On another forum, I read that other cops on the force are angry at the
chief for apologizing, and feel the cop did the right thing. No cite
that I could find.
I hope it is wrong, because his attitude is one that should be
strongly discouraged, to the point of elimination, in any police force.
I'm guessing that Powell was legally allowed to do what he did, but morally
and humanely, he showed incredibly poor judgement. Even if he's not fired,
any career ambitions he might have had have likely hit an immovable
roadblock. At most, I'd say the rest of his days will be spent as record
keeper in some evidence locker.
Where he will have plenty of time to study for the sergeant's exam. Upon
passing that exam with the highest possible marks, he will be assigned to
the Police Academy where he will diligently apply himself to studying for
the Lieutenant's exam. Upon scoring stratospheric grades on the Lieutenant's
exam, he'll be placed in charge of a shift in the identification division.
Delegating all his duties to subordinates, he bone up on the captain's test.
When he becomes a captain, he'll no doubt be placed in either Internal
Affairs or Public Relations until he becomes a deputy chief. After a couple
of years as deputy chief in Dallas, some smaller town, possibly yours, will
hire him as Chief of Police.
You may have recognized the Peter Principle.
Unfortunately, the fact that he "quit", whether it was orchestrated or not,
may mean that he could go work for another police force at some time in the
future. No one knows or at least, no one has stated what exactly is on his
employment record and I don't know if that's publicly accessible information
He probably thought he'd take the video back to the station and show his
fellow officers how he took care of that (fill in ethnic slur here) and
wrote him up. They'd all have a good laugh and pat him on the back.
Thanks for the links, y'all.
Well.. I'm stunned.
I was waiting for the part where Moats is called "boy," gets pistol whipped
and gets a fiery cross on his front lawn but I guess they actually turn the
cameras off for anything the officers might consider a bit "dodgy."
As everyone seems to have said, the fundamental problem isn't Powell's
action. It's Powell's perception that he's not doing anything reprehensible.
I doubt that that can be fixed.. so what's to be done?
What is the purpose of a police force?
To whom is a police force accountable?
What perpetuates the idea that a police force is a legislative controlling
body rather than a, er, _policing_ controlling body - i.e. how come policemen
often see themselves as arbiters of reward and punishment rather than
upholders of a social ethic, whether legislated or not?
There's a soggy midfield between politically-correct bureaucratic
procedure-bound inflexibility and the fly by seat of the pants maverick
make-it-up-on-the-spot traditionalism where everything is based on the
subjectively assessed individual merits of an event within a bigger picture,
The latter depends entirely on the personal integrity of its enforcers which
is usually unrewarded and has vast potential for corruption while the former
is driven by perceived "results" which are usually political instruments
rather than anything to do with the public good.
Somewhere in between is the best and the worst of both worlds. Good men can
make great things happen with a lousy system - and vice versa.
What we seem to have ended up with, (free)worldwide, is a police system where
arrests and convictions are seen as 'positive" while preventative,
make-the-world-safer policing has no statistical or political merit. This
engenders the recruiting and promoting of.. well, frankly, idiots by....
idiots.. There are a lot of good coppers out there but that is in spite of,
not because of the system in which they operate.
The world is not getting any safer - and it could do, but not employing the
current socio-political and career models. It would be quite difficult to
determine the effectiveness of a system, in terms of the wafffly statistics
that currently demonstrate success if one set about employing staff of
integrity, and freed them from the "motivation" of generating irrelevant
statistics because they are not micro-managed by accountants and empire
When the pressure to demonstrate "success" has been replaced by the drive to
produce safer communities, then maybe that will happen but it won't and can't
while ever police forces are made up of Officer Powells and the stupids who
employ them and encourage them to flourish.
</and breathe out>
Oh yeah - and that Powell bloke is just a shit and would be in ANY
occupation. Roadsweeper, ice-cream vendor, accountant, suicide counsellor,
air-traffic controller, The Pope.... whatever. If he got a job as a shit he'd
probably be too unpleasant to hold it down. HOWEVER...... Someone thought he
was ideal material to give a gun to to go out and add author-it-eye to his
shit-ness. All hail the chiefs!
written from Engand where ofcxourse there's absolutely NOTHING wrong with our
way of doing things.
</irony> see previous rants.
Pour encourager les autres:
One lash for each second the daughter was delayed plus one lash for each
minute the son-in-law was delayed followed by dishonorable dismissal
strikes me as appropriate. If I weren't such a gentle person, I might
also suggest that medical treatment to ease the pain of the lashes be
delayed for as long as the delay he caused...
We (hopefully) learn from our mistakes. The current methodology seems to
be one of pulling the weeds only when they become too obvious to be
A more effective employment screening would reduce (but probably not
eliminate) this kind of problem.
It'll be interesting to see if the good folks of Dallas are and remain
sufficiently engaged to demand of their elected officials that action be
taken to ensure that this kind of scenario is /never/ repeated.
Sadly, I think the whole story will blow over and be forgotten until the
Apparently, that is a wide spread problem.
Trying to attract qualified candidates for a tough job that also
carries a lot of potential baggage into the personal life is proving
to be difficult here in SoCal.
Coming up with the money to pay them is another issue.
The job of policeman carries with it the not so flattering function of
serving as the human garbage collectors for society.
It certainly is not a job I would want.
I was a cop for eight years, and it's not as bad as is made out. In real
life, cops seldom see the perpetrators, but always see the victims. Their
major job is to help the put-upon deal with their loss. If a cop takes one
residence burglary report, he's taken them all. They're boring. But to the
homeowner, a burglary can be a life-changing event. In many ways, being a
cop is like being a super boy-scout. If you're a good cop, that is.
On the bright side, people are funny. Stress 'em a bit and they often get
hilarious. Ask any paramedic, cop, emergency room worker, fireman, and
they'll tell you stories that border on the unbelievable. Things like:
Dispatcher: "352, check a report of a nude, black female running across the
Highway 90 bridge at this time"
Unit 352: "Clear. Enroute."
(two minutes pass)
Dispatcher: "352, have additional information on your nude, black female
subject. She is reportedly being pursued by another black female with a
knife. Handle Code 3"
Unit 352: "Code 3. Clear."
Me: "Mister, don't you know it is extremely dangerous to drive that close to
the car in front of you?"
Driver: (shuffle, shuffle) "Man, I didn't know you was the fuzz. I though
you was just a couple of ordinary turds."
Dispatcher: "1350. Fight in progress. Joe's Joint. 11350 West Hardy.
Reportedly two white females with chain saws involved.
Unit 1350: (??) "Say again..."
Dispatcher: "Two white females with chain saws, 1350!"
Unit 1350: "Uh, clear. Enroute."
I, personally, put a lot of people in jail but they were all my friends by
the time to go came around. I never got in a fight, never fired my weapon.
Then there were cops that got in a shit-storm every time they hit the
I call it bad luck.
Funny thing you should mention.
Spent a little time there myself.
I found it was usually the ones looking for a fight that found one.
In my time I never got into an argument where I couldn't talk my way out.
There were other cops who always seemed to get into beefs
but I never saw one who accidentally got into a scrap.
Must be all that "in your face" army style training that causes the problems.
I am thankful that my time predated the "Saturday night special" crowd.
P D Q
That, and knowing that every decision you make, even in a split-second life
or death moment is going to be scrutinized, analyzed, and criticized to the
n'th degree, possibly resulting in loss of reputation, legal liability, and
loss of job is a pretty big deterrent to good candidates.
One would think that this would be the number one priority of
governments -- alas, there are other priorities that get them more votes.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
There's a problem that's self induced, thankfully with a blessedly simple
solution. I once lived in a neighborhood so free of crime, apparently, the
cops had nothing to do at night but ticket cars parked in their owners'
driveways for not displaying a village sticker. 700 more cops in that podunk
backwater amounts to an occupation army.
If you mean Dallas, that's hardly Podunk redux. Still, I, too, question the
need for more cops in Dallas if the current crop has nothing better to do
that ticket people who roll through red lights at 2:00 a.m.
The problem driver is NOT the one who knowingly runs a stop sign or red
light. He's almost always taking extra care about the situation. The driver
you want to sanction severely is the one who didn't SEE the red light or
stop sign. Those cats are the real hazard!
Yeah, the officer's behavior was reprehensible from a simple human
compassion standpoint. That phrase on police cars "To Serve and Protect"
is supposed to mean something. A more reasonable, but realistic, officer,
after having obtained the story from the people in the car would have a)
expressed concern and urged the family to continue into the emergency room,
and b) made the statement, "I'm going to accompany you sir, to assure that
all is right". This would allow the officer to verify, diplomatically,
that he was not being scammed while performing his duty. There was nothing
wrong with drawing his gun as he saw the car being emptied, but after he
ascertained that no threat was impending, he should have switched to
Please don't judge all of our police officers by one pretty obviously bad
apple. We have a number of police and sheriff officers who attend our
church, not one of them holds such racist views and would come down hard
upon any of theirs who exhibited such views.
Yep, I get the irony.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
You'll notice in the video that Moats was accosted in the Emergency Room
parking lot! He was already at his destination. Apparently the red light he
violated was very close to the hospital.
Let me give you an example of PROPER judgement.
I, as a deputy sheriff, took an out-of-county officer to the airport one
evening. On the way back to the courthouse, at 2:00 a.m. on the freeway, a
new Pontiac passes me like I'm sitting still. Wow! About five seconds later,
a Houston PD car zooms passed, trying to catch-up to the Pontiac.
Hmm. Interesting. So I turn on my grill lights and step on the gas. The
speedometer jumps up to 80+.
About a mile up the road, the Houston PD car turns on his lights and the
Pontiac immediately pulls to the side of the deserted freeway. I pull up
Out of the Pontiac steps one of the biggest black men I've ever seen.
Dressed casually, but man, was he big! He must have been a linebacker for
the Houston Oilers.
So, the first Houston PD officer says: "Why are you in such a hurry, sir?"
"Pussy, man!" says the driver.
The two HPD officers look at each other....
The driver pleadingly explained: "My ol' lady just called. Said she was in
the mood and to get my black ass over there. Officers, she ain't in the mood
all that often!"
The two HPD officers looked at each other again.
"Can't give a man a ticket for that. Wouldn't be right," one officer said.
"Go on, get outta here, but be careful."
" 'preciate it officers. I really do." Zoom
All us cops returned to our assigned duties with a smile and knowledge that
we had made the world just a little bit better.
In reading through this thread, the bulk of which I agree with having
very rarely had a positive police experience, a thought (devils
advocate) came to mind. How would this story had played out if our
young running back and gone throught the light, hit a car (or been
hit) and killed a child?
While I don't agree with the officers behavior, I don't agree with the
idea that it is OK to endanger the lives of other just because you
percieve something as an emergency, accurate or not.
I would agree with you had he careened through the light with wild and
reckless abandon, but it's pretty clear from the dialogue that he was
taking great care, not even speeding (note that speeding was never
even mentioned). He rolled through the intersection after insuring
that there wasn't any traffic and therefore, no lives to endanger. I'd
say the cop put more liives in danger with his high speed pursuit for
a rolling stop violation (lights notwithstanding--every cop will tell
you those lights render their cruiser invisible) than Moats did.
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