What the actual heck?

Yesterday was kind of a weird Sunday in my city.

I guess I should give some more detail. As you may be aware a week was election day where I live. A few days before the election (during advance voting) some news came to light about an incumbent city councilor. Prior to his political career, he was a police officer. A police officer who used his influence to get a 16-year-old into his home instead of giving her a ride home and in that home assaulted that child. 

There are some other details that I am not all the way sure of. There have been conflicting reports over where she was and if he had known her previously. Those are not the points I am going to dwell on though. In my mind, those don't actually matter. All that matters to me is that this girl was assaulted by someone in a position of authority. Someone much older than her, who she knew had access to a weapon. And that she had been trying ever since to have this taken seriously. Instead, our police force put a letter of discipline in his file and that is about it. Imagine you are that child. The devastation this would have on all parts of your life. Imagine that people we are told to trust and run to when we need help let something like this just happen. 

Imagine something else. Years later that person, the one who assaulted you when you were 16 runs for city council, and wins. They serve a couple of terms and are running for a third when the news breaks with what he did to you. He still wins by 52 votes because some people voted before this became public knowledge. The pressure mounts for him to step down. He has run on a platform of integrity and relied on his past as a police officer to gain this position. He calls a press conference and refuses to step down. You've been victimized again.

Now here is the weird part. A group came together to protest this councilor. And then another group came together in the same area and at the same time to show their support for the councilor, and to question the assault. Not only the assault but the motivation for releasing the story. The victim did not release the story, a local media outlet did. I believe in peaceful protest. People should have their say. But this is ridiculous. Do better. This human is out there reliving her trauma and this is not helping. Reclaim humanity, put away the politics, and remember that we are all in this together. 

I really don't know where this is going to go. It is far past the statute of limitations for this crime. All I can hope is that our police force uses this nightmare to form a better way of dealing with this situation and ones like it. As for the victim, I hear you and I believe you.


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