Yes, Virginia, cops are above the law.
Here is a little video about a police officer who is illegally parked. He is not on call, as you will see, since he comes out in casual dress looking likes he's off to the gym. One of our friends at Bureaucrash called in the illegally parked car and you can see what happens.
Just the other day I was behind a squad car. We all were stopped at a light but he grew impatient and suddenly flashed his lights and went through the light illegally. Of course, my first thought was that he got a call. But he drives to the next light with his lights off. And there is a line of traffic and he isn't the first in line. So he just sits there having to wait. He doesn't turn his lights on as if on a call.
Did the call go away in that short a time? I doubt it. He just got impatient. And turning on his lights didn't make it legal to just go through the light since he wasn't actually on a call. In the same area I was driving out of a subdivision and turning right on the main road. A cop car was at the stop sign in front me and turned left. But I had no idea which way he was turning as he didn't bother to put his turn signal on.
Just yesterday we say the fire department pulling a similar trick. The truck comes to an intersection, turns on the lights and horn and barrels through. It then turned into a shopping complex which we had just passed and where there was no fire of any kind. First, thought was that it could be a emergency medical call since it appears that fire trucks now routinely respond to such things -- its good for their budget. But the fire truck was not from our town at all and wouldn't be responding to such a call. It would respond to a major fire call which might overwhelm the local department but since there was no fire.
I believe the men in the truck were just doing some shopping. And yes, they do drive these huge fire trucks to the store when they go grocery shopping, I've witnessed that personally on several occasions. I have seen the fire officers inside grocery shopping and then go out and get in the truck to return to the fire house. You'd think the fire truck should remain on call at the station. In addition I've witnessed four to five fire officials shopping as a group while on duty with the truck parked outside.
In the town where I lived during college the local sheriffs would speed down the road every time there was a shift change. I mean speed. They ignored the speed limits just so to make sure they didn't leave for home a couple of minutes later. This was witnessed every day at precisely the same times.
What we know is that cops do believe they are above the law and they routinely act as if they are above the law. And it isn't just the little rules that they break. As has been documented time after time they break the big rules as well -- including planting evidence, lying to judges, giving false testimony, threatening people with bodily harm without good reason, etc. Power does corrupt.
Labels: police misconduct