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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Latest stories of law enforcement gone bonkers

As I shouldn't have to state every time I post something about this: I do believe that most of those who choose to serve in law enforcement are doing so honorably. But I also must point out that a virtue like trust does not come automatically with a badge and a uniform. Trust must be earned and kept. And it is inherent to a free and peaceable society that all citizens be vigilant in the upholding of liberty.

So it is that The Knight Shift now presents more of the sadly seemingly-escalating chronicles of cops gone screwy.

The first comes from Philadelphia, where police officer Alberto Lopez Sr. publicly bullied civilian Agnes Lawless in a convenience store because Lawless was involved in a minor fender-bender with Lopez's son a short time earlier. At one point Lopez shoved his service pistol into Lawless's face. Here is the footage from the Lukoil's security camera...

The next story comes from Wyoming, where Franklin Joseph Ryle Jr., formerly of that state's Highway Patrol, plead guilty in federal court to charges of depriving a man of his constitutional right to be free from unreasonable seizures by kidnapping him. Earlier this year and while on duty as a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper, Ryle "stopped a Wal-Mart truck with the intent to murder its driver and stage an accident with the truck that would either injure Ryle or kill his wife, allowing him to seek a monetary settlement from Wal-Mart."

And rounding out this report, Washington D.C. chief of police Cathy Lanier is blasting iPhone users as "cowardly". What has Lanier so honked-off is Trapster: a new iPhone app that tells you when you are approaching a red-light camera, speed trap and other safe-driving revenue-enhancing schemes. I say: things like the red-light cameras are a cowardly tactic on the part of government agencies... and if citizens want to strike back at them, more power to them!

(I wonder how many iPhone users have bought Trapster all because of Cathy Lanier making such a fuss about it? Bet that app's creator is now enjoying some profit on account of the free publicity! :-)


Anonymous said...

On the red light and speeding car cameras . . . Greensboro and High Point both had them up and running a few years back.

What isn't widely known is that Jim Black . . . yes, THE Jim Black now serving in the federal pen for his activities in the legislature . . . was caught by one of those cameras while going through High Point. He attempted to argue that he should not be charged with running the red light, because no officer actually SAW him do it.

He paid the $100+ fine for the violation, but very quickly moved a bill through the legislature that required 90% of the money paid for getting caught by these cameras to go to the public school system.

When that became law, the lack of economic incentive to the involved police departments quickly led to the removal of the cameras.

That just shows you where the REAL motivation for such police technology lies.

Ol' You-Know-Who

Anonymous said...

As a critic of your "dog shooting" article, which I thought was irresponsibly inflammatory, I commend you on this piece. It presents your point of view without pandering to the masses. Good job.

Chris Knight said...

"Irresponsibly inflammatory"?

A physically large police officer shot and killed a very small dog simply because said dog was barking at him.

I defy any rational person to not be outraged at that.

Sometimes the situation calls for nothing but nearly-unbridled wrath. And fortunately, the Danville officer was ultimately fired from his job (although now he's trying to get it back via appeal) but not after a lot of public outrage and criticism.

If in some small way my lil' blog helped stoke the fans of public outcry in this, then I darn well won't apologize for that.

Anonymous said...

As an officer of 16 plus years, I think Chris nailed the articles on the killings of the dogs. It disgusted me to no end to see those stories. Absolutely no reason to have killed those dogs. None. At all. Ever. People who do things like that, and the cases featured in this latest post, tarnish the reputation of every officer in the land.

There was a trooper up here who got tanked up and went on a rampage in his marked police car last year, kidnapping someone and then leading the local county police on a drawn out chase. Yes, the trooper was fleeing in a marked car. Needless to say he got arrested and fired. Dont know what has happened in court yet. Hopefully he gets hung out to dry.

I also emphatically disagree with the reliance on speed cameras and red light cameras that has exploded upon the country. Our purpose is to catch criminals, not make money, which is why the cameras exist. Great police work stems from traffic enforcement...if someone relied on speed cameras to catch Timothy McVeigh he would have escaped justice. But a cop working traffic caught him instead.

Anyway, bottom line, though these few miscreant officers grab the headlines, remember that there are thousands of us serving on The Thin Blue Line every day and working honorably. And sometimes paying the ultimate price. wwww.odmp.org

Anonymous said...

The guy was a jerk, few are debating that. Your outrage was fine. Your two consecutive days of "dead cop" references which disintegrated into more physical threats and "body bag" comments by your followers were not. I don't recall a single sentence from you pulling all that into perspective. I think I'll stick with "irresponsibly inflammatory". Sorry. "Parse that as you will".