Friday, December 05, 2008

Means "Who Polices the Police?"

From the Boston Globe courtesy of the Huffington Post news wire:

In rush-hour labor, ticket delivered

Jennifer Davis was stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Nov. 18, her contractions just 3 minutes apart. Her husband, John, was trying to appear calm for his wife's sake, driving in the breakdown lane of Route 2. They pulled up behind a state trooper to ask whether they could continue using the lane to reach the next exit, near Alewife Station.

Not only did the trooper say no, he gave them a $100 citation for driving in the breakdown lane, made them wait for their citation while he finished writing someone else's ticket, and even seemed to ask for proof of pregnancy, Jennifer Davis said.

"He said, 'What's under your jacket?' I said, 'My belly,' " Davis said. "He waited and gestured with his head like, 'OK, let's see it.' He waited for me to unzip my jacket. I mean, it was so clear that I was pregnant."

The Davises say the contretemps occurred after two other troopers they encountered had waved them along in the highway breakdown lane, allowing them to evade gridlock while advising them to be cautious and keep their hazard lights on.

More here.

Earlier today I wondered for a while if this story was appropriate for my "Quis Custodiet" posts. I mean, the idea is for me to show that cop misbehavior happens virtually all the time, everywhere, which it does, as the numerous stories on which I've posted strongly suggest. But these are always stories about graft, or brutality, or rape, or forced prostitution, serious crimes.

This Boston cop who needlessly delayed a pregnant woman in labor on her way to the hospital, however, was not committing a crime. Indeed, he was doing his duty, sticking to the letter of the law, going that extra mile, crossing his t's and dotting his i's, all that OCD shit. This is not a corrupt cop. But he is a big fucking asshole.

I would very much like to know why one trooper chose to bust a woman in labor when two other troopers did not. I mean, cops have a lot of lattitude when it comes to deciding who they're going after. Was he pissed off about something? Angry with his own pregnant wife maybe? Infertile and therefore possessing a grudge against expecting mothers? I find it hard to believe that any cop could be so by-the-book that he would do such a thing. Okay, in the grand scheme I suppose it's possible, but not likely--our culture totally worships women having babies, when they're married, at least, and this includes police.

What the fuck was up with this guy?