Wednesday, September 26, 2007

We're the only ones whiny enough...

Squeaky links to the tale of a woman who was pulled over for speeding in Pennsylvania. When she handed over her papers, tucked in among them like a mordida for the federales was her "Family Brass" card, which her husband's employer, a police department in New Jersey issues to our betters the king's men the nomenklatura family members of cops. The Pennsylvania cop asked what it was. She explained that her husband was a police officer. The PA officer said words to the effect of "That's nice," and resumed writing the ticket.

Caesar's wife, being not only not above reproach, but actually beneath contempt, then got hubby on her cellie and complained to him that she was being treated like a common criminal for actually, you know, committing a common crime. She tried to hand the phone to the officer who had stopped her, but he explained that he really didn't feel that talking to her husband was relevant to the current situation in any way. She was left with a ticket.

Here, however, is where the story gets good. Instead of manning up and accepting the consequences, Officer X from New Jersey goes and posts his tale on a special web page where, get this, people who are sworn to enforce the law go to complain in public about having the law enforced on them. Grown men whining about receiving tickets for fishing without a license, kayaking without a life preserver, speeding, and all the other little laws that are only supposed to apply to us peons. Obviously all the complainants are anonymous, which is odd for people who are so convinced that they were wronged somehow (unlike, say, one Trevor Putnam, who broke his internet anonymity when he actually was wronged by a police officer.) The only thing keeping my breakfast down is the fact that most of the pusillanimous jerks on that site seem to hail from NJ and NY, which are far from where I'm seated at the moment and therefore their ripe stench can't interfere with my digestion.

20 comments:

OldTexan said...

I read the stories and the hubris of the cops is unbelivable. I can understand trying to get a pass for being an officer but to become incensed when you or your family do not get a "Get out of jail free!" card is nuts.

Of course in some of the sates the cops know they are the only people who can be trusted with pistols and we common folk have neither the right nor the ability to use weapons properly.

A Pox on them and their progeny.

Zendo Deb said...

I think the TRUE professional courtesy would be to not commit crimes in other jurisdictions.

Committing crimes and expecting to be let off because you are part of the "brotherhood" strikes me as being unprofessional discourtesy to the people they actually work for.

Tam said...

Not too fast, there.

You haven't heard someone rant about "get out of jail free" until you've heard JPG tee off on the topic. I seem to recall it offended his sense of ethics something fierce.

Tam said...

Er, my above comment was to oldtexan. Deb typed while I was ginning it up.

Zendo Deb said...

Actually true professionals probably wouldn't commit crimes, given they are sworn to uphold the law. (Apparently that oath has more loopholes than I realized.)

LabRat said...

This is apparently hopping all over the blogosphere. I ran into this morning somewhere totally different.

The guys listed as "dicks" are due a cup of coffee from a citizen in their jurisdiction, perhaps...

Matt G said...

I'm utterly speechless. Disgusted, and amazed.

Wow.

Anonymous said...

Tam, this brings to mind the post-Katrina speeding NJ cops incident, which resulted in a rather heated exchange between Virginia and a New Jersey mobst - ummm, police chief.

BobG said...

These assholes tarnish the reputation and credibility of all of the honest members of the law enforcement community.

Don Gwinn said...

Unbelievable . . . and there have always been rumors that similar "brass cards" are treated as de facto CCW permits in Illinois. I can't prove that, but it wouldn't shock me to know it goes on in large parts of the state.

HTRN said...

I've always heard them referred to as "courtesy shields" - NYPD issues, IIRC, 4 of them to each officer.

I've heard them referred to as "get out of jail free" cards.

I think the reason it's mostly NY, and NJ cops, is because they congregate there. Other LEO only boards attract LEO's from different areas, but have a similar attitude of entitlement - If anything, the worst of the lot are those in Illinois.

The Earth Bound Misfit said...

What an amazing site!

"Wah! We're cops, we shouldn't have to obey the laws when we are off duty. And neither should our family members. Wah!"

Anonymous said...

The only dim glimmer of hope on that site are the 'dicks' that are writing the tickets these corrupt cops are complaining about.

DBA Dude said...

These "cops" sound like whiny school kids complaining that another kid has stolen their favourite marble.

After they lost it fair and square in a game.

Zendo Deb said...

OK all this stuff has gotten me thinking. Brett Darrow and ColtCCO were bad enough. (And this is just stupid.)

Anthony Abbate was in court again last week, which I thought would resurrect interest in this case.

Abbate while an off-duty Chicago cop (250 pounds), beat Karolina Obryka (150 pounds) a bar tender who refused to serve him another drink. (He didn't think the law should apply to him you see.

The brotherhood closed in around him, even after alleged bribery and witness intimidation ("there will be drugs found in you car").

There was a similar case in Chicago a few months before this, which finally came to light.

So the question is - if I revisit all of this stuff, and some of the other instances of like events, am I putting my foot in the trap? Am I bearding the lion in his den? Should I invest in lots of video equipment?

Simeron said...

Well, I've heard this for a long, long time now. Being a peon myself, I really don't mind nods for little things, like doing 10 over when you really weren't endangering anyone. Shoot, I'd like to get one too, who wouldn't? Even did get a few when I was delivering pizza and once or twice when I was just flat wrong.

The issue for me is when they EXPECT it. THAT to me is being discourteous to thier fellow officers. It should be up to the officer writing the ticket whether or not they give the nod, not the other way around.

This reminds me of people or businesses that automatically add "gratuity" onto my bill. Pardon me, but I think I'm the best judge of whether or not I got service good enough for a tip. It's the same thing with getting a nod, at least to me, being the peon I am.

Anonymous said...

Here's my letter to the dickless dicks at the dick a month club:

Clearly you believe that off-duty law enforcement personnel ought to receive "professional courtesy" after violating a law, by which I understand you mean not receiving a ticket that I would have received. Having a get-out-of-jail-free card isn't enough, though - you also want the on-duty officer to treat you with respect while telling you there's no consequence for breaking the law.

All that, as I said, is a benefit of free speech. However, I won't forget this site the next time an officer of the law talks about his salary or benefits. If being above the law is an expected benefit from your position, then we can take that into account in calculating pay and benefits.

The 1st Amendment enumerates your right to speak freely, but it doesn't take away the consequences your words have. By the way, if a cop treated you rudely even after knowing you're a fellow officer, imagine how many hundreds of "ordinary, meaningless" citizens like me the officer treated even more rudely. I don't suppose that matters as you look upon the lawless masses.

comatus said...

Not long ago, we all got even with the postal workers for being, well, postal. At the time, I told somebody or other that if you hated them just for working for government, you could also unload on cops, teachers, and soldiers.

At this time I'd like to apologize to matt g for saying that. I had no idea what I was calling down on you personally.

Policing as a profession dates from what, 1829? ("detecting," unless you're an "Age of Treason" fan, is even younger).
Like government teaching, it invites abuse, and attracts some real sick fucks. HST, there are those who do it and do it well. I personally have known more good cops than bad. Have known both, though. It takes a person so special that it may be an abnormal level of specialness.

Privatizing only recruitment and administration cannot do away with the scourge of those who misuse "monopoly of the initiation of force." Let's broach the probability that there might be another way to accomplish public security, one that might work in problematic urban environments where no one is signatory to the contract, not just within the range of your personal enforcement tool. I rant over these bad-cop stories, too, but at some point you have to ask yourself, how would I do it? Where is the systemic error? Is there a way to have "policing" without entrusting ourselves only to the character of the "policer?" And if not, what do we do then?

Matt, best I can do for you here.

Anonymous said...

All the whiners are anonymous but they name the officers that charged them.

Glenn Kelley(who can't get this site to accept my password)

Rob said...

More proof that speed limits aren't about safety, they're about revenue.

If they were really about safety, cops would follow them more than anyone.