Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Cop Who Wants to Eat and Drink for Free

JusticeVan Buren cop, 3 others accused of leaving bill unpaid at restaurant 76 bucks. Instead of paying, he had his badge confiscated and is on leave - without pay. Sounds like it will cost him a little more than 76 bucks.
Ferndale Police Lt. William Wilson said, ““It’s not the biggest crime in the world, but when a cop steals it’s still a big deal.” Wilson said that the Van Buren Township officer, upon being stopped by Oak Park and Ferndale police at 9 Mile and Coolidge, immediately identified himself as a police officer and flashed his police badge.

“With this guy flashing his badge – I don’t know if he thought he’d get out of trouble with our guys. We want to tell the public that this is not a tolerated behavior by a police officer,” Wilson said Friday.
Because he didn't think the rules applied to cops, he flashed his badge. He apparently thought his badge was a "get out of jail free card."

He didn't pay for the food and drink he consumed. In case you're confused on the issue, that's called stealing, and it is a crime even when (or especially when) a cop does it.

You know, I almost feel guilty (almost) about the Cops Behaving Badly series of posts. It started with the Brett Darrow video of his traffic stop. A lot of people were insisting that it was an isolated incident. And it was, but it wasn't a once in a lifetime occurrence. There was ColtCCO roughed up and threatened for the non-crime of carrying a gun while in possession of a gun-carrying permit.

Now I know my outlook is colored because of my personal experience. In general dealing with "Chicago's Finest," and a few other jurisdictions after friends were bashed left me with a view of police that is unflattering to say the least. I know they all aren't monsters, but they aren't all saints either. A few of them - enough - are monsters, and much larger number are bullies with badges.

The thing is, when you start to look, there are more of these stories than I believed possible. And this story is clear evidence that some police - I won't try and quantify the number, but it is not negligible - truly believe that they don't have to live by the same rules as everyone else. And this guy was just an idiot - to risk all he is about to lose over 76 bucks. He's lost more than that in pay by now.

I should also mention that the cops who arrested this guy, who ignored the fact that he was a cop himself and who put his butt in jail are to be commended. Those are officers of the law, behaving professionally.

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