Word of the Week #48:

Assault

Well, as we know, the exact definition of certain words can vary with location and time.

Late last week, the Baltimore County Police Department decided to update, or perhaps simply reinforce, the definition of the aforementioned word within their jurisdiction.

Interestingly enough, a bystander happened to have a camera at hand, which is probably not a surprise in this day and age, to record the historic event.

Okay, so, the video might have had you wondering who are the victims and who are the victims, I suppose. Allow me to clarify, using the words of Former Baltimore City Police Commissioner Ed Norris.

Baltimore City, not Baltimore county, okay? Yeah, there is some difference, apparently…

“If you resist an arrest against a uniformed police officer they don’t lose and they’re going to do whatever they have to do to get you in handcuffs because they want to go home at night.

People forget as well, even though this teenager is unarmed and he may not be a hardened criminal by any means, but when you start fighting an arrest with the police there’s a gun in the fight, because the officer is wearing it and that’s always on their mind. People need to be cognizant of that.”

— Ed Norris, Former Police Commissioner, Baltimore City

Okay, so, as journalist Kirsten West Savali puts it succinctly in her articlethe burden is on unarmed children to ensure that police officers don’t feel threatened by them.

The kid apparently been charged with assault on police. Yeah, well, second degree assault…

So, we thought we ought to compile a Baltimore English lexicon, in case any of our readers ends up there, and the following would be the first entry.

assault
/əˈsɑːlt/
noun
[mass noun]

  • lying on the floor and yelling “STOP!”
  • being too shrill around a cop
  • being precariously close to a holstered gun
  • surviving an attack by a cop
  • being born on the wrong side of #FFCC88

PS: Just note what the cop tells the kid at 00:53. If that doesn’t calm an erratic young kid down, I wonder what will…

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Published by

Yashas Mahajan

Author of Arrkaya: Origins, now available online... Increasingly being referred to as The Writer Guy...

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