by Chris Haire
There's an art to crafting a good euphemism, and it's an art I appreciate.
Take for instance this example: Whenever the agent for a notoriously drunk starlet or a high-as-a-frikkin-kite frontman for a has-been rock band tells the press that their client cancelled a show or was discovered sleeping in their next-door neighbor's kitchen, there is one excuse they almost always give: Their celebrity client was suffering from "dehydration and exhaustion."
Of course, we know what that really means: They were zonked out of their minds on booze and/or pills, plus a few lines of the ole rootie toot toot.
When it comes to politics, we now have a new euphemism. In today's world, a candidate no longer "drops" out of a race. They "suspend their campaign." Ha.
That said, my current fave euphemism can be found in the incident report below, regarding the Feb. 25 confrontation between former Al Cannon Detention Center employee Jonathan Lewis and inmate Karen E. Pratt. (Pratt was arrested that same day for open container.)
According to a detention center incident report, Pratt:
"began yelling into the phone in the processing area. [Lewis] immediately approached inmate Pratt and told her to lower her conversation because it was between her and the person on the phone. Inmate Pratt then rolled her eyes, turned her head, and began yelling once again into the phone. [Lewis] then hung up the phone and reached for the receiver. Inmate pratt then grabbed the receiver and attempted to pull it away from [Lewis.][The officer] then gained control of the receiver and hung it on the phone. Inmate Pratt was then told to go to the holding cell but refused. [Lewis] then attempted to gain control of inmate Pratt's arm to place her in a[n] escort position, but she began to resist. Inmate Pratt then grabbed [Lewis'] arm and placed her hands around [his] head. [Lewis] then lifted inmate Pratt from the ground by her arms, freeing her grip from the back of [his] head and secured her to the ground."
Pratt was then charged with assault and a refusal to obey an order. However, that didn't settle the matter.
This past Friday, April 6, Lewis was let go by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office.
Now, what's that euphemism, you ask. Well, it's "secure her to the ground." I mean, I've watched the video and I don't think that's exactly how I would describe what Lewis did to Pratt. "Bodyslam" comes close, but even that's not quite accurate. Either way, this kind of behavior cannot be tolerated among law enforcement officers.
And frankly, I'm a little troubled. This is the second high-profile video involving a Charleston County Sheriff's Office officer employee being a bit more than handsy with a suspect.
Was the firing warranted? Watch the video below and judge for yourself.