Sunday, January 23, 2011

Police Story

I was driving to Columbia to see the chiropractor last week when I espied one of the People's Republic of Maryland message boards that have sprung up over the state's highways in the past several years.  The message on it read:

Slow traffic warning
Police funeral - 12 PM to 4 PM

I had to reread the message to make sure I understood.  You're telling me that traffic is going to be FUBAR for 4 hours just because a cop died?

This isn't an unusual occurrence.  This past year a Frederick County Sheriffs Deputy died "in the line of duty" and was given one of these lavish traffic-nightmare taxpayer-funded funerals.  He died during a high-speed chase when the perp was able to negotiate a left turn and he wasn't.  He died because he couldn't drive.  Heroic.

Then there's this tool, who died "in the line of duty" when he learned first-hand that giving a "halt" hand signal won't stop a vehicle going 70-MPH.  Heroic.

There's no telling how the officer whose passing was going to cause a 4 hour traffic nightmare died.  Perhaps he was in high-speed pursuit of a dozen donuts.

"Damn, Vulture!  That's harsh!  Why do you hate on the cops so much?"

Why?  Because NWA was right.  And because of cops like this.
The sentencing hearing for former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge recessed for the day after a University of Chicago professor testified that torture allegations against Burge are unlike any other police misconduct in the city's history.

“This is an unprecedented instance,’’ said Adam Green, who specializes in African-American history. “What happened at Area 2 is really a singular chapter.’’

Green said abuse by police strikes at entire communities, but a sense of worth and respect can be restored if the misconduct is addressed.

Earlier today, one of Burge's alleged victims took the stand and asked Burge, “Why would you do this? … You were supposed to be the law.”

Before a packed courtroom, Anthony Holmes told how he still dreams he is inside the now infamous room at the Area 2 station on the South Side where Burge allegedly used electric shock and suffocation to coerce confessions from suspects.

Holmes, saying it was difficult for him to testify about the abuse, took a deep breath before he started. He said his wrongful imprisonment shattered family relationships and caused constant fear of police and re-arrest.
Officer Burge tortured young black men who may or may not have been involved in any crime in order to extract a "confession". He then turned the young man over to the grasping, politically ambitious Prosecutor, the one person less concerned with guilt or innocence than Officer Burge.  What's the big deal, right?  It's just one more po' nigga in the system.

Except that an innocent person has their life and freedom robbed from them just so law enforcement can bump their statistics.  With the exception of murder and perhaps rape, there is no more heinous crime than that.

I'd love to attend the taxpayer-funded police funeral for Officer Burge.  What I'd leave on his grave site wouldn't pass for flowers.