A bus tunnel security video shows a 15-year-old girl, Aiesha Steward-Baker, being brutally beaten while three unarmed security guards for the Seattle Metro Transit appear to be merely watching making no effort to intervene.
According to the Seattle-King County Metro Transit that is exactly what the guards are supposed to be doing, even though one guard apparently cannot keep himself from intervening when he is shown trying to shoo the female perpetrator away.
Unarmed security guards with Metro Transit are trained and under orders not to intervene physically when such violent situations arise in the course of their duties. They are, instead, trained to call it in to 911, which the guards in this incident did.
The first video is one from YouTube which shows the encounter pretty much in its entirety:
The public outcry over the video has prompted Seattle’s Metro Transit and King County authorities to remark that they wished the guards had broken up the fight even though they are directed not to do so.
“We are very disappointed in what people see in that video,” Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond said. “It was absolutely unacceptable.”
Baker’s lawyer, James Bible, is playing the race card. “If this young lady had had blond hair and blue eyes and told police ‘These black kids are following me,’ the response would have been different,” Bible said Friday.
Baker said she asked Seattle police for help several times at a shopping center and Macy’s in the hour before the Jan. 28 attack, but her pleas were rebuffed.
However, the Seattle Times reports that friends and relatives of the four arrested have said the situation has been blown out of proportion. They said the two girls have fought often over the past two years, and that Baker has usually won.
The second video is a CBS News report of the incident:
The video has prompted both King County Metro Transit and the Seattle police each to instigate a review of the video to determine whether any policies need changing.