Yesterday afternoon, I came across a couple of epic bodycam videos on YouTube. Both situations involved US citizens who were incredibly rude and disrespectful to other people. Whenever I see these kinds of things on YouTube, I’m left wondering what led to these folks behaving the way they do.
I understand that people usually start off life as total innocents. Then, as they get older, shit starts to happen. The shit can turn into something that makes them evolve into shitty people… or just people who act out in very inappropriate ways. Then I start wondering what it’s like for the people who are regularly in their lives.
This morning, I got a comment from a new visitor to my blog. This person had found a review I had written for a true crime book about Frederick “West” Greene and Michael Jervey, two men from Franklin, Virginia who murdered a classmate over an insult back in 1990. I only know about the case myself because a college friend is from Franklin and knew the people involved in the case. In fact, she brought West to our college once. I met him. Then, not long after that, it came out that he and his high school friend had brutally murdered another student at their high school. They kept the crime a secret for a couple of years.
The person who wrote to me today claimed to have had a relationship with West after he was paroled. In their comment, they requested that fellow readers “spare judgments” about the relationship. I have no problem doing that. I have pointed out many times in this blog that pretty much everyone has someone in their lives who loves them, in spite of what they’ve done. Even Josh Duggar has family who care about his well-being. So, it stands to reason that even people who have committed murders also have people who love them, for whatever reason. Many parents love their kids, for instance… no matter what evil they do.
Anyway, this post isn’t meant to be about Josh Duggar or West Greene. This post is about two bodycam videos I saw yesterday. Neither case involved murder or sex crimes, but they did involve people who didn’t appear to be very lovable at all. And yet, both women in these videos did have people who cared enough about them to help when they got arrested and acted like totally out of control worst nightmares.
I’ll start with the shorter video.
The comments about Dena Craig are pretty vicious. Lots of people write that they would never want Dena around the grandchildren again. As I watch her rant and rave about fast food, complaining that the fast food worker was “crying” about being hit with a hamburger, I can’t help but marvel at the massive sense of entitlement. It’s true that the worker wasn’t hurt when she got hit with the burger. But Dena’s conduct, as well as her husband, Marlon’s actions, are just unacceptable. If she acts like this in public, what must she be like at home? And what led up to this behavior?
In my experience, a lot of people who do crazy things like hurl hamburgers at strangers have a history of abuse. Some of them also have character disorders. There must have been a time when Dena was calm and charming enough to be attractive to another person. That’s why she’s a wife, mother, and grandmother, whose kids care enough to come down to the Wendy’s to deal with her. But I also have a feeling that this behavior isn’t unusual for her… and many innocent people have had to be on the receiving end of her tirades and bullying.
I would like to offer hearty congratulations and praise to the Wendy’s workers who called the police. There’s no telling how many people Dena has victimized with her over-the-top reactions to minor issues. I wouldn’t expect Dena to go to jail for a long time for throwing a burger at someone, but she does need some consequences for acting like this. I suspect she also has some very real mental health issues that need to be addressed.
I thought Dena’s case was pretty egregious. I mean, on one level, it’s a little funny… and a bit tragic. She got put in handcuffs for throwing fast food at someone who is paid very little to take her abuse. But I hadn’t seen anything yet. The next video I saw made Dena Craig and her husband look like devoted members of the church choir.
I don’t usually have the patience to sit through super long bodycam videos. However, Jaime Granger’s case was one rare traffic stop video that captured my attention for almost two hours. I’m serious, folks. This was about two solid hours jam packed with jaw dropping action. It had everything from a dramatic bust, to an ambulance ride, to kicking and screaming and totally defiant behavior. Jaime cursed, lied, bit, spit, kicked, threatened, barked, manipulated, cried, and demanded… and yet, somehow, she never ended up in a restraint chair.
I don’t usually like the way many American cops behave, but I have to tip my hat to the state police officers in New Mexico for not knocking the hell out of Jaime. It’s not that I would condone them beating her up, but I think I could understand feeling the urge to smack her a few times… There are instances in the above video when the cops are actually kind and compassionate toward Jaime, who goes from being distraught and pathetic, to overbearing and demanding, at the simple drop of a hat.
When Jaime is first apprehended, she’s in a bathroom stall. She had been in there peeing, I guess. A cop busted the stall door down and arrested her, at first using language that I didn’t find professional or appropriate. But then, it quickly becomes apparent that Jaime pretty much deserves being sworn at, at the very least.
The most disgusting part of the video, for me, at least, is when Jaime falsely accuses the cops of raping her. It’s not that I don’t think a woman like Jaime can be raped. Rape, for the most part, isn’t a crime about sexual gratification as it is about power, intimidation, and humiliation. A lot of people were commenting that Jaime is too unattractive to be sexually violated. That’s not true. Physical attraction has little to do with that particular crime.
However, Jaime wasn’t assaulted by the police. She may have felt threatened, and it’s my guess that in the past, someone probably did victimize her in some way. She doesn’t appear to be someone with much self respect, and a lot of times, people with no self respect lash out at others.
Again, it appears that Jaime has someone in her life who cares about her. She mentions her boyfriend, David, over and over again. Later, when she’s at the jail, one of the officers tells her that David has already called them about her. I only wonder what David has to deal with behind closed doors, especially when Jaime drinks.
Later in the video, when the cops decide to have Jaime medically evaluated due to her high blood pressure, the paramedics come to take her to the hospital. She is combative and uncooperative to them, to the point at which they kick her out of the ambulance and she’s forced to ride to the hospital in the back of a cop car. The whole time, she’s yelling and screaming, denying that she did anything wrong, and being totally repulsive. And yet, in spite of her atrocious behavior, the police are mostly respectful and professional, and they somehow manage to avoid clocking her in the face during her super long, non-stop temper tantrum. You can see that this case must have taken over half a shift for the cop who arrested her, as the sun goes down while she’s being processed.
In the end, Jaime took a plea deal…
I don’t know what Jaime’s ultimate punishment was in the wake of the incident from December 2021. I noticed that a lot of commenters on YouTube had very little compassion for her. I can certainly understand why they feel that way. However, I bet there are reasons why Jaime behaves the way she does… reasons that are just terrible. That doesn’t excuse her atrocious conduct, of course, but maybe it could offer an explanation.
I notice that I never see videos like these in Germany. It might be because Germans are much more private than most Americans are, and there are strict privacy laws here, at least involving crime. Even people who have committed horrific crimes have the right to have their faces hidden and names obscured. This is supposedly so they can recover from infamy. But I also don’t think most Germans act this way. Here, it seems like people are more passive aggressive than overtly hostile and crazy.
Anyway… I just felt like writing about this today… because these videos definitely blew my mind. It’s kind of embarrassing and depressing to observe how Americans act on bodycam footage. The longer I live outside of the United States, they more I can see why so many non-Americans think our culture is so completely fucked up on so many levels.