“When the police came, I was relieved,” Fishman said — but that feeling quickly changed.
“They didn’t listen to a thing she said,” Rothman said of the two officers and two detectives who responded. “It’s though they were a private company working for Rite Aid.”
Appeals to prove her innocence were ignored, and Fishman started crying, according to the lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
For what it’s worth, I fully support this woman’s lawsuit. This quote, however, is a perfect snapshot of the way white privilege plays out when we’re the ones accused of wrongdoing. We immediately think, Oh, thank heavens the police are here! They’ll clear this right up.
In a society that is marked by deep economic inequality, it is hardly surprising that those women most affected by the assaults on both abortion and contraception are disproportionately poor women of color — that is, those who have the least political, as well as economic power, and who are most vulnerable to cuts in public services. The unfortunate reality is that…most in this society — including other women who also use reproductive health services — worry little about these marginalized women. Nonpoor women have long been able to assume that contraception and abortion will always be available, as long as one has the means to purchase them.
Throughout the night it became clear that they wanted my fellow protestors to think that I did something criminally wrong. That I had done something different from them. That I was not just a peaceful protestor exercising my rights on that bridge. That I deserved to be handcuffed to a railing in the side of the precinct with violent criminals. Everyone seemed to wonder why I had been separated. When other officers chatted amongst themselves about why I was separated, one officer suspected aloud that I was a “ringleader”. The woman officer stood a few times outside the glass wall with the door open as male officers asked about me. It appeared that she told them that I was transgender as they gawked, giggled and stared at me.
This is quite a bit different from the reeking-of-privilege “The cops were on our side" reportage, isn’t it.