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Location: Sitting inside a TV truck, Somewhere, more then likely in the Southeastern region, United States

I am a grouchy, bald headed old fart filled with opinions and not the least bit shy about sharing them.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Stay clear of St. George, MO.

Sometimes it pays to be over-paranoid. Taking a page out of the gotcha television journalism book of tricks, Brett Darrow equipped his car with all kinds of cameras and recording equipment.

The fun and games began around two in the morning when Darrow pulled into a public commuter parking lot to wait for a friend. Darrow was well within his rights when he refused to answer personal questions about what his business was in the lot at that time.

The police officer went ballistic. Check this out:
[I exit the vehicle]
Officer #1: Let me see your ID.
[I give him my valid Missouri License]
Officer #1: Let me see your insurance card for the vehicle.
Brett: Did I commit a moving violation?
Officer #1: Yeah you did, when you were coming in here.
Brett: Really? What was that?
Officer #1: Yeah, you wanna try me? You wanna try me tonight? You think you've had a bad night? I will ruin your ****ing night.
[Officer starts to get close up to my face]
Officer #1 You want to try me?
[Officer is inches away from my face, screaming as I'm pinned between him and my vehicle]
Officer #1 Do you wanna try me young boy? Do you want to try me tonight young boy?
Brett: No I don't.
Officer #1: Do you want to go to jail for some ****ing reason I come up with?
Brett: No I don't.
Officer #1: Do you wanna see who knows the law better, me or you. My experience compared to your young ass. Huh? Don't ever get smart mouthed with a cop again. I show you what a cop does. Do you understand me?
Brett: Yes sir.
Officer #1: Try and talk back -- Talk back to me again. I bet I could say you resisted arrest or something. You want to come up with something? I come up with nine things. Do you wanna try something?
Brett: No I don't.
Officer #1: Wait here.

The Newpaper: Missouri: Police Threaten, Detain Motorist for Parking After Hours

There is a video which really shows nothing, but the audio track is damning for the police officer. There is also a transcript of the audio track.

I think I'll steer clear of St. George, MO. I work too many weird hours and really just don't do all that well with pin heads in a position of power. That situation almost always goes bad for me.

Sadly, this kind of official bullying goes on all the time. You would not believe some of the crap we put up with just in the course of doing our jobs. Making laws up out of thin air, blowing their top when they are called on their fabrication, ordering us off private property when we have permission from the owners to be there and on and on and on.

So I both admire the kid and shake my head at him. I admire him for sticking to his guns when the police officer asked questions that were outside to the scope of what he was required to answer. More power to him.

But I also have to wonder what it would have hurt to simply tell the officer he was waiting to pick up a friend form work. (We won't discuss my refusal to fully participate in DUI check points here.) If his goal was to jerk the officer's chain and paint a kick-me sign on his back visible to every police officer in and around St. George, MO, I'd say he's about there.

I think I'll leave these corrections of social injustice to the youngsters like Brett Darrow. I'm too hold for a jail house beating.


Bad cop! No donut.
- Bumper sticker from long ago

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