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If You Want to Smack Little Girls in the Face and Get Away With It, Philadelphia’s Your Place

If You Want to Smack Little Girls in the Face and Get Away With It, Philadelphia’s Your Place

by Frank Roche on November 15, 2009

in Communication


A 300-pound woman reached out and smacked a little 4-year-old girl across the face and kept walking.

“Hey, hey, wait,” said two men who were with the little girl’s family.

They tried to get in front of the woman who walloped the little girl. But the woman kept walking right into traffic on Broad Street. Cars honked. But stopped. She kept going.

I went back to where the little girl was slapped. The family, a group from New York City, was traumatized. The little girl still had the red mark on her face and was crying. Just then a Philadelphia Police car was rolling down Walnut Street, just east of Broad at 2:30pm on Saturday, November 14, 2009. We flagged it down.

Right away the family tried to tell the police what happened.

“Whoa, whoa. You people need to calm down. Now what happened?” they said. They seemed dismissive initially.

The family told the story quickly, meanwhile two men from their group took off running west on Walnut Street to catch up with the woman who slapped the little girl. The police took a few minutes, then crept west on Walnut Street. The Slapper was easy to identify — she was dressed all in black, had identifiable hair, and was carrying some particular bags.

I walked toward where the action was. They caught the woman on 16th Street, just north of Walnut. They put her in the police cruiser, and then interviewed the two guys from the group who were with the little girl.

You know where this is headed, right?

Another police cruiser came. Then a police van. For a second it seemed like they might haul the huge woman who slapped a little girl on a Philly street to jail. But time dragged on. Not a single police car went back to the family or to see the little girl. And after about 45 minutes, there started to be a ruckus.

They were letting The Slapper go. One of the guys from the little girl’s group was getting hot. Shockingly, one of the policemen on the scene was more incensed about that than the utter lack of justice. About that time, I told those guys that I would take a picture of The Slapper and post it on my blog. That brought me into the middle of the police action.

A Philadelphia policeman (yes, I know his name) came up to me very aggressively.

“What are you doing? Let me see that phone. Were you taking video?” he said.

Now I was being questioned about what pictures I had on my phone and told that I was “impeding a police investigation.” I told him I was doing no such thing and had no pictures. It was very strange to have the officer get so angry about me wanting to take The Slapper’s picture once they let her go when he didn’t seem mad at all about that cow slapping a little girl.

Finally, I was told that because the police didn’t see what happened, it was nothing more than simple assault. That even though there were 20 witnesses, it was police policy to let The Slapper go. That saying anything or taking the woman’s picture on a public street was “impeding an investigation.”

So…a 300-pound woman smacks an innocent 30-pound girl in the face. And gets away with it.

My lesson: If you want to smack little girls in the face and get away with it, do it in Philadelphia. Nothing will happen to you.

Yes, There’s an HR Lesson In All of This
Mean what you say. If you don’t, and if people can’t count on you, then all hell can break loose. There’s nothing wrong with doing what’s right. Call me crazy, but slapping little girls isn’t right.

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