So, a 32-year-old woman in Youngstown, Ohio, alleges that she was kidnapped by her father in broad daylight, that her parents (aided by some other men) took her across state lines, stole her car and moved her to a van, where they uttered threats to send her back to Yemen for having married a non-Muslim. Confirming her story are the dramatic facts of her rescue by law enforcement. She was able to text-message her husband with a brief call for help. He feared for their child's safety and went to remove the child from school, where he met a school official who advised him to tell the police. The police called the victim on her cell phone and interspersed yes/no questions about her situation with questions about her child's soccer, to make the conversation seem innocent to her captors. They got her location from GPS information from her cell phone provider, found the van (in Pennsylvania), and got her out.
But there the story ends. There have been no charges filed.
I have no doubt that various readers will come into the thread telling me that this is nothing surprising or suspicious, that it doesn't indicate hyper-sensitivity to Muslim sensibilities, that charges will be filed later if appropriate, etc.
Maybe so. Maybe not. I wish I could believe that with full assurance, but I can't. But I want to focus on one statement from one of the policemen involved in the case.
“At that point, we didn’t know what we had,” Rusnak said. “All we knew was that there was a person in a van who didn’t feel safe. We weren’t concerned with charges at that point. We were worried about her safety.”
First, I wonder exactly what this means. Do officers never charge abductors when they rescue adult victims? How could they not be thinking about charges? And why weren't charges filed after getting the woman's statement? I cannot even find any evidence that the parents were questioned or that police are searching for the men who allegedly did the auto switch. What steps have been taken to insure the victim's safety, since her parents and those working with them are still completely at large?
But there's that strange phrase, "a person in a van who didn't feel safe." Does that ring any bells? It does with me.
Last summer, I was stung by a bee or wasp in the ankle. The sting site became seriously infected, which I realized (of course) only after hours on a weekend, necessitating in the end two visits to the ER for IV antibiotics. I've been to the ER before, but not for some years, and this time there was something new. Understand that I was not showing up for an injury. I didn't have a black eye or a broken leg. Nothing of the kind. But as part of the routine check-in process, the attendant rattled off a series of questions, including, "Do you feel safe at home?"
So what this apparently means is that when anyone (or just a woman or child?) shows up at the ER for any complaint whatsoever, the check-in process includes an utterly rote, mindless "screening" for abuse at home by a person or persons unknown.
And of course we've got all the uses of "safe" coming into the educational establishment. Teachers are supposed to tell their students that their offices or classes are "safe" places, which apparently means that students can express their opinions without being ridiculed, or something like that. There is, of course, also the politicization of "safe zones" in the context of approval of homosexual behavior.
With all this throwing around of the word "safe," my guess from what the police officer says is that one yes/no question they asked the abducted woman was, "Do you feel safe?" Well, of course, she said, "No." So the policeman (who sounds a bit defensive, does he not?) defends their not filing charges by saying that when they showed up at the van across state lines, "all they knew" was that "there was a person in a van who didn't feel safe."
But this is ridiculous. Of course she didn't feel safe! She'd been kidnapped, for crying out loud!
I wonder if we have a case here of term inflation. With the wider and wider use of "Do you feel safe?" or "This is a safe place" and so forth in any and every context, it seems that when we have a highly dramatic situation of a person in serious danger, police are using vague jargon to describe the situation even to themselves, which then, it appears, makes it difficult for them to grasp the true gravity of the case. After all, it isn't true that "all they knew" was that there was a person in a van who "didn't feel safe." They knew from the husband that the wife had text-messaged him for help. They knew that she was no longer in her own vehicle. They knew that she was turning up in a completely different state. Moreover, now that they have her full statement, they know a lot more than simply that, gee, they found a "person" (of some kind or other) in a van who "didn't feel safe." Yet still, no charges have been filed.
So write me down skeptical that this is the way police procedure ought to go. Whether it's catering to Muslims, jargon-induced bureaucratic stupidity, or a combination of the two, something here seems to be wrong.
And I bet the victim still doesn't feel safe.
HT: Jihad Watch