Martha Al-Bishara is 87 years old.
She came to the U.S. from Syria 22 years ago.
Worked on a farm. Became a citizen. Lives in Chatsworth, Georgia.
Walked across the street to a vacant lot to gather dandelion greens for salad.
Had a small kitchen knife.
Vacant lot was the property of “Boys and Girls Club.”
Boys and Girls Club called 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 a bag.”
Three cops respond to this emergency.
Peering cautiously from behind some bushes, they see her cutting dandelion greens and putting them in a bag.
Two cops point guns at her, order her to drop the knife.
Cop says, “Her demeanor was calm, even seeing our guns out.”
She walks toward them.
Since she doesn’t understand English, they try speaking Spanish to her.
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 the 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 the ones in perp’s bag.
Cops flip her over, handcuff her, take her to jail.
Held for 2 hours.
Charged with trespassing and obstruction of justice.
Property damage and threat to safety of Boys and Girls Club yet to be determined.
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: