Saturday, February 9, 2013

Call the police there's a madman around

NICK: ...hate cops, Guido! I'll always hate cops!

GUIDO: Yeah, Nick! I hate cops too!

PAOLO: Yeah! Me too!

NICK: I'll tell you guys what I'm gonna do! I'll tell ya' what! I'm gonna get even with every rotten cop in this city!

PAOLO: Yeah! Me too!

GUIDO: How ya gonna do it, Nick? How ya gonna do it?

NICK: You know what I'm gonna do?

GUIDO: No, no, Nick! Whatcha gonna do?

NICK: I'm gonna ... turn in my badge!

--Firesign Theater, "How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere At All"

As usual the Four or Five Crazy Guys got there before everyone else on the whole Chris Dorner business. I'm not going to talk about Dorner, because I don't really know anything about him. Instead, I'm going to talk about something I do know about: cops.

As long-time members of my vast global audience will remember, I used to work the graveyard shift behind the front desk of a hotel in Newport, Rhode Island. And I can tell you, based on first-hand knowledge, that the absolute worst guests we ever got were off-duty cops. The reason they were the worst guests was because they knew they could do pretty much anything they wanted and nobody could stop them.

Standard procedure at the hotel was that guests who disturbed other guests (invariably because they were too drunk to realize how noisy they were being) were given exactly one warning to stop. If they peristed, they were turfed out. If they refused to go, we'd call the Newport Police Department, and they would escort the stubborn soon-to-be-ex-guests off the property.

The system usually worked well, but it would break down whenever the rowdy drunken guests were off-duty cops, because the local cops would drag their feet about throwing them out of the hotel. In one instance, the local cops refused to throw out a room full of noisy, drunken off-duty cops having a bachelor party. The drunken cops' long-suffering neighbors called down to complain about the noise at least half a dozen times, and the hotel eventually had to apologize and waive their night's rent. I doubt whether they ever came back, and I don't blame them.

On another occasion, some drunken off-duty cops who were staying at the hotel decided to hang out in the lobby, and they became extremely abusive when I couldn't get them a light for their smokes. I eventually called the local cops to throw them out, but the local cops didn't send them on their way. Instead, they took them to a local donut shop to cool down, then let them sneak back into the hotel through the fire door. At that point, of course, the drunken off-duty cops were trespassing on hotel property, but the local cops refused to arrest them.

And that sums up the problem with police is America today. In a sane society, the police would be held to a higher standard of behavior than everyone else, because the State arms them and charges them with protecting the rest of society. Instead, they're held to a lower standard of behavior than the rest of us just because they're cops. And being human, they abuse the privilege.

1 comment:

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I forget to whom it was attributed, but this saying comes to mind: "I used to think there was a thin line between the cops and the criminals, but now I know there's no line."

Google's not helping.