Calling it your job old hoss sure don't make it right

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Apologies to John Mellencamp and a h/t to Radley Balko for this article.

When Donald Ross's sister passed, more than 100 people attended her funeral mass in Spokane.

The burial was scheduled for a nearby cemetery, but Ross and his family only made it a quarter of a mile when flashing lights forced them to the side of the road.

I don't know the laws regarding funeral procession in Washington, but in most states (including MI), they have the right of way and can ignore traffic signs. Yes, it can be annoying, but they are pretty uncommon these days. So, what horrible crime were Ross and his bunch of scofflaws engaging in?

But the deputy kept them there, writing up five citations because the driver and the passengers were not wearing a seat belts. And the sheriff's department says he had every right.

"We're out here trying to prevent funerals, not disrupt them," said Dave Reagan of Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Granted, I wasn't there, but most funeral processions move pretty slow, so I doubt they were in a huge amount of danger. I also have a problem with the use of the word "right". The state, and agents of the state have powers, duties, and responsibilities, they don't have rights. One of those powers is discretion. I am sure that most of us have been pulled over and not received a ticket and this is an instance where discretion would, IMO, dictate not giving a ticket for a victimless crime.

Those five tickets took 12 minutes to write. By the time Ross and his family members got back on the road, the burial was over.

This department owes this family an apology instead of justifying their actions.


Bob 8:07 PM  

Another cop acting "stupidly"?

Smitty 10:14 PM  

Nice bob. Very nice.

This kinda stuff always makes me nuts. WTF ever happened to discretion and using one's brain? I recognize this is isolated, but still.

Bob 7:11 AM  

The cop was also probably wearing a full SWAT jumpsuit or fatigues when he made the stop. The police really are another branch of the military right?

steves 8:39 AM  

Huh? I am not sure I get your point?

Bob 9:36 AM  

"Huh? I am not sure I get your point?"

I am assuming this was aimed at my second comment. This goes back to a discussion that Smitty and I had about cops acting more and more like the military and dressing the part too.

Smitty would probably call it Marine envy or something.

steves 10:36 AM  

Gotcha. Some of the other places I post are uber sensitive about anything that is even the least bit critical of police. I am certainly not anti-cop, but I think shitty police work deserves to be scrutinized.

B Mac 9:06 AM  

but I think shitty police work deserves to be scrutinized.

Absolutely. I wouldn't even call your post anti-police... more like anti-dumbshit.

Part of being an officer is discretion. Most officers would have understood that and passed. This dude failed.

Anonymous,  1:16 PM  

f'n pigs.

Mr Furious 10:07 AM  

What a fucking asshole.

(He was probably angling for a beer at the White House)

B Mac 4:08 PM  

Funny you should mention that...

Good times.

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