Martha Al-Bishara is 87 years old.
Came from Syria 22 years ago.
Worked on farm. Became citizen. Lives in Chatsworth, Georgia.
Walks across street to vacant lot to gather dandelion greens for salad.
Has small kitchen knife.
Vacant lot is property of Boys and Girls Club.
Boys and Girls Club calls 911 saying non-English speaking old woman who “can’t get around too well,” is “walking around looking for something like, vegetation, to cut down” and put in bag.
Three cops respond to emergency.
Observe her cutting dandelion and putting in bag.
Two cops point guns, order her to drop knife.
Cop says, “Her demeanor was calm, even seeing our guns out.”
She walks toward them.
Cop shoots taser prongs into her in breast and stomach.
She cries out and falls.
“An 87-year old woman with a knife still has the ability to hurt an officer,” explains Chief of Police. “The thought behind that would be if the officer had retreated, with her being in an elevated position, he could easily have fell down, at which time she could have been progressing on top of him and deadly force could have been used at that point in time.”
All 3 cops manage to escape with their lives.
Dandelions also safe, except for victim in perp’s bag.
Property damage and threat to safety of Boys and Girls Club yet to be determined.
911 caller awarded Chicken Little Medal for bravery.
Cops flip her over, handcuff her, take her to jail.
Try speaking Spanish to her.
Held for 2 hours.
Charged with trespassing and obstruction of justice.
Family gets her out, takes her to hospital.
Is confused and in distress.
Afraid to go out. Can’t sleep. Repeatedly apologizes to family for getting them in trouble.
Grannies’ lives matter.
Addendum. The Greek friend who alerted us to this story writes about dandelion greens: