Back in January I wrote about a disturbing incident involving the treatment of a black woman which occurred in Bala Cynwyd in the WaWa parking lot which was videoed and witnessed with horror by onlookers.
This was widely covered in the media, as well it should have been. So here we are in March. Now they are talking punishment for the police officer. Lower Merion’s website allows you to download their meetings. So I downloaded March 8th, 2023 Lower Merion Meeting and watched it. At the 1:09:27 mark starts the police discussion. That is at the top of this post for all of you. I am going to jump into some of the commentary.
Lower Merion Police Superintendent Mike McGrath who has been under fire with his own force (vote of no confidence in 2022) , suggested an EIGHT HOUR SUSPENSION. Yes EIGHT as in 8. That was so shocking. What a slap in the face for anyone not a white face in Lower Merion and concerning for anyone in my humble opinion, women especially, travelling through Lower Merion in their cars. That woman was also a victim no matter what else happened. What happened to de-escalation tactics?
So then the public weighted in, demanding change. Interesting to listen to was former Commissioner Brian Gordon who is a very kind, fair, and thoughtful human being. He spoke about things proposed in 2015 that never really happened. Among other things. Some commissioner unfamiliar to me named McComb was actually kind of rude to him.
The other commissioner comment that smacked of hail fellow well met and worse, was Scott Zelov. He has been on that board a long time , maybe too long at this point, sadly. Prior to the board of commissioners he ran unsuccessfully for Lower Merion Township School Board at least once. His comments make one believe 100% in term limits. And he should be ashamed of himself. He thought an 8 hour suspension was jolly good. And talked about the charges against this woman. Does what they did justify the things they charged her with or does what they charged her with justify what they did?
I watched that video taken while that woman was being put through it by Lower Merion cops. It was terrifying. The woman was terrified.
I am not being a drama queen writing that this made me want to scream in outrage, cry, and be terrified. What is going on with Lower Merion Police Department?
I never talked about Lower Merion and their police really before this. I have law enforcement in my family so I am extraordinarily aware of how difficult a career path it is and I have respect for the badge. But what happens when you feel that some of those who wear the badge don’t have respect for you and others? Do your feelings matter, no matter who you are? Also note from jump I am not saying police shouldn’t do their jobs. But was this thing that happened really good policing and good police?
Regardless of what that woman may or may not have done – which didn’t seem to show up on the video, did she deserve to be treated the way she was? Listen to the meeting. Think on it. I do not think the racial and civic divide in Lower Merion can get much worse, and I too remember the issues of the past that residents commenting referred to.
Lower Merion is indeed a dumpster fire right now. They need a new police committee, and they need to look at the Township Manager Ernie McNeely. There seems to be a lot of chaos since he came to town, which is astounding because he was supposed to the best thing since sliced bread, right? As for Superintendent Mike McGrath, I think for his own sake he should retire. I mean does he really have control over his department or respect from his force?
This is horrifying and sad all at the same time. And while they throw the book at the black woman who was dragged around and tased, where is the balance on the inappropriate actions of the police officer and the officers who didn’t step in and pull him off of that woman?
Lower Merion Commissioners, you need to represent all segments of the population equally and you know you aren’t. You need to do the best by all residents not just your popular kids.
The longer this issue goes on, the sadder and worse it gets. Did I mention dumpster fire?
I can’t say anymore. What more is there to say?