Saturday, December 02, 2023

Ding Dong The Ditch Is Dead (In Delaware) Where Are The Riots?

This one hurts me. It’s personal. When I was a kid ringing doorbells with a group of friends was one of summer’s great rituals. We didn’t do it every night, but when the mood struck us, it was a pure adrenaline rush. There was something about the combination of running, laughing and sweating combined with all of the wonderful contingencies of summer that made it special. Bonus, … no-one got hurt, there was no property damage, and to be honest, over the summer it was almost expected. Every person that had to get up and answer the door was aggravated, but it was a simple prank, something they had probably done themselves.

As I mentioned, we didn’t have a whimsical name for it. To us it was simply ringing doorbells, (as Halloween approaches, there may be more confessions), but today they call it “Ding, Dong, Ditch.” Probably because simply calling it “ringing doorbells” would be either considered racist, or somehow would supposedly condone white supremacy, which in this case it most definitely did not.

In Delaware, a 15-year-old boy named Jayden was out with some friends pranking people by “dinging and ditching.” One of the homes where they knocked on the door and ran, was owned by a Delaware State Trooper. The trooper, whose name has not been released, was not home at the time. However, he was made aware of the prank by other family members that were home since the prank had been caught on Ring footage.

Approximately forty-five minutes later after hanging out at a friends house, the boys were walking home when they were approached by the state trooper and his partner.

In a post on Facebook, Jayden’s aunt described the confrontation:

“The two state troopers arrested my nephew’s friends, then beat the living hell out of my nephew. My nephew currently has a concussion, needs surgery to repair severe eye damage as the cops stomped on him and kicked him multiple times.”

She added that Jayden is “covered in bruises, scrapes and scratches up and down his entire body.”

According to the family’s attorney, Samuel Davis of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon P.C., the four 15-year-olds were walking home when confronted by the troopers. Davis explained that the trooper pulled up behind the boys with his lights on and told them to lie down on the ground. Jayden, who was eventually hospitalized with a broken orbital bone and concussion, was  handcuffed and pushed face down on the concrete, where the trooper put his knee on the teen’s neck.

(Does this sound familiar?)

Jayden was then put in the backseat of the police car. While his hands were cuffed, the trooper used one hand to shine a light in his eyes and another to “hit him with a haymaker.”

Davis added that the boys were then were not taken to the police station, but rather to the parking lot of a hardware store. At some point, another trooper arrived and stated that the boy’s injuries required treatment at a hospital.

Davis went on to say that Jayden’s mother wasn’t notified until an hour after the incident and was only told that he was in the hospital and she needed to come there. The family has requested access to both the dashcam and bodycam footage of the event.

Davis said, “We believe that the truth is going to come out in short order. The family wants the truth, and they want this trooper or troopers to be held accountable for these violent acts.”

The Delaware State Police tweeted that it “became aware of the incident through an internal body-worn camera review” last Tuesday and “immediately” started an investigation in conjunction with the Delaware Department of Justice and the agency’s office of professional responsibility.

The accused trooper has been suspended, but it was not released if the suspension was with or without pay. The department is also investigating another employee that was present at the time for possible involvement.

The state police spokesperson, Sgt. India Sturgis, stated the agency “responded to a social media post by using our social media channels.”

“This ongoing investigation is in collaboration with the Department of Justice, so we don’t have the information that would typically be in a news release. Our goal is to let the public know that we are aware of the incident and that we took immediate action by suspending the trooper.”

In the post, the state police wrote that it is also investigating “whether or not there was any failure to intervene by other Delaware State Police (DSP) personnel who were present at the time of the incident.”

“We assure you a comprehensive investigation is underway and we are examining all available evidence.”

The DSP has not revealed the identity of the trooper who was suspended, but Jayden’s aunt who posted the accusations referred to the trooper as a man.

This level of aggressive treatment is totally out of line for what is truly nothing more than a victimless prank. What is suspect is that the name and race of the accused trooper has not been released. The race aspect is only important because of the level of secrecy that is being employed by the DSP.

Something else of note, there has been no looting, fires, assaults, or rioting. A fifteen-year-old boy was beaten by a state trooper and not one window was broken. This goes to prove that police are no different from any other organization or group. There are some suspect individuals, but the majority are there for the right reasons and conduct themselves in the proper manner.

It also shows that decency needs to be shown by the community when an incident like this occurs. Burning, damaging, looting, or even totally destroying a persons business only traumatizes more innocent people.

Punish the guilty for sure, but never needlessly ruin the lives of those not involved.