Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cops Behaving Badly - Starbucks Division - Cop Fired for Using Badge to Demand Free Starbucks Sometimes these stories just write themselves.

So this guy thinks free regular coffee isn't good enough, he wants free specialty drinks. And he uses used his badge, and threats to extort those drinks.
"If something happens we could respond really fast or really slow — the difference between you getting a two-minute response time or a 15-minute response time," Garvin reportedly told a Starbucks employee.
He was fired. He was not charged with extortion. And I am sure that the union in his town will appeal his firing.

This is a reflection of the attitude that cops matter, and no one else does. Cops and "little people." You can see this attitude Cops Writing Cops - a web site that expresses the opinion that cops should not get traffic tickets or be jailed for "minor" crimes - it's all about professional courtesy, don't you know. They have the right to break the law because they are cops, not little people. It is definitely not the case that they should be held to a higher standard.

You could see this attitude in New Orleans after Katrina, where cops from all over the country decided that the US Constitution did not apply because they said so. This was a classic example of jack-booted thugs terrorizing a civilian population.

You can see this attitude in the cop who stiffed a restaurant for a $76 bill and bar tab, and when he was arrested, he was flashing his badge like a "get out of jail free" card. Again, he thought he had the right to break the law.

You can see this attitude in the cops caught extorting sex from female suspects.

Now most cops are decent enough folks, though the usurpation of rights after Katrina was pretty universal. But not all cops are ready to serve and protect, unless you fork over that free Frappachino. Add that to the much worse things done by cops around the country and it is clear why some people don't extend trust to every law enforcement officer they meet. If the LEOs of the world want to correct that, they need to do what this Florida town did. Find the officers who are stepping over the line, and get them - forever - out of the policing business. And that means stamping out the attitude that leads to things like this, and that website. (If you are free to break the law in small ways, why aren't you free to break it in big ways?)

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