Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thursday morning random thoughts.

--James Carville calls Rick Perry the worst campaigner in the history. That's not far from right, when you weigh expectations and resources against outcome. Come on back to Texas, Rick, before you blow the cred that we need you to keep while dealing with the feds on the border issue in the future.

-- Officer Daniel Harless has been fired by the Canton Police Department. Let's give the CPD their due: they did what needed doing. They also reviewed the question of whether they should charge Harless with a crime, and turned it over to prosecutor.
The city law department asked the Massillon prosecutor’s office to determine whether Harless’ actions warranted criminal charges. John Simpson, chief prosecutor for the city of Massillon, said that he reviewed state law for menacing, aggravated menacing and assault, but there was insufficient evidence to support any charges.

“I’m not condoning anything the officer did, because (it’s) totally inappropriate,” he said.

Simpson said he examined the question of whether “a threat (is) being made when you say, ‘I should have’ or ‘I should do this,’ but (Harless does not) fulfill any of those.”

I'll accept that. Let him walk the earth cloaked in his own wretchedness, but no longer a police officer.

--One of our officers, who is slated to go to firearms instructor's school, has taken to completely condemning the use of pistol-mounted lasers, across the board. Given the superb design of the products from Crimson Trace, which (when mounted properly) in no way impede the normal operation of the pistol, and which are activated by simply drawing the pistol, I'm confused by his position. He says that because people will become dependent on the laser, they will quickly lose their ability to use the sights, and thus will be in Deep Trouble when the laser inevitably breaks. Only the expert, he contends, should ever have one. Our differences have come to a middle on this issue.

--There's a mounting news story about a video of some US Marines that urinated on Taliban corpses. While talking about it with my wife this morning, I was split. Hey, guys in the heat of combat do strange things. My wife sensibly said, "No. When you're in the uniform and show such disrespect for corpses, people will believe you have no respect for life. Those guys' family could have been watching. What do they think of other US armed forces in uniform, now?" She's absolutely right, of course. We need a Basic Training course called "Respect Your Uniform, If Not Your Foe". Alternately, it could be called: "Ruining It For Everybody."  Stuff like this turns our enemies into a Hydra.

--On the radio, they were going on and on about the anniversary of "The Catch," which was some big play in American football in 1982. So I went to look at it. Huh. I guess it was a pretty good throw, under pressure, and a good catch. But what's the big deal?

--We have 91,000 troops in Afghanistan. I know one of them. You probably know one or two, too. Don't forget them.

--I had two DWI trials scheduled this week. Both pled at the last minute. One of them, a felony Driving While Intoxicated Third Or More, took nine years. He's parole eligible after 1/4 of his sentence is served, if he's good, and then he has to fulfill the requirements of his parole for the remainder of what would be his sentence. It's humbling to realize that a case that I put together can take away a man's life for that long. I don't take that fact lightly. I'm proud of the work on that case. If the deputy who was originally assigned to the call had made the arrest and worked the case, it's very possible likely that the guy either wouldn't have taken the plea, or wouldn't have pled for so much time.  Is that pride talking? Yeah. It is. I'm proud of my reputation as a solid DWI investigator.  We're told in classes that the defense attorneys talk among themselves about which cops put up weak cases backed by weak testimony, and which cops put together strong cases that had best be pled out. When I was a rookie, I went to court all the time over DWI cases. Now, I hardly ever go. If that's my reputation working, then I'll take it.

--There's a prosecutor at the DA's office whose first case ever to present in court was a DWI 2nd that I had made the arrest in while still a rookie. Rookie ADA, rookie cop, professional drunk, and very sharp Dallas attorney all entered the room. The Dallas attorney did a great job of flustering the rookie cop on the stand, and some easy lobs that the ADA now would have objected to he didn't catch. The guy walked. Now, more than a decade later, every time I see that prosecutor, he comes over and shakes my hand and smiles and mentions the defendant in that case by his full name. I think that case haunts him just a little bit. But some good came out of it. I improved my report-writing so that I wouldn't be flustered at my inability to answer rapid-fire defense attorney questions. The ADA went on to become a very solid prosecutor. And, looking online, I see now that that the defendant has never been arrested in my county again*.  All's well that ends well.

--The guy at the bank lost my license yesterday. I'm not mad; I just want that thing back. He said he'd check to see if it was in the tube. Silliness. I think I may just have to go get another one. The last time I went by the driver's license bureau, the lady behind the counter, who recognized me, gave me a line pass. I was in street clothes and not on duty. I didn't ask for it. You're damned right I accepted it. I really hope that it works out that way again this time. Everybody hates the drivers** license office.

--I've been listening to Sallie Ford And The Sound Outside. Different. I like it.

--Spell-checking this document, I see that Blogger doesn't recognize the past tense of plea, nor does it recognize the word recuse, in any tense.
*And that his high-powered attorney got the case expunged, too.

**Okay, should it be "Driver's License Office"?  Or should it be "Drivers' License Office"? I could make a case for either. Or should it be "Driver License Office," without an apostrophe or an S, out of consistency with the document itself, which is labeled across the top: "Texas Driver License"?***

***I just pulled out my wallet to double check that. Duh. My license is missing.

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At Thursday, January 12, 2012 11:53:00 AM, Anonymous Joe Allen said...

We have a Driver(ses) License Office in Independence MO that does it right. It's run by an independent contractor, don't know if they do that in TX but here's how it works:

You walk in, enter your phone number and get queued up. There are big LCD monitors that show your place in line, and you get a text every time you get a bump and an alert when you are in the hole. If there's going to be a long wait, you can go shop next door, go to the restaurant, sit in your car and read - whatever. If you get tied up with something, you can reply and get pushed back 2 places so you don't have to go back to the end of the line.

Best system I've ever seen.

At Thursday, January 12, 2012 1:00:00 PM, Anonymous TJIC said...

My - perhaps - immoderate generalizations towards police are always tempered when I see one of the good ones calling out the bad ones.

Keep up the good work.

At Thursday, January 12, 2012 6:45:00 PM, Anonymous carbonblack said...

Perhaps if the Marines were allowed to close and destroy the enemy instead of being shackled by overly restrictive ROE their frustration would be lessened.
I have yet to hear the "leadership" that is condemning this video condemn the everyday atrocities the Taliban commit. Instead that same "leadership" is now negotiating the surrender of all that has been gained in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Yet our troops are supposed to treat what amounts to brigands like the uniformed troops of the kaiser or imperial japan-really? How many of our troops have died after being captured in either Iraq or Afghanistan, what Geneva convention for them? And we are supposed to respect the remains of people that have not advanced past the 7th century and could not wage war without western technology, technology that only seems to gain them better ways to kill their own and ours. No use for medicine, nor rule of law, nor even seeing women as human much less as equals. And we give a s*** what they think?

At Thursday, January 12, 2012 10:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@carbonblack: In a brief conversation with my own deployed husband, he bitched that the Afghans (Afghani is what they call their currency, I think) are a very dishonest people.

Speaking of line passes, that same husband was allowed to skip the metal detector at the sherrif's office when he was picking up his CCW permit when he was in uniform. (Rather nice of them, I thought.)

At Friday, January 13, 2012 10:16:00 AM, Blogger Dan O. said...

Just wondering on the Harless incident. Turn that around and "what if" it were a citizen saying those things to a LEO. Think charges would/should be filed then?

Don't get me wrong, I am glad he was fired but, I'm having a hard time believing no law was broken.

More of the story is Harless' lawyer is filing an appeal claiming PTSD from prior incident. If that's the case WHY was he still on duty?

Just wondering. Not trying to stir anything up. I respect LEO's who respect me and my rights. And you fit the bill. Keep up the good work.


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