Friday, February 25, 2011

In Some Circumstances, "Protect And Serve" Means A Reassignment To The Records Room

Yesterday's news indicates we can rule out the prospect that Pennsylvania state trooper Samuel J. Nassan III is the unluckiest guy on earth.

Gov. Corbett should ask the Marcellus Shale Coalition for permission to publish, a public service of the Commonwealth, a daily schedule for trooper Nassan, enabling citizens to adjust the degree to which they are willing to press their luck.

Society grants police officers benefit of the doubt, as it should, and that presumption is powerful. When several officers swear, for example, that a vehicle turned around and threatened them in a tunnel (just before police killed an unarmed man), even an anonymously mailed videotape that triggers mathematical calculations and scientific analysis revealing a coordinated lie might not be enough to precipitate justice.

Good officers deserve and need that presumption of credibility. Some officers, however, recognize and abuse that license. For that reason, when an officer experiences an extraordinary string of inexplicably unfortunate events in which citizens are battered or shot or killed, a sensible society would switch the presumption, and find that officer a comfortable chair and quiet assignment in a records room.

Infinonytune: King Of Pain, The Police

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