A 19-year-old named Sarah Culhane crashed her BMW into three cars in three different accidents in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. When she was arrested, she assaulted the officer trying to take her into custody and kicked another in the head. Despite all the wreckage Culhane caused and the resisting arrest, she wasn’t tasered, beaten or shot–which would have more than likely been the option if she was a Black man, or even woman. The police wrestled Culhane to the ground, arrested her and hauled her off to jail.
She currently faces charges of “aggravated assault, accidents involving injury, resisting arrest, red light violation, driving at unsafe speed and reckless driving.” Bail for Culhane was set at $750,000, which she was unable to meet. She is currently being held at Bucks County Jail.
According to WPVI Channel 6, Bensalem police were called to the scene of an accident around 9:30 a.m. last week Thursday and arrived in time to see Culhane’s blue BMW at fault in the crash, take off from the scene. Police pursued the vehicle, but called off the pursuit to avoid a high speed chase. After the police stopped pursuing, Culhane hit another car, injuring a woman in the process. She fled that scene just to hit a third car a few blocks away from her second accident. That’s when she tried to flee the scene on foot. This story would not have ended the same if Culhane was Black. Driving a BMW, hitting several cars, assaulting the police AND running from them?!
Many news outlets reporting this story are including a pointless detail that Culhane was the breakout star of her high school field hockey team and currently attends Amherst College in Massachusetts. Why is this important? Had Culhane been a young Black teen, we wouldn’t have been told about her accolades. We would have been informed about prior arrests, history of violence or crime. This is what the media portrayed when George Zimmerman was on trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin. This is what we saw on almost every channel when Ferguson police tried to claim Michael Brown was involved in a “strong arm robbery” before he was shot and killed by Officer Wilson.
Honestly, there would be no way in the world the police would call off a pursuit if the person in the car was Black. They would have kept on their tail and possibly even fired some shots. This story would have ended very differently had Culhane been Black and there’s no reason to pretend otherwise. I am in now way saying that Culhane deserves the same fate as Michael Brown or Florida mom, Marissa Alexander, who faces life in prison for firing a warning shot. But I am saying that the major double standards of crime, police brutality and race are palpable and there needs to be more justice served.
Do you think there would have been a different outcome if Culhane was Black? Sound off below:
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