My web browser has been filling up lately with stories of police run amok. Maybe they ate too many donuts? Perhaps they should switch to decaf. Whatever the problem, it’s clear that not all the men and women in blue are wearing the uniform to protect and serve. Here are four examples from the last week.
- Leander Pickett, a teacher’s assistant in Jacksonville, Fla., was directing bus traffic at Englewood Elementary School when a car pulled up and parked, blocking traffic. Pickett asked the driver to please move the car, and that’s when the two men burst out of the car, saying they were from Homeland Security, and handcuffed Pickett and threw him against their car.
- The Los Angeles Police Department, having completely solved this California city’s crime problems, now turns to the pressing issue of people crossing the street too slowly. Police are now ticketing elderly people who don’t cross the street fast enough because the light timing is set too fast, even for pedestrians who try to run across the street.
- While the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has been busy arresting people drunk in bars, other Texas peace officers have been busy harassing anyone they can get away with harassing, such as anyone with out of state tags on their cars. And they brazenly admit it, too.
- And finally, the Barnstable County (Mass.) Sheriff’s Department is redefining entrapment by placing undercover deputies in high schools pretending to be students who then beg, plead, cajole, and do whatever it takes to convince unwary students to find them drugs. Consider Kaitlin Keane, 23, who apparently successfully got nine students to bring her drugs so she would stop crying, and allegedly smoked pot right along with them.
If you like these sorts of stories, I recommend the excellent Bad Cop No Donut web site and podcast, from which I found none of these stories, but which has many more.