City Attorney Pete Holmes showed some real spine yesterday in standing up against the punch heard round the world. Unlike other public officials, Holmes was willing to call out the SPD for its failure to deal with ongoing problems at that intersection, and jaywalking stops in general, despite many warnings. But if there was an un-Seattle boldness to some of Holmes's comments, there was pure Seattle meekness in his call for "increased cultural sensitivity."
Holmes termed this "an essential element of policing today." Which is no doubt true.
But in raising the "cultural sensitivity" issue in this context, Holmes sends a weasel-y message: that a) the cop's handling of the situation was culturally insensitive; and b) the behavior of the two young women--namely: cursing, shoving, and resisting--is somehow, you know, a black thing that whites need to better understand.
That's a foolish and dangerous road to go down. It's the flip side of profiling, and equally racist. There should be one standard for when force is appropriate, and one standard for what sort of response to a cop is acceptable. And the incident should be judged on that alone.