As police brutality in the U.S. persists, it has been a continuing trend that men and women of color are the main targets for police violence but in the city of Carlsbad, California a middle-aged Caucasian mother of two was filmed being tackled and beaten by local police.
Cindy Hahn was reportedly pulled over by an officer for a seatbelt violation in July of 2013. A video has since surfaced that shows Hahn being pinned to the ground and hit in the face by the officer that stopped her and back-up officers he called.
Hahn, whose father is a retired cop, reportedly told CBSLA that the situation started when she was driving and noticed an officer standing next to a car with its alarm going off. When she asked the officer what was going on, he was curt with his response and told her to “Mind your own f---ing business.”
She said the officer continued to swear at her and she reported the incident to the police department before leaving the scene. She claims that shortly after, the same officer pulled her over for a seatbelt violation which escalated to the violent struggle caught on video.
Her two children, age seven and 11 at the time, were forced to watch their mother endure the attack and onlookers who tried to intervene were pushed away by the officers, as seen in the video.
Upon release of this footage, the charges against Hahn for resisting arrest and battery on a police officer were dropped.
Hahn claims she has suffered permanent memory loss and brain trauma as a result of the altercation. She has filed a lawsuit against the city of Carlsbad and the officers involved who allegedly lied about the incident under oath during Hahn’s criminal proceedings.
This incident is a terrifying reminder that no one is exempt from the mistreatment of overzealous law enforcement on a power trip. Although we have so much of this behavior among minority communities which prompts racial tensions to rise – this incident offers another angle to the single story.
It’s not just marginalized groups who are targeted but all those in vulnerable positions. This unarmed, mother of two in a sun-dress was repeatedly punched in the face while being restrained because of a seatbelt violation?
She was attacked because the officer she crossed paths with earlier that day needed a seemingly weak and powerless person to justifiably take his frustration out on.
His rude response to Hahn during their first encounter is a clear indication that he was already riled up and ready for confrontation.
Perhaps more often than not, it’s the vulnerability of a person that crooked cops seek out. Following that logic, maybe the reason these incidents are reflected more in minority communities is because they are the ones that are typically more vulnerable.
Three recent accounts of police brutality involved a Latino family that an officer threatened to have deported, an elderly Indian grandfather who was beaten up by an officer and a Black teen from Stockton, California that was tackled and beaten by multiple officers for jaywalking.
One thing Hahn has in common with all of these minority victims is that they were all in helpless, defenseless positions when they were confronted by police.