Friday, March 30, 2007

Overheard on the Escalator

I don't even know if I want to post this but here it goes. Riding down the escalator at lunch P. Cline of the CPD was immediately behind me. I assume he was in the building doing a radio interview as there are several stations in the complex. He was with two suits, a man and a woman. The one snippet I overheard (he was almost literally breathing down my neck), "...and I didn't even have a baseball bat..."

This echos another supposed Cline quote about the officer that beat the female bartender I've heard. To paraphrase: I wish I had a baseball bat to go at the guy [drunk, off duty cop].

I didn't. It most certainly was not worth the confrontation. But I really, really wanted to turn around and say, "And that's the problem, you stupid, ignorant bastard. You're first reaction is violence."

The evidence suggests that the off duty copy relentlessly beat a young female bartender half his size after she cut him off at a the bar because he was already too drunk. You know, she was doing her job. A bartender can be fined and jailed for overserving a drunk if that person later goes out and gets in an accident. Furthermore, the bar can lose its license to operate. She did what she was supposed to. And this guy, allegedly, beat her up because of it.

The first emotional reaction may be to exact physical revenge. But the police are supposed to avoid that reaction. And now, over a month after the incident, they most certainly should not be having that reaction. The reaction should be:
He's going on trial and when and if he is convicted he's going to jail. This is conduct unbecoming of the CPD, will not be tolerated, and we will be recommending the highest possible penalty.

But that is not what Cline seems to be saying (assuming this was what he was referencing). He still talks of pummeling the guy with a baseball bat. He's the head of paramilitary force that has a monopoly on legal force. He needs to lead by example and suggesting physical retribution is wrong. If someone were to act on that suggestion it would vigilantism and illegal. Cline needs to step down and needs to step down NOW.



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