Tuesday, September 25, 2007

America, Where Some are More Equal than Others

Radley Balko has an ongoing series he calls "Scalia's New Professionalism" (after Scalia's idiotic opinion in Hudson v. Michigan) in which he points out grievous abuses of power or displays of ineptitude by law enforcement.

Balko's latest post in the series points to this disgusting site, which is a site for cops to name other cops who had the nerve to write them tickets simply because they were breaking the law. Can't tell for sure if it's real, but if it's a fake, it's a pretty elaborate one.

Here's the first story on the site:
On June 20, 2007, I was heading to Springfield, Illinois from Chicago on Interstate 55 (I-55) to give a training seminar on LAW ENFORCEMENT defensive tactics. As I am driving, I'm really not paying attention to where I am at or how fast I was going. I was pretty much keeping up with the cars in front of me and next to. Most of the time I had my cruise set at 77-79 in a 65. Up ahead, I saw a few state police units (4 or 5, when you you work in the city a bunch would be 15-20) with people pulled over. Being the cop that I am (and what we all should be), I slowed and then made sure none of them were in any danger or getting their ass kicked.

By his own admission, he was doing 77-79 in a 65 and "really not paying attention to where I am at or how fast I was going."
As I passed a state trooper, she kept her lights on and pulled back onto the highway and got behind me. I pulled over and had my license out when she approached. I figured that she saw the FOP badge on my plate (hopefully they'll show the picture). It's not something that any ordinary person can buy. They're numbered and you have to be the police to get one.

Once she got to my window, she took my license and told me that I was clocked by airspeed doing 84.9 miles per hour. That seemed a little high, but we know not to argue. She asked why the hurry. I told her I wasn't in a hurry and that I was en route to give a LAW ENFORCEMENT defensive tactics training seminar in Springfield. I actually gave her the business card of my contact at the Police Academy. The same academy that trains the state police! I then mentioned that I have been law enforcement for almost 15 years and would appreciate a break. She then told me that she couldn't do that because she was the "catch car". I then rattled off a couple names of who might be flying the plane that was above (Butler, Galvan). I worked with a couple during a DEA detail once and I KNOW they would give me the nod. That didn't even phase her. I then realized that I was getting a ticket. After stopping hundreds of cops on Lake Shore Drive, some state, I was getting a ticket. I have friends in state police districts 2, 5 and of course Chicago. This troop, Trpr Schroder #3512, from district 6 is the only officer to ever give me a ticket while I have been a police officer. Congrats to you.

Lovely. I wonder what kind of retaliation he is hoping for by singling her out by name.
I really didn't mind the ticket once I knew I was getting one. I've written thousands and is it really that bad?? The thing that bothers me is 1) she showed no respect for me. All the years I have worked, the different units I've been on, the shitheads that I have arrested didn't mean squat to her. I've given breaks before for people doing 19 miles over the limit. I have even let one go for doing 150+ on LSD. She didn't know this and that's the whole idea! She should have given me the break knowing that I go out there everyday and risk my life. I wouldn't have given her a ticket! 2) Now as a training instructor, she was is the danger zone. She wasn't paying any attention to what was going on. She was just writing the ticket. She looked to be well over retirement age and probably was just sticking around to get those few more percents on her pension. She didn't even see my duty weapon.. :( In plain view...

All I can say that when a district 6 troop gets a ticket, you can thank Trpr. Schroder. I hope this story gets out. Since I instruct with several training agencies, NEMRT, and the academies, I will use this as an example of how not to show professional courtesy. I wonder if I'll see anyone I know in traffic school (LOL).

UPDATE: Contacts within ISP tell us that they write even their own. How pathetic!!! I'm sure there are 12,000 or so officers from a "big city" that are itching to catch a ISP Trooper. Hope they only return the favor to district 6.

He let someone (presumably a fellow officer) go for doing 150+ mph on LSD and appears to think that this is not only standard procedure, but much better than writing up a fellow officer for something as petty as, you know, breaking the law and endangering the lives of civilians.

I can only hope that this site is a honeypot operation, where they are secretly logging entries from corrupted officers in order to do a massive, nation-wide housecleaning. Something tells me not to hold my breath.


Anonymous said...

It gets worse; the cops give auto stickers to get out of tickets to people who give them money (oops, I mean support the police retirement fund). They give "get out of jail (ticket) free" cards to people who do them favors. These should absolutely be illegal activities.

Half Sigma said...

The fact that some/many/most(?) cops are assholes and/or hypocrites doesn't is a different issue from the technical constitutional question of whether the exclusionary rule applies to failure to knock and announce. It says nowhere in the Constitution that there's an exclusionary rule, it's something that Supreme Court Justices just made up in the 1960s. It hasn't seem to have made law enforcement any nicer.

In the vast majority of exclusionary hearings, it's the defendant's word against the cop, and 100% of the time the Judge always believes the cop in those cases.

Foilwoman said...

That cops writing cops website is just disgusting. I'm hoping it is a sting or a scam (like that awful marry our virgin daughter website), but it doesn't look like it, does it?

Half Sigma said...

Cops are blue collar people with blue collar sensibilities.

To them, loyalty to the group is a higher value than abstract principles like equal treatment under the law. No amount of classroom training will alter the core values of the working class people.

When people attending Harvard and Yale aspire to become cops instead of lawyers or investment bankers, then things will change.