We did our latest podcast episode on licensing laws and the story of Juanita Mendez-Medrano, who was taken down hard by the Perris Police Department for selling flowers outside a high school graduation without a permit. We had a lot to say on the situation, check it out here. So today I decided to Google Ms. Mendez-Medrano’s name today to see if there is any update on the case.
It turns out there has been some protests in the community with people holding signs, many of them criticizing the “racist police”. That tactic may work to get some headlines or pull on the emotions of people with Mexican roots, but I think it distracts from the real problem. I have no way of knowing whether the officer who took down Ms. Mendez-Medrano is a racist or not, and I don’t see why it would even matter in this case. If the officer was of Mexican descent or the woman was European, would that change the situation?
It doesn’t seem right to treat anyone like that, regardless of where she was born. This was all over selling flowers without paying off the local government first. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department (they oversee Perris PD) responded exactly how every police department responds to every incident, “Unfortunately, the video did not capture the other vendors cooperating with the citation process, nor did it capture our officer’s repeated efforts to convince Ms. Mendez-Medrano to do the same.” They took no responsibility and blamed the victim.
I can’t figure out what cooperating vendors has to do with the way they treated Ms. Mendez-Medrano, nor do I see why it’s okay to slam someone to the ground as long as you tried convince them to give up their money first. Let’s keep the story the same but change the characters a little bit: A bully in the cafeteria goes up to the first kid and says “Give me your lunch money!” and the kid complies out of fear. The bully goes to the second kid, same thing, kid 2 gives up his money. When the bully goes to the third kid, the kid resists. He says he has no money when he actually does, and he turns to run. The bully chases him down, tackles him, ties him up then takes the money anyway. No one in their right mind would say, “Well the previous kids complied and he did try to convince him to hand over the money before he attacked.” They’d call the bully a punk and no one would defend him. He went after 3 innocent people who were doing nothing to harm anyone. The difference is that in real life the bully took down a 52 year old woman.
To the officer who abused Juanita Mendez-Medrano and the rest of the Perris PD, next time you’re called to a domestic abuse disturbance, make sure you ask the husband/boyfriend if the woman first violated the rules of the house. Make sure you find out if he tried to convince her to do what she was told before he hit her. By your example it’s okay for a grown man to abuse a woman if those conditions are met, right?
Finding and getting rid of racist cops is not possible and wouldn’t solve anything anyway. We’d still be stuck with these laws and people who “don’t write the laws, just enforce them.” In other words, we’d still have people who think it’s okay to abuse women as long as some politician said it’s okay. Without market forces keeping our security in check we all need to think for ourselves, especially those with a badge. Don’t be an order-taker. Don’t just do what you’re told. Do what you know is right.