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The Other Side of the Thin Blue Line

We see regularly on the blogosphere the police getting away with all manner of abuse, in terms of arresting quiet suburban couples who were mistaken for pot growing kingpins, or something like that, but there is also plenty of “never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity” out there, and Wyatt’s true detective files are among those:

The officers bring everything up and tell us what happened. To a man, we say, “You can’t lock this guy up for this.” The officers reply that their sergeant told them to lock the man up. Naturally, we asked the officers if the sergeant was coming up here to explain why he did that, the officers replied no. Of course not, because the sergeant knows he was wrong.

Look, in the real world, yeah, this toad probably broke into the vehicle. In the legal world, however, nothing this person did can justify charging him with the theft. Not without a complainant, a witness, or some physical evidence. In the end, we had the toad identified, checked him for active warrants, then released him with no charges.

And because this idiot sergeant ordered his arrest, the toad could have a nice little lawsuit on his hands if he so desired. Only in Philadelphia.

There are plenty of cops out there trying to do the right thing in a world that is decidedly not clearly black or white. I don’t mean to trivialize true abuses of police powers, but quite often the line between the good and the evil is a thin line. That’s something that’s probably lost in this debate.

4 Responses to “The Other Side of the Thin Blue Line”

  1. Wyatt Earp says:

    Thanks, Sebastian. I wish I could make these stories up, but I don’t have that vivid on an imagination.

  2. Papa Foxtrot says:

    Unfortunately, it seems that many police departments are devolving into bloated bureacracies and bureaucrats often have great disdain for those that they “serve”…

  3. I don’t think anyone here would argue that there aren’t good cops, it’s just that there never seem to be reports of ‘good cops turn on bad cops, bad cop (at least) relieved of duty’.

  4. mobo says:

    People often complain that Muslim groups don’t condemn terrorism as strongly as they should.

    My complaint against the police is similar. If the majority of cops are “good cops”, why don’t more of them actively and agressively turn against the bad ones, rather than protect them?

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