Originally Posted by orangello
I feel your pain; i was a tax auditor for a bit over a decade; that
is a much-loved and appreciated profession.
Sorry if i pulled us off-topic; i have a real problem with the abuse of authority and have a hard time not commenting on it when it comes up.
I don't like anyone "abusing authority" either...but...in this case...the officer did not abuse his authority as he acted in a manner consistent with enforcing ARS Criminal code. The reality is....what truly constitutes an abuse of authority versus what "You as an individual don't like or think is wrong
" are two vastly different things. You have to remember that a real violation of civil rights is rare. If an officer does violate someone's civil rights...it does come out, the officer is screwed and the offender goes home. It DOES come out when the lawyers get a hold of it. It doesn't pay for ANYONE to be a cop like that. MOST people go to jail because they won't shut up and do what the nice officer tells them to do.
That is a little simplistic, but if you take a moment to think about it...when an officer says (Let's continue in the DV scenario here): "Sir, sit down and I will get to you in a moment." What that officer is doing is trying to separate the parties to the dispute and safely get BOTH sides of the story and trying to give the subject a moment to calm down and possibly get a break by showing the officer he is not the desperado the alleged victim has claimed he is. Officers ALSO know that angry and vindictive women can, will, and certainly have used "He hit me!" as a BS charge knowing it will royally screw the man.
When the first subject refuses to comply with an eminently reasonable request where, believe it or not, the officer is trying to give him a break, and the officer now has to contend with an uncooperative subject and now based upon experience the officer is in a situation where his safety has just been compromised even further by a subject who has become uncooperative and maybe even combative, thereby escalating the tension of the situation...the officer MUST for his own safety and the safety of the apparent victim become more aggressive in his treatment of the subject up to and including physical force and restraint. If an officer has to go "hands on" you can believe someone is going to jail....why...because they didn't sit down, shut up, and let the moment cool off. The subject chose to go to jail
Thus....most arrests are made because the subject didn't shut up and sit down. Look at it from another side.
Officer Friendly shows up to a DV call.
The alleged victim has NO bruises, marks, scratches, or any other signs of being abused in any fashion. The alleged victim is cussing, and generally acting like a broom-rider.
The alleged abuser (subject) is waiting out in the yard and when contact is made with the officer, he remains calm, compliant, and shows no aggression or "I am a street lawyer, and I am going to tell YOU the law and how the cow ate the cabbage" attitude.
Now the officer sees:
1. Alleged victim acting like a shrew with NO apparent evidence to support a claim of DV or assault.
2. Subject remaining calm and complying to the officer's instructions showing ZERO aggression and the willingness to get this mess straightened out because he probably didn't do a thing wrong other than piss off the woman.
Who is going to catch benefit of the doubt and a major break?
The subject has just shown reasonableness and restraint in a bad situation, and the officer is not going to make an arrest screwing the guy for life.
Why? Because he didn't act like a jerk and he passed the attitude test.
Believe me, there have been MANY times in my career when I
would have liked
to slap the taste out of some shrew's mouth. Obviously I didn't...but I could understand and empathize
if the subject did. Just as I could empathize with my Dad when he backhanded my psychotic mother in our kitchen. Of course SHE stabbed him with a steak knife while he was doing dishes...BEFORE HE SLAPPED HER! That was the ONLY time I ever saw my Dad raise an angry had to the woman, and she was bat turd crazy.
Can you guess who called 911? My mother. Yep. You guessed it...she stabs Dad. Dad slaps her. SHE calls 911.
My Dad was waiting on the porch when the officers and EMTS arrived with me holding a large bandage over his ugly cut. My mother was lying on the kitchen floor doing her best 1940's movie faint and wail acting job because my evil Dad slapped her (By the way...didn't even leave a mark). Dad was reasonable, and complied with EVERY instruction he was given by the officers.
Should my Dad have gone down for DV? I don't think so. Neither did the officers who showed up and hauled my nut job of a mother off to Kino Hospital for psych eval and eventual treatment for post-menopausal hormone whackiness. BUT...had my Dad acted like a jerk...he ALSO would have gone away, OR my mother would have been seen as the victim, and Dad might have been thusly screwed for life.
So, there is a lot of truth to my statement that people go to jail for not shutting up and sitting down.
Anyway...I can understand with your dislike of abuse of authority. I hate bullies, and a bully with a badge is the worst kind of bully. But really think about what an abuse of authority is. Cops are trained extensively. We get a LOT of experience on the street. We learn to read people in seconds better than a pshrink can after hundreds of couch trips with someone. I was the type of officer who would talk for a long time until I rolled around on the ground with you. My rule was ASK ~ TELL ~ MAKE. I'd ask you first. Then I'd tell you. Then I'd make you. I gave chances.
You will find the vast majority of officers will try to cut breaks whenever they can (except motorcycle officers...even we don't like those ticket happy boogers). But how much an officer is willing to cut those breaks are directly tied to your attitude in dealing with the officer. There is a statute book with a WHOLE lot of nails an officer can legally and righteously pound into your legal coffin...with zero "abuse of authority". How a subject acts can and often will determine how many nails get pulled out of that statute book. Abusive? No. Legal? Yes.
Why make anyone's day longer and harder than it has to be?