Things That Matter

Woman Who Falsely Identified Herself As A Police Officer Tried To Intimidate Latinas Playing At Park

With one viral video, Public Park Penelope has been born, mi gente. 

A viral video posted to Twitter earlier this week shows a white woman berating and harassing a group of young Latinas who were playing in a public park in Texas. In the video the woman can be seen verbally harassing and cursing at a group of young girls who had simply been enjoying themselves at a public park earlier this week.

During her tirade, the woman falsely identified herself as a Fort Worth police officer, which has since launched a police investigation and conversations about the use of police as a threat against people of color.

The woman was filmed forcing the group of girls out of the park during a one-minute recorded video.

In the video, the woman can be seen confronting a group of girls who were playing on a large swing in the park and yelling at them to leave.

 “Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop It’s a children’s park. Stop now,” the unidentified woman yells before grabbing hold of the swing set the girls were on. The girl who had been on the swing calmly replied that they “are children,” and another off-screen replied “hell no,” to the woman’s aggressive behavior. 

Soon enough, the woman launched into a stream of expletives. “No you’re not,” the woman yelled. “Okay well I’m a f******* PD, so get the F**** out of here now if you’re not here to play as a child.”

After the girl who had been on the swing replied that she was fifteen-years-old, the unidentified woman launched into another rant. “You’re not a f–king child. Thirteen or younger,” the woman yells in the video. “You provoked yourself as a child, and you’re not. I can literally arrest you as a f–king adult. Which is your choice? Are you a child or a goddamn adult? Go. Get out of here.”

According to Remezcla, an article published by the local newspaper Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Dream Park is “an inclusive park that accommodates children of all ages.”

On Wednesday, the Forth Worth Police tweeted that the woman in the video is not a police officer in their department which contradicted her claims.

“We have received numerous mentions & messages regarding a woman in a park claiming to be “PD” & using vulgar & inappropriate language toward youth & children. She does NOT appear to be a #FortWorth police officer,” the department said.

On Thursday, the Forth Worth Police released another statement that they had confirmed that the woman is not an officer in their department and that she is instead a local resident.

According to the Forth Worth Police, the incident has sparked an investigation in their department for “several potential criminal charges, including impersonating a public servant and disorderly conduct.”

In either case, what is truly disturbing about this video is the way in which a grown adult manically and verbally attacked a group of young girls for simply having fun in public space where such type of play is encouraged. 

Public Park Penelope might not have called the police but her actions are extremely similar to the trend of videos that went viral last year of white people using the police to scare off people of color. 

While the unidentified woman at the park did not call the police, she did use the enforcement and threat of the police to achieve a goal of getting the girls away from the park. Her actions are not unlike the many episodes and events similar to these that people encounter while being Black or Brown in the United States. 

Throughout the spring and summer of 2018, POC captured national attention when they began holding white people accountable for using the very real threat of police against them in situations that were blown out of proportion. The videos put a blast on the racial targeting of POC by white people who had called the police in moments they claimed to have felt “scared” “uncomfortable” or “threatened” by the presence of Black or brown people. From the trend, Permit Patty, ID Adam, BBQ Betty And Pool Patrol Paula were born. The incidents highlighted the various mundane things that can spark a police confrontation when Black people are out and about in their community.  While the occurrence of such videos have slowed down, it appears the use of police as a threat against POC remains alive and well.

Caught on Camera: An Oregon High School Coach Stopped A Student With A Shotgun With A Hug

Things That Matter

Caught on Camera: An Oregon High School Coach Stopped A Student With A Shotgun With A Hug

CBS Evening News / YouTube

School staff and students all across the nation undergo preparedness training for mass shootings. These are school shooting drills (just the same as fire drills and earthquake drills) that are now part of the new normals due to the increase in school shootings. However, an exercise can only prepare you so much. There’s no way to truly prepare yourself for a real-life shooting until you’re confronted with one. That’s what happened at an Oregon high school that, fortunately, was spared a mass shooting.

A football coach, who also works as security for a high school in Oregon, came face-to-face with a student holding a shotgun. New footage shows that the coach prevented a shooting by dealing with the student with kindness instead of violence.

Credit: @_SJPeace_ / Twitter

Back in May, 19-year-old Angel Granados-Diaz took a shotgun to Parkrose High School in Portland, Oregon. He allegedly told police that he didn’t take the gun to shoot his classmates but instead to kill himself. 

Keanon Lowe, head football and track coach, was in the class with Granados-Diaz. Newly released footage shows that Lowe didn’t tackle the student in order to disarm him, as early reports indicated. He instead embraced him, took him out of the class, while another man gently took the shotgun away from Granados-Diaz. 

The video footage shows the coach calmy hugging the teen and deescalating the situation by showing him respect and kindness.

Credit: timkmak / Twitter

“In that time, I felt compassion for him,” Lowe said in an interview with Fox 6. “A lot of times, especially when you’re young, you don’t realize what you’re doing until it’s over.”

Granados-Diaz is currently on probation but is getting mental health and substance abuse treatment. 

Lowe recalled the situation to KATU2 News and said the confrontation with Granados-Diaz happened pretty quickly, and he had to assess the situation as best as he could. 

“Pretty crazy situation,” Lowe told KATU2. “In a fraction of a second, I analyzed everything really fast, saw the look in his face, looked at his eyes, looked at the gun, I realized it was a real gun and then my instincts just took over. Then it was just me and that student,” he added. “It was a real emotional time. It was emotional for him, it was emotional for me.” 

Lowe said that Granados-Diaz surrendered to him, which is when another man was able to take the shotgun away. 

“I let him know that I was there for him. I told him I was there to save him. I was there for a reason, and this is a life worth living,” Lowe said.

Interestingly enough, the school didn’t want to release the footage of the coach embracing the student during the dramatic confrontation.  

Credit: @DanTilkinKOIN6 / Twitter

As we previously noted, reports back in May said that Lowe tackled the student in order to disarm him. The school security footage shows something completely different. 

We assume the school didn’t want to show the difference in tactics, perhaps to show that confronting an armed student in such a manner could be dangerous. However, the school said they didn’t want the footage released to protect the privacy of the students. 

“We learned last night that the security video footage of the May 17th incident at Parkrose High School was released by the district attorney’s office to KOIN news,” Parkrose Superintendent Michael Lopes-Serrao wrote on Twitter. “It is important to know that Parkrose School District denied this request from KOIN for the public record this past week. We denied this request because we believe the release of the video is a violation of student rights through the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In addition, the release of the video has a significant impact on the students, staff, and families of Parkrose High School. This was a traumatic event for our students, staff, and community.”

Several news outlets were able to obtain and show the footage because videos confiscated by police become public records. The footage also gives people the awareness that there are positive ways to prevent school shootings without anyone getting hurt. What’s the alternative? We saw how a police officer that was at the Parkland High School in Florida ran away from the school shooter instead of trying to stop it. His cowardness costed the lives of 17 students and school workers. Lowe is a perfect example that prevention with compassion is possible. 

Check out the incredible footage below.

READ: From School Shootings To Change: Here’s What’s Happened Since The Tragic Shooting In Parkland, Florida

Dad Shaves Baby’s Head While Mom Was Sleeping And We Think A Latina Abuelita Had Something To Do With It

Culture

Dad Shaves Baby’s Head While Mom Was Sleeping And We Think A Latina Abuelita Had Something To Do With It

@jasmin_valero / Twitter

Dads, you have to love them, especially when they’re left to rule the house when mom’s away. While they generally try their hardest, some dads can be big kids and the house will essentially remain unsupervised by a responsible adult. This mom learned that the hard way after she handed over the torch of responsibility to dad while she took a little nap. She woke up to find that dad had shaved off the baby’s hair and her reaction is priceless.

This video proves that sometimes you just can’t trust a Latino dad alone with the children.

New mom Jasmin Aileen Valero, wanted to catch up on some sleep after the exhausting task of taking care of her newborn baby. Dad, Joshua Luevanoz, was entrusted with watching over baby Jazlyn, while mom took a little nap. To Jasmin’s surprise, she woke up to find out that dad had shaved Jazlin’s entire head of hair, leaving their newborn looking like a little diaper-wearing kiwi.

Mom clearly didn’t expect to wake up to such a surprise. Suffice it to say, she wasn’t happy.

Credit: @jasmin_valero / Twitter

The Californian family shared the video of Jasmin being given the shock of a lifetime and the internet loved it, except for a few viewers going as far as to call it ‘child abuse.’

Jasmin had only just woke up when Joshua handed her the baby and began filming. Next thing you know, he’s pulling a little blanket off Jazlyn’s head to reveal their newly bald baby. Jasmin’s reaction is one of true surprise or horror if you will. “Why’d you do that?” she asks holding back shocked laughter and tears. Many news outlets have reported that dad shaved the baby’s head as a prank. But if you grew up Latino, you know that in a Latino household, shaving a baby’s head is no prank, it’s serious business and there’s bound to be a group of elders putting pressure on the new parents to rid the child of his or her hair, for the sake of tradition. 

 Behind every bald baby, there’s an Abuelita or tía telling new parents everything about the millenary tradition of shaving the baby’s head.

Credit: @planetamama / Twitter

“Is shaving the newborn baby’s hair necessary for his hair to grow stronger?” 

The Latino tradition of shaving the baby’s hair is true and old. Many call it: pelar, rapar, rasurar or afeitar al bebé. It’s a tradition widely spread throughout many Hispanic countries. I can confirm that it’s a common practice in Venezuela, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Spain, Ecuador, and Mexico. Why do crazy moms, abuelas —and unsuspecting dads as it turns out shave the baby’s hair? According to tradition, the new hair will grow thicker, more evenly, and beautiful. 

Experts explain that shaving a baby’s hair will not make it thicker or change its texture. Baby hair changes depend on the normal development of the child, and his or her genetic make-up. Where this tradition started, I wouldn’t know, trying to find out would be like trying to trace back the origin of ‘el cucuy, ‘nobody knows, it’s just been a tradition for centuries and centuries. There’s no information explaining where we picked up this idea from. But it is, unfortunately for this mom, still a very common practice. 

Latinos aren’t the only peoples who shave off little innocent babies’ heads. Muslims do it too, perhaps this is where the tradition started?

Credit: @hztweets / Twitter

Surprisingly, Latinos aren’t the only people who believe in this magic capillary legend. Shaving the baby’s head on his seventh day on earth is a common practice amongst Sunnah Islamic followers. They believe that only boys should have their heads shaved as “a means to drive them closer to Allaah.” If we keep in mind that many Latino traditions originate from Spain, which was occupied by Muslims for centuries, maybe that has something to do with how all the shaving started.

READ: These Two ‘Traditions’ Seem To Only Be Normal To Latinos