Good Cop, Bad Cop

Below is the dash cam video of a Florida Highway Patrol trooper chasing a marked Miami PD patrol car going 120 mph on the Florida Turnpike.  The chase went on for 7 minutes and when the Miami officer finally stopped the female FHP trooper draws her gun as she approaches the Miami patrol car.

The additional facts are that the Miami PD officer was several miles outside of his jurisdiction.  He was not displaying any lights or siren.  Until she approached the driver’s side window after the stop the FHP trooper probably did not know whether the Miami car was being driven by a Miami officer in uniform or someone who might have stolen the patrol car.  The fact that the Miami car was refusing to stop would only have heightened her suspicion.  It seems to me she was therefore justified in approaching with her weapon drawn.  Once she determined the driver was a Miami officer in uniform she holsters her gun, handcuffs him and pats him down as she would do with any other suspect after a high-speed chase.  The only thing that didn’t happen here that surely would have happened to any other citizen is that the Miami officer was not thrown to the ground.  Of course, she may not have felt confident that she could accomplish anything by going hands on with the guy and that a physical scuffle might have ended badly for her. Her backup had not yet arrived.

The Miami officer has been charged with reckless driving.  After that process is complete he may be subject to discipline within his department.

On another website I’ve found two starkly different reactions from other cops to this incident.  The first is from a Miami PD officer and may or may not be not be representative of the majority of their officers.  My reaction comments are italicized and in brackets:

This so called trooper DJ Wats [the FHP trooper, named misspelled], what a real cracker scumbag no common sense no professional courtesy rat piece of IAD crap non human being. I hope next time her state police backup is not available or 30 minutes away when she desperately needs backup, I hope that she thinks about collaring a Brother Officer for this kind of crap [120 mph in moderate to heavy traffic is “crap”] as she battles for her life with some pyscho angel dust freak on the side of some lonely dark Florida Highway. She should have never been chasing a marked RMP. Period. Especially after Identifying the driver as a POLICE OFFICER. [She probably wasn’t sure of that until he stopped] DJ WATTS, you are a disgrace to POLICE OFFICERS everywhere. And to you racist morons who call MIAMI PD a third world Police Force, Miami PD does the real job unlike you Dudley Doo Right No common sense State Gestapo hacks. Speeding by Cops is OK when you Cracker Cops are the ones doing it because it’s ok when you do it as the law does not apply to you, but God forbid another Brother Officer in a marked Police Car-RMP in uniform is running late or over the speed limit. DJ Watts, cracker rat extraordinaire. Rot in hell. And in Florida IT IS 100% ALLOWED FOR OFFICERS TO WORK THEIR SECONDARY EMPLOYMENT AS SECURITY GUARDS IN THEIR POLICE UNIFORMS WHILE TAKING THEIR ASSIGNED POLICE CARS WITH THEM. This also serves as a deterent when the perps see a uniformed cop in a marked patrol car. You don’t like this? Change the policy. Other than that it’s 100% legal.

Here we have the view that cops are not bound by the laws they enforce.  This commenter goes beyond “professional courtesy” as justification for cops giving a pass to other cops, and asserts that it’s “100% legal” for cops to break the law.  That’s not just an oxymoron statement, it’d dead wrong.  Cops may get away with breaking the laws they are sworn to enforce, their brethren in blue may agree to that, but it certainly is not legal, not even 1%.

Here is a comment responding to the one above and showing that not all cops think the same way:

I am dumbfounded by the comments of [name deleted]  who one would suspect is a police officer. How can any officer justify the alleged actions of  [the Miami officer]? We all take an oath of office and are sworn to protect others. How did [the Miami officer] uphold his oath, whether or not he was on duty, by his actions? We all have a code of ethics that we are sworn to abide by. We all have to set the standard for the general public. [the author of the comment above] might be one of the minority of law enforcement officers who give us all a bad name and a hard time when we try to do our jobs. Mr. —— you should re-evaluate your chosen career or perhaps think about what your comments mean. You vilify the trooper’s actions for doing her job. I am shocked that you would suggest that other officers should not assist her when in need. We can all see who the true disgrace is in this line of commentary.

After this comment was posted the first commenter walked back his first comment.  I follow the rule that the first reaction and words to an event are the most revealing of that person’s character and not the revised version they give later after being ridiculed for their first outburst.

I deleted the names involved because their names aren’t important to my purpose of discussing the event in general terms. The final outcome has not yet arrived and additional facts and circumstances presently unknown to me may come out.  Anyone can, with a Google search, discover the names of those involved in this incident.

I post stories like this because they hit home.  I believe that it is extremely dangerous for any society to allow those who are sworn to enforce the laws to position themselves above the law.  We must never forget that the government has a monopoly on violence.  It should be bound by the same rules as the rest of us.

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