Were these authoritarian responses necessary?

Look at this precious lady:

abc train singer nt 130307 wblog Elderly Woman Thrown Off Train For Singing

She is Emma Anderson, aged 82, and she was thrown off a train for singing too loudly.

An ABC report states:

Anderson of Miami-Dade, was singing spiritual hymns from her train seat when a security guard asked her to stop. The security guard told Anderson that she was being disruptive.

“I was beating my little beads with the bottle and I was singing a song, and he came up to me and said, ‘Ma’am, you’re making too much noise,’” Anderson told ABC News affiliate WPLG.

You can view the report, which includes a video of the incident, here.

If, for some reason, it was absolutely necessary to remove this woman, why didn’t someone take her by the arm and gently lead her off the train? Police and security guards who treat people in this manner need to be forever banned from working with the public.

According to her son, Kenny, “The security guard pulled the bag his mother was holding so hard that she fell backwards and hurt herself. ‘We took her to the hospital and they took X-rays. Doctors say she has a bruised hip and shoulder.'”

Mrs. Anderson could have been seriously, perhaps permanently, injured from such a fall. The security guard should be charged with assault on an elderly person.

And here’s what they’re doing to Robert Schiavelli, 42, of Rockville Centre, NY:

<br /><br /><br /><br />

Long Island man issued summons for laughing too loud in his own home

“I didn’t know it was a crime to laugh out a window,” said Schiavelli, who is considered disabled because he has frequent seizures and suffers from neurological impairments.

Schiavelli was chortling because he says his neighbor often taunts him due to his disability — and his best defense is to laugh him off.

Robert’s mother states:

“He tries to intimidate Robert” by calling him “a retard’’ and other names, said Suzanne, 65.

After years of the alleged treatment, Suzanne said her son “has learned to laugh at him.”

The day the summonses were written, “I was making dinner. Our neighbor was in the driveway wiping off his car and sneering at Robert” while he was inside the house, Suzanne explained.

As usual, Schiavelli addressed O’Hanian’s alleged glares with a good chuckle.

“What else are you supposed to do when someone calls you a retard?” asked Schiavelli, who graduated from high school as a special-education student.

There are always two sides to each story; however, what kind of slippery slope are we sliding down when we begin to regulate where and how loudly people can laugh and sing? Laughing and singing are most often expressions of joy. Just look at Mrs. Anderson and Robert. Are these the types of people we want to harass? There are plenty of real criminals in our society. Consider, as just two examples, flash mobs and gangs, both of which the media, and seemingly those in authority, choose to ignore. Instead, we see them punishing those who are most vulnerable.

I have great respect for law enforcement. May God bless them for risking their lives for the rest of us. However, when good people are harassed by those in any level of authority, it should generate societal outrage to the extent that those who abuse their positions are expelled from the system.

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