Douchebag Decree: Dallas Police Chief David Brown

Douchebag decree

In the past year, rapes in the city of Dallas have increased 25.3%. Seriously. Such a huge increase of reported rapes would be shocking anywhere, but in a city where crime of all sorts is down 6.3%, a 25.3% jump in rape is astounding. At a Public Safety Committee meeting on Monday, though, Police Chief David Brown came up with a brilliant solution to decrease the number of rapes in the city.

Trigger Warning

His plan? Women need to stop drinking in public. And, if they do drink, they need a babysitter. Oh, OK, gotcha. It's the woman's responsibility to make sure she's not making herself a target. Not like, you know, fostering a culture where raping a woman is not okay.

After going over the crime statistics for the year to date, city council member Delia Jasso asked why there was such a sharp increase in rapes. Chief Brown's answer: "We're needing to create a message to the victims of this type of crime, related to, you know, someone you don't know that well, you having a little bit too much to drink," explained Brown, suggesting women, "have your friends watch you, if you intend to drink in front of a man."

But this kind of reasoning makes sense to Chief Brown, because the sharp increase in rapes in the city is due to date rapes. And everybody knows date rapes are a "gray area", right?! As D Magazine's Bethany Anderson perfectly summed it up, "Don't drink if you have two x chromosomes. Forget the fact that the drunk cannot consent to sex, and nonconsensual sex=rape. I'm sure glad we cleared that up."

Of course, if you're like me, you're not so shocked by his suggestions. As depressing as it is to not be surprised that a police chief from the 9th largest city in the United States says things like this, this kind of logic is pervasive in popular culture. A woman wearing short skirt is "asking for it." A woman that flirts is "asking for it." A woman that's out alone is "asking for it." A woman that drank too much is "asking for it."

Well, Police Chief David Brown, you were asking for it: I hereby declare you the biggest douchebag of the week.

Comments

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Nice post. Except that it's

Nice post. Except that it's not based on reality. You even made up quotes. Very creative. Try watching the video of what he really said: http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/08/what-dallas-police-chie...

Hold your horses, please.

Hi Anonymous,

While there may be conflicting reports of what happened during Monday's council meeting, claiming that Katie "made up quotes" in order to be "creative" is a pretty big accusation. Especially since this report, published by reporters who attended the meeting in person, contains the quotes she used: http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2010/08/liveblogging_the_publ...

I'm not saying those quotes might not be inaccurate, but to say that Katie would purposefully "make up" quotes and attribute them to someone is totally uncalled for.

Kelsey Wallace, Web Editor

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One more thing...

Having just watched the video you posted, I heard Chief Brown most definitely placing the responsibility on potential victims to prevent rape/acquaintance rape. He absolutely suggests that women should have a sober friend "watch them" at clubs, and I didn't hear him mention once what the Dallas Police were going to do to combat the rape culture that clearly exists there (and most everywhere else).

Kelsey Wallace, Web Editor

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"based on reality"

I also just watched the video you linked to, and while not word for word, it does contain the quote that Katie used. The sentiment is the same as well: Don't drink in clubs if you don't want to get sexually assaulted.

@anonymous

Thank you for the video link.
I see no "made up quotes" in this article, only direct quotes and old adages. Defensiveness implies something about this has triggered something within. I hope you find peace.

Watched the video

And I still think the chief was suggesting that women need to behave differently to decrease the number of rapes.

What about these men? What makes them think it's OK to take advantage of their dates after a couple of drinks? What about the rights of these women to safety regardless of how they're dressed, how much they drink, or where they hang out?

Rape is rape, whether you're taking your tipsy date home, or sneaking up behind a stranger in the dark.

If there's a sudden up-tick in crime in a particular neighborhood, and the only official response to the public is that they should take all kinds of precautions when they do go out, wear a armor, travel in groups, and make sure it's safe, do you think they'd be upset? It's all valid advice, true. But I bet they'd also want to know what the police were doing to make it safe again.

"Forget the fact that the

"Forget the fact that the drunk cannot consent to sex" ... um, since when?

This has come up in court over and over and over, and they have basically said that the only time a drunk can't consent to sex is when they're too drunk to be even be conscious.

Get your facts straight

Doug, since you appear to be very confused, I've put together a few facts for you.

FACT: Rape laws vary from state to state, and most state laws hold that a person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol CANNOT legally consent to sexual activity. This includes Texas.

FACT: Alcohol is THE #1 most commonly used date rape drug in the U.S.

FACT: The act of deliberately using alcohol as a means to subdue someone in order to rape them is criminal.

FACT: Just because she isn't black-out drunk or unconscious doesn't mean it's not rape, dude.

I am a victim of sexual

I am a victim of sexual assault, and when I told a female professor about the crime, she openly blamed me for the assault. She said that I should not have put myself in the position to be assaulted, and I found this really traumatic at the time.

Therefore, I am very sensitive to the "blame the victim" mentality that often occurs with rape and sexual assault. However, I do not think that's what Chief Brown had in mind here. The comments from the blog where Katie took her information were exaggerated. This isn't Katie's fault because she wasn't at the meeting and had to take the word of people who were.

After watching the video, though, I don't think the Chief said anything that I wouldn't say to my own daughter. If you're going to drink, have a designated sober person. Try to go out in groups. These are all things women can do to protect and defend themselves. Advising women to take precautions does NOT imply that if a woman goes out and drinks by herself, she deserves to get raped. He didn't say that, nor did he imply it!

Let me give an analogous example. We often advise people to stay off the roads on St. Patrick's Day and Super Bowl Sunday because we know there will be a lot of intoxicated drivers on the roads and driving is more dangerous. This is good advice. This does NOT mean, however, that if I choose to drive sober on St. Patrick's Day and am killed by a drunk driver that it is my fault I because I chose to drive on St. Patrick's Day. The onus is ALWAYS on the drunk driver (or the rapist or the perpetrator of any crime).

I don't think he's a douchebag. I think he was trying to help. Yes, he could have worded it better. But judging someone without first judging his intentions is the lowest form of judgment.

There is a tiny bit of wisdom buried in that muck

There is some wisdom to be gleaned in that if you're going to be hanging out with strangers you may want to watch what you're doing so that your judgment isn't impaired. But that's true for both men and women and not only when it comes to dates. The fact that he addressed the behavior of the women specifically is the part that comes off as offensive. "Men will be men, so watch yourself ladies!"

Maybe if the police chief suggested doing background checks on potential dates, which is something neither sex considers doing very often and probably should, it wouldn't have been as offensive.

He should have addressed the rapists too, but what do you say to guys who believe it's perfectly fine to force sex on a woman who is drunk? Maybe the Police Chief thought it was pointless to try and decided to give some advice to the victims instead. He failed, of course...

While I agree that it is

While I agree that it is wrong to place the blame on women, and that what the police chief said is offensive, but I don't think it is bad advice for men or women to drink less in a situation that they are unsure of. I know that most date rapes are committed by friends, but what kind of world would we live in if people didn't trust their friends?

Obviously, in an ideal society, men would understand that rape is wrong and an evil thing to do to someone and therefore wouldn't do it. Sadly, there are evil people in this world and we should all try to protect ourselves from them.

To use an analogy, while no one is trying to blame the victim of a car-jacking in Johannesburg, it is still good advice to recommend that one have friend to sit in the passenger seat with a shotgun ready if you are driving in the bad parts of Joburg.

And if a woman thinks a guy is creepy, she should be on her guard when drinking with them.

Amen!

Yeah, I get tired of this argument that by telling people they should watch themselves that we are "blaming the victim". Not so! Until we live in a utopia where everyone realizes that crimes of any kind are wrong and stop committing them, we need to do what we can in a reasonable fashion to at least be somewhat street smart.

I've been really drunk in public many a time in my youth and nothing has ever happened to me. But I also know that being really drunk in public isn't a good idea. We all do stupid shit sometimes and while that doesn't mean we deserve to have anything bad happen to us, we may be increasing our chances of that when we're behaving carelessly.

Um. No.

Please think very hard about why conversations about rape prevention constantly revolve around all the things a victim should do or not do instead of centering around the person committing a crime.

Asking women to routinely surrender basic civil rights in order to avoid being victimized IS victim-blaming.

And when the Chief of Police -- the person responsible for stopping crime -- specifically responds to a very simple question regarding the CAUSE of an exponential increase in rape reports with, "Ladies, quitcha partyin'," that is also victim-blaming. Drinking is not illegal. Rape is.

Holding criminals accountable for their actions isn't "utopia," it's this guy's JOB.

mmmmmmmhmm

"Drinking is not illegal. Rape is." do something about THAT dallas police department.

This isn't a comment on

This isn't a comment on Police Chief Brown's comments, but on the data: Could the increase have been due to changes in data tracking? This is extremely common in the field of public health, where a worrisome increase in disease may only be due to procedural changes in reporting data.

That was my first thought as

That was my first thought as well.

First of all I never

First of all I never understood why but it's true that they keep changing the way rape is reported in order to increase the numbers.

The reason I know is because my school project was on rape.
Rape is lumped in with sexual assault which can be as simple as groping. I also found that sex and conception in American culture is viewed as something a man does to a woman, I didn't know this (I'm from India). So it is more so in my country that if a man and woman had been drinking and had non forceful sex it would be viewed as a mutual act requiring mutual responsibility.

In the U.S. the man is always supposed to have control of judgement and maintain masculine type power so it is only the woman who is considered to lack judgement and control after drinking.

So this is another reason that sex is seen as a man's fault.

or...

they could tell guys not to drink so much so they don't accidently get horny and aggressive toward the women in their company. I'm sure these guys would be horrified to think their attentions are unwelcome, so they should remain sober and aware so that they can read the signals and not put themselves in danger of raping someone.

Sounds really weird when you reverse the argument. huh.