Saturday, October 15, 2011

Actions Have Consequences (Warning: langauge violence)

This post is Rated 'R'

There is a YouTube video making the rounds that was created by a patron at a McDonald's  You can view it here (gutter language and graphic violence warning).  For those who have chosen to pass on the video I will give you a quick rundown of the salient facts.

It shows two youngish Afro-American females at a McDonald's  who are clearly irate.  They are verbally abusing the clerk (an Afro-American male) at the register with vulgar and menacing language.  One of them strikes the clerk on the face.  The two females then climb over the counter and attack the clerk who retreats.  Both females chase the clerk behind the counter who grabs a metal rod and then proceeds (pardon my own frank language) to lay down an absolutely epic ass whooping.  He beats both of these miscreants senseless causing serious bodily injury to them both.

Sadly we all know that this is not the end of the story.

The register clerk has been arrested and charged with felony assault.  And he is nose deep in the brown stinky stuff and sinking for several reasons.  First this happened in New York City.  Secondly he is a male and the two miscreants are females.  No it doesn't matter that they hit him first, threatened him and abused him verbally, jumped over the service counter to attack him and chased him when he tried to retreat.  That's utterly irrelevant.  He is a male and they are women.  Then there is the fact that he laid into them rather vigorously with the metal pole.  And finally, this man has a serious criminal record.  He did prison time.  I think that is or should be a non-issue based on what I saw, but we just know that it will be raised and used against him.  Never mind that he was working an honest, and rather menial job in an effort to get his life back together.  Let's be honest here.  If the dude was robbing people or dealing drugs he would not be working a register at McDonald's.

Now an argument could be made that he overdid it once he had them down.  The video does not show the two women behind the counter so I can't say if they were lying still or trying to get back up.  If the latter though, then I think he was totally justified in beating them into total and complete submission.

Sorry if that offends anyone.  But far too many years ago when I was a fresh kid in the Navy I got some important tips from a salty old Boatswains Mate named Jimmy Sandsbury on how to survive a bar room brawl.  His first advice was to walk away if I could and run away if I had to.  But if neither was possible he told me to deal ruthlessly with the first SOB who came at me.  Go for the throat, the eyes and the family jewels.  (He did not use the words "family jewels.")  His point was that a bar room fight was not a boxing match and Marquise of Queensbury Rules do not apply.  Once I had the aggressor down he told me to beat him, stomp him, and kick him until I was 300% sure that there was no possibility of him getting back up to resume hostilities, and that everyone in the room, including the bloody lump on the floor understood exactly and without doubt who had just won and who had lost the fight and that the fight was now over.

I think the same rules apply to the above situation.  Those women attacked him and jumped over the service counter to go after him.  I don't give a flying bleep that they were women.  Women can and routinely do inflict grave bodily harm on men.  And far too often they get away with it.  In the same situation I would have reacted in a similar manner.  Who could know if they had a knife?  And even if they were not armed there were plenty of potential weapons behind the counter, like cooking utensils and scalding hot frying oil.

Here is my bottom line.  They started a fight and the guy finished it.  In today's society we put up with just waaay too much crap and expect other people to do the same.  ANYONE who goes over the counter in a retail or service establishment in attack mode is an automatic candidate for a beat down.  No exceptions.  There is no excuse for their behavior.  None at all.  I have worked retail and dealt with my share of irate customers.  In a few cases even highly belligerent customers.  As long as they stayed on their side of the counter and didn't get physical everything was fine.  But these two crossed a big line.

If you go through life acting like an ass sooner or later your gonna run into someone who is not going to put up with it.  However this ends for the poor register clerk, I would bet more money then I have that those two women will never ever pull a stunt like that again.  Actions have consequences.

Thus endeth the lesson.


Proskomen said...

I agree completely. I think he was justified in defending himself. They didn't jump over the counter in order to kiss and make up! They did it in order to cause bodily harm to the cashier, and it's the same kind of threat as pulling a weapon from the other side.

Their respective genders shouldn't enter into this at all. Some people still don't believe this, but women can be rapists (of men and women) and child molesters. We need to stop this Lizzie Borden crap of pretending women are incapable of causing real harm.

Anonymous said...

Laws in the US are heavily stacked against men and girls are taught growing up that they ought to fear men. I have a black belt in martial arts and was repeatedly told by my instructors that having the ability to defend yourself can be to your detriment in the US. If a whacked-out crack-head attacks you for your wallet and you repel him and possibly hurt him, the court will inevitably take his side, not yours. "Sure, Johnny is a crack-head, but he's been going to rehab and he was getting his life back together and now you've messed him up....", etc. etc. In a word: liberalism and feminism are destroying the country.

Judge373 said...

McJustice...I'm lovin' it.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, I have to disagree with part of the argument here. IANAL, but have spent a good deal of time reading self-defense law. I am not familiar with New York law, but it is a general principle across the US spectrum that one may use whatever force is necessary to end a felonious assault against oneself (precise definitions vary, of course) but once the assault is over, one must cease. People have themselves gone to jail for shooting fleeing felons, etc.

IMVHO the counter clerk was not in the wrong to defend himself, and do so vigorously, but he went too far.

In these media-rich times one can certainly find plenty of hooks on which to hang nearly any political/social views, but we were, once, a nation of laws.


Visibilium said...

I like the post, but I also like Ahi's cautionary note. As someone who's successfully used lethal force on three separate occasions in a civilian (i.e., nonmilitary) context, I'm familiar with the notion that self-defence applies only to small window wherein one is faced with the immediate and unavoidable threat of death or grave bodily injury. Once that threat has ceased, the would-be victim must cease his defence. This cautionary note applies only to those who are concerned about the courtroom outcome. For those who are concerned solely about street cred, however, different rules would apply.

Proskomen said...

But how do you know when that threat has ceased? You can't see on the tape whether one or both were moving. One may have looked like she was reaching for a weapon for all we know.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Two points:

1. The grrl power message from nerd scriptwriters who have never been in a physical fight is dangerous.

2. There are a number of these types of videos out there. Black American society is doomed.

Anonymous said...

I will take your word for the video - I have no need to see it. However, I have a question: Where was the Manager???? Why was a stop not put to the verbal abuse and why was there no managerial intervention the moment they struck the clerk's face? Or when the clerk took up a metal pole to defend himself?
Sounds to me like an abdication of responsibility that has law-suit implications.

Chris Jones said...

The clerk in the video may have been the manager on duty at the time. The manager at a fast-food place doesn't have a corner office and will often work the register when the place is busy or they are short-staffed.

Or, on the other hand, the manager may have been cowering in the back until the fight was over.

Anonymous said...

Proskomen asks, perhaps rhetorically:

But how do you know when that threat has ceased?

A good question. Bearing in mind the Standard Disclaimer(s) (IANAL, etc.)... In general, self-defense is a justification in law, IOW one admits to doing something that is Wrong In Itself (like beating someone with a metal bar), but offers reasonable evidence that it was necessary to do so to save oneself from unprovoked and serious harm. Again, in general, the burden of proof is on the defender ... though in many cases that burden will lie lightly.

I know no more about the incident than Proskomen does, but I would think that when someone is lying on the ground after having sustained one or more (I didn't count) blows with a metal bar, the burden on the defender becomes much greater. At some point, maybe she's on drugs that will give her superhuman powers! Maybe she's an Al Qaeda bomber! Maybe she's a WITCH! Maybe ... and so on.

In general, if one cannot articulate, with reasonable evidence, a level of immediate danger that justifies one's behavior under state law, one has to stop.

The law can become a bit complicated once one gets into details, so that's enough for here. Of course, as Visibilium says, it also assumes that one cares about what is lawful.

However one feels about it, teaching the miscreants a lesson is NOT your job, but that of the authorities.

Y'all be careful out there.


The Anti-Gnostic said...


Burkean conservatism works when there are beat cops integrated into the neighborhood and a polite society.

Burkean conservatism is not relevant under anarcho-tyranny, which is the state of most US cities.

Anonymous said...


You are of course correct that where laws do not operate, the law of self-defense is at best moot.

I have to wonder, though, whether the gentleman with the metal bar will be able to offer "anarcho-tyranny" as a defense at his trial.


The Anti-Gnostic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Anti-Gnostic said...

A - The clerk is in that Kafka-esque zone of death or serious injury at the hands of criminals if he doesn't act, and prosecution by the State if he does. That's anarcho-tyranny. The citizens are whip-sawed between two groups who operate outside and/or above the law: criminal gangs and State actors.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Being originally from New York and somewhat familiar with NY's penal code (I took the course many years ago when I was considering criminal justice as a possible career) I can make a few observations.

In NY self-defense is an affirmative defense. The burden of proof does lie on the defendant and is often a heavy one. The state generally frowns on people defending themselves. Further New York requires victims of aggression to retreat when possible. An exception is made when in one's home. And finally there is a "reasonable force" clause in the law, limiting how far you can go in defending yourself. Again the courts have tended to take a fairly narrow interpretation of that clause.

As a matte of practical reality New York City is the liberal heart of a generally left leaning state which tends to conflate self-defense with vigilantism. Those of you of a certain age may remember the attempted legal lynching of Bernard Goetz. I am not sanguine about the outcome here.

Bernard Brandt said...

Considering the fact that there have been at least two situations on the web where two or more black women have kicked single men (white or black) into a state of brain damage or coma, the gentleman in question was entirely justified in defending himself.

And while the video was sufficient to show grounds for self-defense, we are unable to determine whether the recipients of the beatdown were in the process of trying to get back up and/or to attack.

That said, the recent statement making the rounds in cyberspace still makes sense:

It is better to be tried by twelve than carried out by six.


Michael said...

I actually want to blame the assault on the idea that the customer is always right. When I worked retail I would regularly receive death threats and more than once I had to be escorted to my car at the end of my shift. Why? Because I didn't fulfil their "right" to a refund.