Is it Right?

Published On January 17, 2013 | By CopBlock | Articles

By: Joseph Cox

The other day, as I was being given a ticket by a state trooper, I started to think about all of the times I have seen a police officer speed. I began to wonder why we put up with it. I know it is a small issue given the crimes that the police are needed to investigate, and the work they must do, but even with all of that I wondered is it right, and if not, why do we as a people overlook it?

It seems that police officers find it within their rights to overstep the bounds of state laws so long as they aren’t that big of an issue in the public eye. How did this happen? Upon graduating from a police academy are they given a certificate granting them immunity from prosecution so long as the crime is small? I, for one, know that it is not right for a state trooper to use his state owned vehicle to speed, all the while pulling us over and gladly handing us citations for one violation or another. When a human being slips on a uniform and pins on a badge there is no agreement between the citizenry of the state and the office for which that person works for that acknowledges the right of the person to commence committing small, but dangerous crimes.

At this point in thought I began to wonder, well, if you don’t like it, what can you do about it? The conclusion I came to was rather simple actually. We, as citizens, are allowed to monitor police communications via scanners. Why can’t we use our rights to also be allowed access to police GPS records that pertain to speed? By doing so, we could match information from one source with the GPS information and be able to tell if the patrol officer was speeding legally. If the officer was chasing after someone that was speeding, or was on their way to an emergency call we would be able to tell if the trooper was using their state owned vehicle legally. It would be a lot of work on the part of the citizenry, but nearly no effort by the state would be required. Being allowed this right to check in on our police would not violate the rights of the citizenry any more than they are by allowing the public to own a police scanner.

Well, that is my two cents on the topic. I know a lot of you will look at it and scoff due to how small of an issue it is considering other issues we face, but I believe that change begins slowly and usually starts off with small things.

This post was submitted using CopBlock.org’s ‘submit a post’ tab, which is there for anyone to use. 

I’d (Ademo) like to respond to Joseph and say that though his idea is a good one it’s most likely impossible for a few reasons. First, the police (the government) aren’t going to allow you undeniable access to information on their officers. That’s assuming the technology Joseph speaks of is in every police cruiser, which it probably isn’t. Second, police departments (and government agencies in general) are always withholding information requested by the public. So even if this information was available the police would be reluctant to hand over evidence that proves guilt or violations of the law.  

Just my two cents, what do you think of Joseph’s idea?

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  • http://www.policemisconduct.net Glenn

    inb4 common sense ?!

  • certain

    Actually, although it seems a small issue, it’s really not. With any cop, there is an initial decision that a given law doesn’t apply, because they’re a cop. Where does that mode of thinking stop? Because if somebody is allowed to speed since they’re a cop, then beating somebody they just know is guilty is OK, also because they’re a cop. This would be the proverbial slippery slope, with it becoming easier and easier to justify breaking laws, because somebody’s a cop.

  • Gordon Freeman

    Hardly Common Sense is Meta Right, and as we all know being Right isn’t good enough, Meta Right always trumps. So by definition Common Sense is always here first. And, fortunately, (s)he always has the final word too. After all Common Sense worked hard for his(er) badge and we should give h(er)im no less.

  • PSOSGT

    I’d suggest reading the law to begin with. It says that police can ignore most traffic laws when performing police duties.. So yeah, you might be a little ticked that I’m drivng 20 MPH over the speed limit, but I’m on my way to a missing 7 year old call, or alarm, or assault, or….

    And as far as speeding…we ALL do it.

  • Common Sense

    FLA did a FOIA of the police and their GPS system and their speeding allegations. You will have to look it up to review the findings.

    Depending on state, police are exempt from traffic laws/statutes so long as they ‘are in the course of their duties’ and many departments have AVL/GPS systems already.

  • Chris Mallory

    Or more likely PofSSGT is on his way to lunch or change of shift. There should be NO exceptions to the law. All follow it or no one follows it.

  • http://www.badgeabuse.com badgeabuse

    PSOSGT

    That would mean with lights on? siren maybe?

  • Jean

    Lots of places have laws against police scanners, too…. Just noting.
    There WAS a certain level of allowance given to officers doing their duties, back when there was some reciprocal respect. Which actually makes the “everyone does it” response seem like such a load of BS, POSSGT – why shouldn’t we have CITIZENS then act as cops? I don’t think the “arbitrary” standard of justice would occur, with shootouts in the street. That’s part of movies – most people don’t like being shot at and won’t be dumb enough to just stand there. But most people also don’t want to kill, those who do we refer to as psychopaths.

    But knowing that you’ll be surrounded if you commit a crime by people who MIGHT shoot you… Probably disuasive. Costs vs. benefits, striahgt up: You need to eat to survive, you steal or rob someone. And you still look for weak prey. You don’t steal what you don’t have to, because you’ll end up in jail (might be good, if it’s food needs or shelter) or dead. But stealing for money when there’s a good chance of not coming back because everyone’s armed? Not so good. Maybe a back-alley mugger, not going to go after a large target without a gang. The risk::Reward ratio is too low.

    So – Cops are supposed to be sort of “everywhere” as a deterrant. But since we know that cops have no obligation to protect us (thank you SCOTUS, or is it scrotum?), and do illegal things OFF duty as well as ON duty… Maybe we should NOT respect them, as they don’t respect the law when there’s no need for them to break it. Lights going, I doubt anyone would mention. Off duty in personal car? Well, how do we know it’s a cop? (Answer, because we hear them talking and see them talking to other cops. Unsafe driving, speeding, reckless endangerment, to bitch because they got a PARKING TICKET. REAL respect-worthy, there. It’s your PERSONAL VEHICLE, subject to the same rules as the rest of us. And not ONE cop said, “well, don’t park illegally.” THAT’s the rub: COP does illegal things off-duty, no penalty. WE do things, EVEN WITH A REASON, we get pulled over, ticketed, maybe arrested while our charge bleeds to death waiting for an ambulance to take (her) to the hospital we wanted to get to.)

    EQUAL PROTECTION clause, maybe you’ve heard of it? Instead we have multiple PROTECTED classes: women, blacks, hispanics, gays, Jews, cops, mayors, government officials, bureaucrats, whatever – THEY don’t get penalized, and in the case of cops and judges and maybe even lawyers, it’s all taken care of “off the books.”

    Why respect what is obviously corrupt? Only Satan thinks in terms of worshipping the profane…

  • Common Sense

    …did you really mention the Jews? What about the Freemasons? And the Illuminati? Maybe you should just go back and get out your Truther playset and listen to some Alex Jones. I hear he’s got a new take on drones and FEMA camps.

  • certain

    “And as far as speeding…we ALL do it.”

    Exactly. We just all don’t get ticketed for it. No double standard with the old professional courtesy, right?

  • Chris

    If you want to hold COPs responsible for there actions then do something about it! Video record everything. If you see COPs speeding and want to get it on video then I suggest you buy a vehicle recording device with a GPS. It will record video and how fast you were going. If you see a COP speeding and your recording with one of these devices you can send the video to the local news and to the police and also put it on U-Tube. The technology today gives us (the common people) more power over the police then we had 10 even 5 years ago.

  • shawn

    @Psosgt

    Sorry, but there is a wonderful article on P1 about professional courtiousy. In an emergency is one thing, but cops have long felt that breaking laws was some kind of bennie for officers. We see all kinds of examples of cops missusing that exemption. My dad watched one go lights and sirens to dunkin doughnuts and walk out with a paper bag. We had one featured here who though 120 to his off duty job was ok.

    He didn’t just wake up one day and think that was fine. His department and buddies taught him that was fine. And don’t even get me started on cops who cause wrecks playing with their computer.

  • Common Sense

    @shawn

    Then make your complaint with the department. Please post the results.

  • http://www.badgeabuse.com badgeabuse

    P1 is a worthless troll site…and expolitable :( I hope the admin is a LEO….

    Thats like defending yourself in court…

  • http://www.badgeabuse.com badgeabuse

    Woops EXPLOITABLE

  • tz

    First, Ademo, you should use the comments instead of editing the main post. You are free to add a separate post, even a colllective comment on the days posts, but you are jumping the line if you get to put what amounts to the equivalent of this or any of the above comments as an italicized block in the main post. You wish to have the same kind of privilege which you deride elsewhere.

    Second, I’m all for having police cruisers live-stream where citizens can see everything. Nor do I have problems with public space cameras streaming to the public where I and the cops can equally watch and record. That is how to do the suggestion. Embed telemetry into the dashcam video stream. COPS – the Fox show – but live. Who could object? What do they have to hide?

    Third, you don’t have it here, but I remember elsewhere an attempt at a police database. If I knew the license numbers and my dashcam caught a cop speeding? Fine, lets level the playing field.

    At “The American Conservative”, now that instead of having friendly constables that helped lost children, the elderly cross the street, and take drunks home instead of jailing them for OWI, we have police which are both Federalized (responsible to the Federal Government due to DHS grants) and Militarized (Tanks?!), we have the equivalent of the Red-Coats who our Founding Fathers fought against, except they are “blue-coats”. Not all, but that is the nexus of the corruption.

    I do not believe in atomistic individualism – to not defraud, steal, or use violence are fundamental, not something I volunteer to obey. Yet those who are employed to enforce laws do not concentrate on the spirit or the effect, the Telos, the ends for which we have laws, but only on the easiest targets, the low-hanging fruit. The least threatening to them even if the populace aren’t safe. That is where they lost their honor.

  • Shawn

    @Common

    “Then make your complaint with the department. Please post the results.”

    That is kind of my point moron. The department basically encourages such poor behavior with a wink and a nod. No cop got the idea he can just get away with that crap all on his own.

    Again, and I’ll write this slowly as I know you can’t read very fast, a cop doesn’t wake up one day and decide he can just do 120. He is taught that by numerous ignored offenses and other officers who won’t police their own one bit.

    It’s called corruption for a reason.

  • http://truthspew.wordpress.com Truthspew

    Police are flagrant abuses of traffic law. They think it doesn’t apply to them.

  • Common Sense

    I didn’t think you’d do anything about it either…

  • Joseph Cox

    Thanks to all for replying to my post. psosgt- I completely agree that you should be able to break traffic laws when responding to an emergency, but more than likely, the police I have seen are not. I say that because I have witnessed them speeding, and I have witnessed them turning into a restaurant, or their barracks, or to simply wind up sitting beside the road doing nothing. You are correct in that most of us speed, but most of us don’t have the power to hand out citations to others for doing so. Assuming you have the right to speed because you are a police officer is wrong, and I would suggest that if that is your assumption you should stop handing out citations or making any stops where it concerns common traffic violations. What is fair is fair.

  • Joseph Cox

    On an additional note; shouldn’t police vehicles operating over the speed limit be using their emergency lights to protect the public? I know in other states there are laws that stipulate when police vehicles must use their emergency lights, but I am unsure about NH.

  • Dave Moritz

    When you get a group of individuals that feel that they are above the law. When you get those same people protected time and time again every time they violate the law. They are mentally programmed that they have ultimate authority and everyone must do as they are ordered you get a dangerous group of people! I would also go as far as saying most of them are adrenalin junkies and that they learn to enjoy there power trip. They all support this delusion and since there is very little over site to stop most of the abuse and violence there behavior continues and gets even worse. Until law enforcement is changed from the top down you will never find any department offer up real reform!

  • geufi2fgeg

    Do yourself a favor and stop giving respect to cops. NONE (99%) of them are good.

    Ask yourself, when’s the last time you heard a story about a cop trying to remove a bad cop or fix a broken department?

    NEVER. When a case finally makes it to a grand jury (usually when the victims continue to press forward), we find out that the offending cops had been on the job since the incident took place. You know the other cops heard about it. Why didn’t anybody do anything about it? BECAUSE THERE ARE NO GOOD COPS.

    The blue wall of silence. Us vs. them. Cops are uneducated assholes who join for all the wrong reasons and get sucked into a corrupt fraudulent system carefully designed to impose the will of wealthy leaders onto the populace. Fear and control. They are NOT here to protect us. The times they do protect us is to dupe everybody into believing they care.

    People are absolutely pathetic. Cops will break the law and yet nobody of any significance does anything about it. It’s always some poor people who go out and protest the cops. We never see anybody with any clout voicing their opinions about the cops.

    Why aren’t any doctors, actors, business owners, or politicians out demanding justice?

    You people are pathetic. This society makes me sick.

  • Steve in Iowa

    If the police are not expected to follow the law then there is no law.