This White Couple Got Away with Something That Would Likely Put Black Couples in Danger

News & Politics

In today’s installment of “White Privilege Is Still a Thing,” police in Florida reportedly waited nearly seven whole hours before forcing their way into a trailer to arrest a criminal couple who refused to give up because they wanted to have sex.

According to the Florida Times-Union, police from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene at 9:30pm Wednesday to arrest Ryan Patrick Bautista, a felon wanted on several outstanding warrants, including armed burglary. According to police, Bautista and Leanne Hunn barricaded themselves inside a trailer home and refused to come out. Local outlet News4Jax says cops believe one of the pair likely had a weapon.

Also inside the trailer, according to the Times-Union, was Michael V. Forte, who police were looking for in connection with a fatal shooting on September 8. What’s more, another woman who had been at the trailer to attend a party was reportedly forced to remain inside by Hunn and Bautista. The paper says the couple “dragged her to a back bedroom and held her down.”

At some point, the JSO officers, who had been using their loudspeakers to demand the couple exit, called the duo on the phone. Hunn reportedly told officers she would eventually give up but that “she wanted to have sex with Bautista one last time.” Then she hung up on the cops—who did not shoot their way into the trailer or even immediately force their way in, but instead called out SWAT forces.

So let’s review: a potentially armed felon charged with violent offenses who has been hiding out and harboring an accused murderer, while also allegedly holding an innocent woman against her will, gets into a standoff with the cops, and his partner informs the police that they will only end the standoff after they get done doing it. And the cops…wait.

I challenge you to imagine how different the outcome would have been if all the players were black. Because really.

Even neighbors describe a scene where the cops gave everyone involved a pretty remarkable number of chances. Speaking to News4Jax, one neighbor described hearing the SWAT team’s announcements: “Constantly saying, 'It's the last warning!' So I thought, what's going to happen? We kept hearing the sirens and everything. All we knew was that it was going to be a big bust because there was a lot of them."

The SWAT team finally forced its way into the mobile home, presumably after Bautista and Hunn finished their post-coital cigarette. Forte, Bautista and Hunn were apprehended around 4:30am. Forte is reportedly charged with “murder, armed robbery with a firearm or other deadly weapon and possession of a weapon by a felon.” Hunn and Bautista were charged with “resisting arrest without violence and false imprisonment.”

No one was shot, tased or even roughed up, apparently. After an almost seven-hour standoff.

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