After watching the nearly10-minute video of the incident on Aug. 30 involving Councilwoman Anastasia Robertson, D-District 2, I have to say Police Benevolent Association President Tom Hoffman was given bad information, greatly exaggerated the story or outright lied to the Council.
At Thursday’s Council meeting, he called out Robertson for trying to bait police into a physical confrontation while officers were investigating a disturbance in North Central.
As Hoffman tells it, two cops heard a disturbance near Fifth Avenue and 101st Street at around 5 p.m. – people yelling and what not. When they arrived they found two women in a fight or just ending one. One woman took off, she was white. The other stayed around, she was black.
A crowd gathered and the officers called for backup. There were six police cars at the scene. Among the crowd that gathered was Robertson and she did indeed have a cell phone and was taking video.
That’s pretty much the end what Hoffman said that is backed up by the video Robertson provided Channel 6 news. You would think, after being told there were people videotaping, he would have fact checked his story before he told it … or maybe even looked at some of the video.
Hoffman said the officers were spit on and were being prodded into getting physical with the residents – many of whom were black – while attempting to capture it all on video. A member of the crowd was Robertson, he said, and pointed her out as one of the antagonists.
“Councilwoman Robertson assisted and incited and encouraged public unrest and anti-police sentiment, all while not knowing all the facts of the case,” Hoffman told the Council in dramatic fashion. “Councilwoman Robertson was unethical, unprofessional and acted in a manner detrimental to her position on the city council and to the residents of this city. You can’t talk about public safety and aid in public unrest.”
Spend 10 minutes and watch the video by clicking here. As near as I can tell, there was some tension and the situation could have gotten out of hand but neither side crossed the line as the black women told officers she and her domestic partner had had a fight. There was one cop kind of being a jerk and one in the crowd too … there are jerks all over the place and they are the ones who usually cause all the problems.
Anyway, on the video you hear what sounds like Robertson’s voice telling people to “calm down” and “don’t make it worse.”
Robertson, who left the chamber as Hoffman was giving his speech, didn’t want to comment but said she will at a later time. She did tell the reporter nothing of consequence happened off camera and what she provided was what transpired. She didn't say why she was videotaping.
It was a rough week for Robertson. Before Hoffman spoke on Thursday, she addressed the crowd regarding comments she made on Facebook about the race riot happening in Ferguson, Missouri. On one of the posts she spelled America, “AmeriKKKa” and said there is an orchestrated effort by whites to exterminate blacks.
There is racism and there will be racism as long as there are bigoted, narrow-minded people – back and white. Racism goes both ways. I’m guessing, though, the vast majority of people are not racist. Like anything, it’s the fringe thinkers on both sides who cause all the trouble.