A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Badges!? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges!

Dobbs: "If you're the police, where are your badges?"
Gold Hat: "Badges!? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!!"

Two stories to quickly relate, both stories are similar, and both relate to the quote above.

During Memphis in May, my brother in law and a friend of his came down to stay with us so that they could go enjoy the festivities. Enjoy they did, and as they were leaving the festival area late one night, walking back to their vehicle through the narrow downtown Memphis streets, a car approaches at not-especially-slow-downtown-speed, and Travis' friend says to him "Hey, move or this asshole is going to hit you." The asshole in question car stopped a short way up the street, and their path carried them by it. The occupant wanted to know if he'd said something, and Travis' friend confirmed that he had spoken. Now, I wasn't there, so I don't know exactly what was said, but apparently the guy gets out of the car, and tells Travis' friend to put his hands on the car, that the guy is actually a cop. T's buddy responds that he'd like to see a badge - the guy is in street clothes. Apparently the fellow responded by putting the "cop moves" on him, and placing him against the vehicle in a not-particularly-gentle fashion. Anyway, the guy never showed them a badge, and after checking to make sure that the two didn't have any warrants, he went along his merry way.

Apparently this past weekend, the pregnant daughter of one of our facility supervisors was driving to his home. Apparently she was stopped by an unmarked car, I assume with a blue light, and a fellow in street clothes. I'm not sure what the offense was, but apparently he asked that she get out of the car. She refused, saying that she would be happy to drive the short distance further to her destination, and then get out of the car. Apparently this was not sufficient, and he insisted that she exit the vehicle. She called her dad, who showed up just a moment later, and walked toward them to see what was up. The fellow told him to get back into his truck, and our facility manager said that he'd be happy to, if he was shown a badge. Well apparently our facility manager ended up in handcuffs, but it was sorted out and I guess everyone went their separate ways. But the facility manager said that after his meeting this morning, he was going straight to the police station and sharing his opinion with someone on this matter.

This is all to say: don't cops, especially non-uniformed cops, have some obligation to show you some form of identification?

I have alot of respect for police. I think that they do a hard, tiring and thankless job, and I respect that and their authority, but it worries me when there are examples of what seem to be people abusing that authority. These weren't even particularly heinous, but it just seems completely reasonable to me that if someone starts ordering me around, that I should expect to be able to see something to indicate that this guy is who he says he is.

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