Today’s internet sensation is the North Carolina pregnant woman who decided, after having her purse snatched by some local miscreant, to chase him briefly on foot before going back to her car and running him over. If you missed it, watch the news story by clicking below.
There are issues here. Not the least of which is the Schadenfreude delight of watching Instant Carma (spelling intentional) at the hands of a hormonal angry woman. Who DOESN’T want to do the same some times??
In this world of increasing crime, revolving door justice and lack of civility, we on the more Conservative side are fed up. Fed up to the point where we’re not going to take it anymore. And so we jump behind the wheel and drive right over the person that chose to victimize us. And the internet cheers.
But the internet isn’t going to be the one putting you in handcuffs, or perp walking you into your arraignment, or ruining your ability to get affordable car insurance, which affects your credit rating. Oh .. and that pesky criminal record and all of the costs that go along with the process of fighting your way out of incarceration.
For all of the giddiness generated over this incident and the Hell Yeah’s that it received, the reality for Christine Marie Braswell is that she is very, VERY lucky that Robert Edward Raines wasn’t hurt more than he was or even possibly killed. Obviously, he is lucky also … and the community possibly poorer by his continued existence since it is unlikely that he will learn a thing from this event, in fact he will probably profit from it … turn him into a Blue Ridge Mountain Millionaire (about $100K is about right) and a person who could care less about his future rap sheet while the feckless Christine will be forever plagued by hers.
She was a victim. No question. At first. But at the point she stormed into her Jeep and made a beeline for Raines, she became the perpetrator. This is inarguable. At least to anybody who puts aside the emotion of the situation and looks at the blind justice aspects of it. There are no provisions in the law that permit a separation from danger, and then a turning back around after that separation to flatten your attacker absent a credible continued threat. Not in our civil society. And for those who believe that this should be an acceptable ideal, I say that you have not thought it through to its dispassionate and logical conclusion. You haven’t taken emotion out of if, which is what a jury will be directed to do.
Win, lose or draw in court (spoiler alert – it isn’t going to go to court) there is no win in this for Christine other than the satisfaction of having exacted vengeance on a guy who really had it coming. But having it coming and making it legal are light years apart, and when I read the comments of normally rational people on the internet – some of them solid lawmen – that suggest that what Christine did was OK, I am very very concerned.
If I saw something similar to this (that is, applying the same principles that people are using to justify her behavior) in a scenario, it would be a failure. To suggest that it wouldn’t be a failure is probably one of the key drivers in the rift between law enforcement and the community they serve. Justice, not vengeance. That is the rule of law.
Think about it. Take the emotion out of it. Show me the measured use of force used in this instance and the law that supports her actions? We can dish all day long about the gut level satisfaction about the totality of the circumstances, but that does not change at all the legality of what occurred.
So enjoy the moment Internet-verse … you have that luxury. But your belly laugh is now at the expense of a woman who got caught in a maelstrom of rage and hormones, and that passion drove her to the commission of a criminal act. There are no special jail cells for crimes of passion … and if nothing else, she was passionate. But if this is supposed to be the new standard for dealing with assholes in our country, buckle up … because the cauldron has bubbled over and society is lost. But we have pretty much known that for a while now.
As for the RBTA, we will continue to ensure that any training evolution we observe, or comment on in light of a video such as this one, ends with a Seven Survivals win as best as possible, and a Six O’Clock News Ready outcome. While Christine’s “act of righteousness” certainly made the Six O’Clock News, it is certainly not going to meet the Seven Survivals standard. It is absolutely not a “win”. Not by any reasonable standard. And rather than Six O’Clock News Ready, it is now Plaintiff’s Exhibit A.
Nothing further, your Honor.