WARNING- The following video is extremely disturbing. Frankly, this video should never have been shot; the person holding the camera should have dropped the damn camera and helped this girl…
What is wrong with us?
Two unarmed teenage girls terrorize a third young woman, apparently because she is trans-gendered, and beat her into a seizure while at least four or more bystanders watch it all happen. To his credit, a manger helps to some degree, but he had several other options that would have ended this situation long before the victim was critically injured.
The only real hero in this scenario is an elderly woman, obviously not an athlete, who had the courage to intervene and in no uncertain terms told the attackers to stop and get out.
Let’s focus on what should have happened…
In my humble opinion, both the attackers should have been physically removed from the restaurant. I know most companies, and I’m sure McDonald’s is no exception, have “observe and report” rules to keep employees safe. In this case, two or three employees could have easily removed the teenage girls from the scene or “gently” guided them out the door.
Likely they would have been fired for doing so- it still would have been the right thing to do.
Notice at about 59 seconds into the video that there is an open door on the left side of the frame. The manager and one employee who seems to be offering at least some assistance at that point could have guided the victim through the door and to safety in the kitchen or back office.
Although there is a break in the video timeline, at about 1:05 we see both attackers obviously leaving the restaurant. Lock the doors…problem solved. This would have prevented the worst part of the beating.
Instead, the attack continues…
At 1:25 the only hero on the scene arrives as the girls drag their victim by the hair toward the door- the same door they should have been prevented from re-entering moments before. Ironically, one of the little darlings is heard yelling “you can’t touch me” to the elderly woman who bravely puts herself between the attackers and the victim. Our hero does not look intimidated in the least- contrast her demeanor against those who were watching the entire scene play out.
The camera pans to show at least two employees, young men nearly twice the size of the attackers, who actually look as if they’re backing away from the fray. Even worse, they are heard laughing and possibly encouraging the attack as one of the perpetrators tries to pick up a chair as a weapon. The elderly woman is still putting herself in the middle of the fracas as she tries to separate the victim from the attackers. We again see the manager who now appears to be barring the attackers from dragging the victim out the door.
The older woman is struck by one of the attackers and never backs down a single step.
Now we finally hear some display of compassion from the bystanders as they witness the victim go into a seizure, apparently triggered by the repeated blows to her head. For the first time we hear one of the cowards yell, “call the police.” Fortunately, someone had already done so; no thanks to these guys.
Your brave cameraman gets his close-up as he continues to yell, “she’s having a f@#king seizure, y’all…she needs help now!” Anyone with the most rudimentary first aid training would have known to place a towel or cloth in the victim’s mouth and move objects out of her way until the seizure ran its course. I suppose it’s too much to expect that any of these employees would have been trained in basic first aid, but it’s disgusting that the one felt his primary obligation was to capture the next viral video.
Update: Interview with Chrissy Lee Polis from Baltimore Sun:
As repulsed as I am by his cowardice; I’m grateful we have the video. Too often we hear about these stories but never see them. Don’t look away; have the courage to confront this ugly scene with eyes wide open. This is an ever-increasing reality we simply cannot ignore.
Now let’s focus on what can and should happen in the future:
- Whether from the outside or as a result of the actions of employees, violence can erupt unexpectedly. Have a clear plan of action and train employees in the proper procedures and protocols. As we’ve pointed out; there were several opportunities to end this situation long before the young woman was seriously injured.
- Teach courage to our young people. How do two unarmed teenage girls hold at least 5 people at bay while they beat their victim into a seizure?
- Teach tolerance- and if not tolerance at least restraint. The victim, Chrissy Lee Polis is apparently a trans-gendered person and the fight was ignited when the primary attacker, Teonna Monae Brown was offended that Polis was using the women’s room and apparently talked to her boyfriend.
Ultimately, this attack never should have happened. I’m not saying you’re not entitled to your point of view; the issue of trans-gender is at best little understood. I can understand a woman being offended or even nervous about a person she sees as a male in a women’s restroom- but the solution in this situation would have been leave the restroom, not beat the other person to a pulp.
At the same time, take care that you do not condone an attack on someone because that person is different. What of your unique characteristics would justify violence against you?
I’m all for defending yourself physically if you feel threatened or you’re under attack. Where was the threat in this instance? Teonna Brown and her teen accomplice were wrong- period.
I also teach in my self-defense classes that you have to be very cautious about when and how you get involved in a violent situation. In this case, the attackers’ only advantage was their aggressive posturing. They could have easily been controlled or, as I already pointed out, there were other options available to diffuse the attack.
The manager at least did something to try to help. The older woman that put herself at risk to protect another human being is a hero.
The bystanders who did nothing were criminal accomplices and cowards.
What can we do about the continuing escalation of bullying and violence in our communities, schools and workplaces? We’ll be talking about REAL solutions to this very real problem on May 10th in Brunswick, Maine: