

    I’d imagine time was moving at different speeds for the victim and the deputy.

    But the law-enforcement handling bothered me a lot less than the prevalent double-standard on gender (and this is the discrimination which I agreed was happening). If a woman cheats on a man, does he have the right to do something like that to her? What would happen on the scene when the law arrives? What would happen in court?

    Hope my ‘politics’ don’t offend you – your ‘accent’ does not offend me.

  17. Les says:

    The defense or prosecution (whichever I am) rests.

  18. Windaria says:

    Well, let’s see here… upon arriving, based on the fact that he saw what was happening, he takes it seriously and does what he knows to try to stop her. If his actions fell within his training and are part of department protocol, which I would assume to be the case considering the LT didn’t seem to take issue with them other than there being a better way, then it’s fine by me.

    The method of using a rather innocent bug while making her think that it was something else seems to be a brilliant maneuver that quelled the situation right fine.

    I don’t really see where there is an issue with any of this, and anything that happened between her and the guy she was wringing happened before the story and is not for me to speculate on, it really is irrelevent to the officers’ actions anyway, what they arrived to was, however that situation had developed, it HAD TO STOP NOW.

    As for someone taking offense to it, well that’s your thing, though I don’t see why. As for someone saying that it mocked blacks… I would personally say that Maria is a racist, for it is often racists (even if they are white, people who take issue with whites or who are overly sensative to non-whites) that seem to interject race where there is none. Unfortunately those kinds of racists are on the rise nowadays, when the other kind are on the decline. How sad.

  19. Matt says:

    I’ve been reading Lawdog’s writing for quite some time now. I have no connection with the man, never talked, wrote or communicated with him at all. That being said, I have some questions for his critics.

    How did the story mock blacks or any other race? What blacks? I can guess Lawdog’s race from his other stories, but since the race of any of the participants is unknown, how can this story possibly be racist? If you read the description of Opal and immediately thought she was black, mabye you need to go out and get more exposure to both black people and people in general. Folks like Opal (and her whole family if you read his other stories) come from ALL races.

    Don’t jump to conclusions about her accent either. It’s not a black accent she’s got; it’s a SOUTHERN accent. It’s the South. Everyone talks like that down there. It’s Texas, remember?

    To the lady who thought the story ‘patronized women and victimized men’. I don’t know where this idea comes from, but Lawdog ordering Opal to release Desmond’s anatomy is not patronizing. Attempting to release Desmond from Opal’s massive grip is not patronizing. As for ‘victimizing men’, well, any man will agree; if someone, anyone male or female, is yanking on his anatomy like that, believe me, he is already a victim!!

    You’re uncomfortable with violence? What about the violence done to Desmond’s wedding tackle? What gives her the right to do that? Nobody knows what Desmond did to incur Opal’s wrath. Some have assumed infidelity, but given the nature of Opal’s previous multiple associations with the law, it could have been anything. Why do some of the women here assume infidelity? Isn’t that a bit unfair to Desmond? Why even assume Desmond is in the wrong? He very well might be, but we don’t know, and Opal’s not exactly an angel, as her actions demonstrate. Ladies, Opal doesn’t get the high ground just ‘cause she’s a woman. That’s what we call gender discrimination.

    And how on earth was Lawdog supposed to get Opal to stop? Lawdog’s other stories show that Opal and her family aren’t overly concerned with laws, or following them. She obviously didn’t heed the deputy’s order to release her victim. Lawdog already tried asking nicely. What would you have him do? Call for backup?

    I live in Chicago. Big city. Sometimes cops can’t get backup here, and this place is crawling with police. Lawdog is one of less than six county sheriff’s deputies. Just how close do you think backup might be?

    Opal is a large individual, described as easily twice Lawdog’s size. Anyone who requires extra-large handcuffs is at least 300 lbs or more. Have any of you ever tried to physically restrain someone who’s even 50 lbs heavier than you? I have, and it’s damn tough (I used to swim 8,000 yards a day, so I’m not exactly feeble myself). It’s hard, and someone of Opal’s size adds a whole new degree of difficulty to the situation.

    Lawdog’s descriptions of Opal and her behavior help vividly illustrate the events of the story. It’s not insulting. Someone who’s as wide as they are tall is invariably going to draw spherical analogies. Add that to Opal’s actions, and maybe the problem isn’t with the observer, it’s with Opal.

    Personally, I think Lawdog did his best when thrown into a crazy scenario. It’s a strange situation for anybody to find himself or herself observing. As a peace officer, he’s not just observing; he’s charged with resolving the problem. The Sheriff’s solution, while highly unorthodox, was simple and effective.

    We should be applauding the officers for getting up every day and dealing with situations like this so the rest of us don’t have to. Instead, I see people here making all kinds of unfounded and blatantly unfair assumptions about the writer, based solely on their own racial and gender prejudices.

    It’s an audacious thing to unjustly malign those who serve based on irrational conjecture, all the while sitting comfortably under the blanket of the protection they provide. It’s a brazen, thoughtless way to treat a man who protects the public, day after thankless day.

    I challenge anyone who has a problem with Lawdog and the sheriff to do better in that situation.

    For my part, I found the story to be hilarious.

  20. george.w says:

    Matt – I figured ‘cheating’ because of the nature of the assault, but you are right, it could be anything or practically nothing.

    Let’s skip the charges of racism, OK everyone? I’ve lived in the North, South, and West and people use different expressions. It’s easy to get the wrong idea about someone, and calling ‘racist’ just adds more heat than light.

    People in every industry – aviation, construction, education, farming, law-enforcement, military, whatever – react badly to negative comments about their work from outsiders.

    By the way it occurs to me that ‘Opal’ may not be her real name. All comments about the incident aside, I bet if LawDog published his stories, they’d sell really well. Other bloggers who can’t write as well as he can have gotten book deals.

  21. Harrison says:

    Geeze. Obviously none of you have ever seen/heard of “Larry the Cable Guy” or any other redneck/pseudo redneck comic.

  22. Sparky says:

    I’ll chime in a pseudo-Texan “y’all think waaaay too much, folks”. The Opal tale was a typical LawDog story: a “no **** I was there” narrative observing some of the weirder things that a peace officer comes across. I didn’t see any character in the story as a stereotype, but portrayed as characters in and of themselves. Opal’s manner didn’t come across as “crazy black/white trash” but as a hilarious-in-retrospect mixture of politeness towards authority and psychotic rage at her significant other’s alleged misdeeds.

    I suggest critical readers check the LawDog archives for his previous tale about Big Mamma’s funeral. If I’d been the LawDog, I wouldn’t have gone into any physical conflict with Big Mamma’s offspring without the back-up of a Marine landing battalion.

  23. Maria says:

    First, I appreciate a good discussion and many valid points were brought up since I last commented. I want to thank the writer from Army of Mom for clearing up my assumption that the Opal was probably black. I have not lived in the south and all though I am an avid reader of some southern authors, that is not the same as being a part of the place.

    Second, Jenna, I am a 70 years old Caucasian woman and this is the first time I have been called a racist. I was guilty of making an assumption as I tried to understand the story. Perhaps you and I are both guilty of conjecture.

    Third, if LawDog’s stories were published, I probably would not read them. However, I applaud his right to be heard and his right to be published and read.

    And thank you Mrs. Dof and Dof for providing a forum for a lively discussion. You two are the greatest.

  24. Cindi says:

    And just for the record, I’m really sick of folks calling ‘hate’ on stuff they just don’t like. Hate is an emotion and you aren’t in the person’s head to know exactly what they’re feeling. Just because you don’t approve doesn’t mean it’s ‘hate’ at work.

  25. MrsDoF says:

    This has been quite an education, for the open-ness of the Internet and how different opinions are expected to be able to get along.
    I am dazed by the diversity.
    Thank You for your input.
    I am going to close Comments at this time.