Doing the right thing, after we exhaust the alternatives



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July, 2009

Police officers in cities and larger communities have written policies about how to approach a crime in progress.

These policies keep injury to a minimum and reduce media attention. Officers deviate from it to some extent because no two incidents are exactly the same. But if the shit hits the fan, that officer better come up with some good reasons why he didn't abide by the written word and brought in all the media heat.

Some things are fairly universal. On a burglary in progress, officers need quick control of the crime scene and everyone in it. Since too many officers have been shot in the back by distraught wives and unlikely thieves, they start by putting each citizen in the scene into a controlled setting. That may include temporary cuffing or placement in a vehicle. Most often officers simply tell them to go outside with another officer.

Control of the scene at this point is of vital importance. If they need to arrest the occupants to get that control, that's what'll happen.

Once the site is searched for all the suspects and control of evidence, the officers begin to sort out everyones story. As the pieces come together, people are told they're free to go about their business. Some officers might apologize to people who've been caught up in conflicting accounts of what happened.

This is routine. It happens literally thousands of times every day in America. It works well until somebody thinks they know more about police work than the cops.

Or, somebody has a hair up their ass about "perceived issues".

Who might that be? White supremacists, paranoid conspiracists and black professors who've spent their entire lives obsessing on racism.

It doesn't help when the President has spent the past twenty years listening to "God damn America!" sermons by Reverend Wright. It gets worse when the President doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut and disses thoughtful policies of police departments across the country. Yah, this is a teachable moment.




Mon, 27 Jul 2009 23:28:12




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