Good cop/Bad cop: Can he take a joke?

Jefferson City Criminal LawyerPolice officers have a tough job. And while they aren’t in the top ten most dangerous jobs, most road officers get into tense situations and get into physical altercations resulting in scrapes and bruises from time to time. They are constantly dealing with people who don’t appreciate the service they provide.

Often those ungrateful people are ungrateful because they are being manacled and hauled off to a jail cell. If anyone other than a police officer was doing what is essentially kidnapping, he would be facing ten years to life in prison.

Naturally, when you are authorized to commit (what would otherwise be) a serious felony against others, you should not be surprised when arrested persons sometimes get disrespectful, even mouthy.

When I was a prosecutor, I figured cops shouldn’t have to put up with being physically assaulted, but if they couldn’t handle catcalls and insults, then they had no business in that line of work. You can almost separate the good cops from the bad by seeing which ones ignore the verbal abuse and which ones get their buttons pushed by it.

Here is an example of a a badge heavy cop who ought to have stayed in his car. At least it wasn’t in MIssouri:


Moberly pays $2.4 million for police taser homicide

The Associated press is reporting that the city of Moberly will pay millions to the family of a young man tasered to death after he resisted arest by arguing with Moberly police officers. Police had suspected him of driving while intoxicated. Story is here: Moberly to pay $2.4 million in Taser lawsuit settlement.

As I predicted back at the time of the incident–see Missouri man dies after Taser fired during traffic stop–the police tasering was found to be justified. Even though no criminal charges were filed, the city has suspended police use of tasers in addtion to paying the $2.4 million settlement.


Come back with a warrant

Illegal photography of a police officer.

Hey fellas, I’m just getting your picture.”

Then he snapped the photo. Deputy McCloud – who has been on the force only 18 months – told him that photographing him was illegal.

“I asked, ‘what planet are you from?’,” Conover said.

That was the response of Scott Conover who appeared to take a photo of an on-duty sheriff’s deputy.  The whole story is a good read. Click here. The deputy was not entirely unreasonable. He offered to forget the whole thing if Conover would erase the picture. Conover said no dice. The deputy arrested him. So Conover tossed the camera iPhone to his 12-year-old daughter who took more pictures.

Goofy incidents like this are proof that not every police officer has yet heard the message:  Camera phones & video & sound recorders are everywhere and there is no escaping them.

It is long past time for anyone–including police officers–to get all bent out of shape over it.

  • Note: I realize this depends on the assumption that that using your badge and handcuffs to imprison someone who does something you don’t like qualifies as getting “bent out of shape.” I think it does.

I’m not a fan of having surveillance everywhere, but if I’m in a public place, I have no right to complain if someone takes my picture. Neither does the misguided Deputy McCloud. I am curious to learn if the deputy was able to find a prosecutor who was willing to file the charges.

Here’s an earlier post on the subject of videotaping the police. This videotaped incident cost the officer his job.

and here is another . . .

The time is ripe for Missouri to record police interrogations