Update 2 below – 12/04/2011:
This AP article By TOM HAYS and COLLEEN LONG had me chortling with glee on several levels. Isn’t it nice to see the police actually investigating real crimes, such as internal corruption? Hopefully the cost of this investigation didn’t cause any SWAT team raids on pot dealers to be canceled (or worse yet, accidental raids on the house next door). At this point I believe that any police abuse of ordinary citizens is a good thing and should be heartily encouraged in the hope that it will help people wake up and realize that it’s time to stop feeding the monster that claims to be our elected government. Seriously though, it’s nice to see the police investigating real crimes committed by police and politicians. Does anyone want to take the losing side of a bet on how long this investigation lasts? I’ll put my money on “not long enough to convict anyone besides maybe a scapegoat or two.”
The next thing I noticed was the forthright advocacy of a two-tiered justice system.
“It was done during my 35 years, and it was probably done 135 years
prior,” said Lou Anemone, a former chief of department who retired in
1999. “We handled the issues administratively. They’d come and go over
time. Once you found out, you’d take steps, and integrity officers would
follow up on missing numbers.”
In other words (as GW would say) “Criminal investigations are only supposed to target the dirty rabble, not us good folk!”
Anemone said when he was in the police department the summonses were
kept in a box that was generally left open and anyone could fish out a
ticket and toss it. Once people were caught doing that, the box would
get locked for a while but would inevitably end up open again.
“Whereas average Americans need the harshest justice system in the ‘civilized’ world to keep them in line, us elite folks only need vague guidelines to be obeyed for brief periods whenever the rabble starts to get too agitated.”
But Lou Anemone is just a wild-eyed radical, right? A lone voice in the wilderness? A rogue cop thinking he’s above the law?
Not exactly, no. He’s more like a voice in the chorus:
A former commanding officer of the NYPD’s movie and television unit in
the 1990s, Milton Maldonado, said movie crews filming in the city would
get dozens of summonses that would be taken to the Mayor’s Office of
Film, Theatre and Broadcasting to be voided.
Because tickets are for peasants, not for the beautiful people.
Apparently these two reporters couldn’t find anyone who thought this investigation was a good idea. Quote after quote advocates a two-tiered justice system where police and politicians (as well as other elites) are immune from prosecution for misdemeanors and felonies that would land ordinary Americans in jail or prison.
The head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, Ed Mullins, has said
the intensity and scope of an investigation that’s relied heavily on
wiretaps are overkill.
That’s right, overkill. It’s not overkill when a SWAT team bashes down a pothead’s door because he sold his neighbor an ounce of weed. It’s not overkill when they send ordinary citizens to prison for so-called serious crimes like drunk driving or possession of various unapproved substances, but it’s overkill when bribery and corruption are investigated after being heard openly discussed among numerous police officers during an unrelated wiretap. It’s OK for “terrorism” investigations to end up busting ordinary Americans for petty crimes, but it’s not fair for police officers and the elites they serve to be caught for much more serious crimes during an unrelated investigation.
To add a third level of hilarity, the supposedly serious investigation that uncovered these frivolous, unwarranted investigations of bribery and corruption was a drug case. Yes, someone ingested a substance that altered his or her own consciousness, or maybe sold such a substance to someone who wanted to buy it. What a horrible crime! Much worse than ticket-fixing for friends, family and the wealthy.
“I have been on the job for nearly three decades, and it was never
deemed unusual to get calls from high-ranking department members when a
summons was given to their family members,” he (Mullins) said in a letter to
members. “These phone calls were as much a part of the culture of the
department as arresting criminals.”
Arresting real criminals, that is. The kind of criminals who don’t wear uniforms or drive brand-new Mercedes’. The kind of criminals who aren’t one of us. But who is us nowdays? Am I one of us? Are you?
Update: I was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong; the investigation is ongoing and officers are being prosecuted. Here’s the NY Times article:
Update 2 – 12/04/2011: The officer who led the investigation is now being punished for conducting,
without authorization, a so-called integrity test in which he provided
information to his former partner to check whether she would pass it on
to targets of the investigation. The interesting thing about this
test is that it was successful. His former partner was passing on
information to the targets of the investigation, and he caught her
red-handed. He is being punished for successfully catching a crook.
officers have been indicted, but I expect that the charges will not
result in jail time or job loss. Katakofsky, on the other hand, will
probably lose his job, because he committed the ultimate crime. He
forgot that our two-tiered justice system, the harshest in the
“civilized” world, is only supposed to target the peasantry. Our rulers
and their servants the police are immune from justice, and his misguided
attempts to hold police officers responsible for their crimes will not