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Old 05-06-2009, 06:45 PM
5,760 posts, read 13,326,187 times
Reputation: 4523


You really need a lawyer.

Besides that, well, there may be those who would read your post and think you were making the whole thing up, because it sounds way out. Now, I've been around long enough to know that it's probably impossible to make up some story so bizarre that it couldn't really happen, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that your story is true.

Some advice here: Once again, get a lawyer. If your financial resources are tight, get online, check the yellow pages, do whatever research necessary to find out what resources there are in Illinois and Chicago for legal assistance for people of modest means. Assuming everything you've written here is true, your child needs to be out of this situation, and you need all the help you can get to negotiate the legal system and make sure this happens. You also need advice on the best way to deal with the fact that you're crossing paths with people who could make life difficult for you.

One more piece of advice: Don't include details about what you heard on the tapes in any future posts online. In fact, it would be a good idea to contact a moderator and see whether you can be allowed back in to edit the post and get rid of the part that includes the exerpt from the tape. Your description of the basic idea of what was happening was enough for people to get the idea without reading the details, and by making this public online you might risk a court ruling that the evidence is tainted and can't be used in your case. Some states allow judges a lot of leeway in deciding how to conduct a hearing. Contact a moderator and see whether you can remove that part of your post, and under any circumstances, don't post anymore details like that. Better safe than sorry.

I'm sorry to learn that you are in this difficult situation. Best of luck in dealing with this, and take care.

Old 05-06-2009, 06:46 PM
5,767 posts, read 10,027,624 times
Reputation: 3809
I think it also depends on what you mean by "trust."

For example - if the cops contact me, and tell me they'd like me to "answer a few questions down at the station" - then, no. I shut up and don't say a word until I find out more, and talk to a lawyer.

However, if there is an active situation going on, and I have information that would help the police or help keep people safe, then yes, I pass it on.
Old 05-06-2009, 07:43 PM
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
12,900 posts, read 18,450,622 times
Reputation: 13735
I've worked 10 years in the criminal justice system. There are very few of us that are there for power and prestige. Those that are do not usually last very long in those kind of jobs. In my experience the vast majority do their job and strictly abide by the limits placed on them. Hell, I'm glad to have limits. I don't find any pleasure in punishing people and I've know very few that have.

It seems to me the people who hate cops are the ones that get caught doing something they shouldn't have been doing. If you want someone to blame, look at your politicians... they are writing the laws that limit your freedoms.
Old 05-06-2009, 09:05 PM
Location: The Shires
2,257 posts, read 1,722,489 times
Reputation: 1050
While I may not trust them, they were a great band (in their day):

YouTube - The Police - Wrapped Around Your Finger: Video
Old 05-06-2009, 10:45 PM
5,760 posts, read 13,326,187 times
Reputation: 4523
Originally Posted by BCreass View Post
While I may not trust them, they were a great band (in their day):

YouTube - The Police - Wrapped Around Your Finger: Video

Good one. This thread needed a little momentary lightening up about now. But would you want them to stand so close to you?


Okay, so one question I want to pose for people here to consider actually relates to that old thread about "schizophrenic attitude toward the police" that degenerated into something well below the intelligent discussion that is this forum's stated purpose. This has to do with the question of how you feel about the police if you need them as opposed to your feelings if you've just gotten a speeding ticket, or you've just read a story or watched a video like the ones JTUR has had in several of his posts here.

There is also a broader moral and ethical question about how much questionable (or beyond questionable) conduct people are willing to take with the good that cops do. In my first post on this thread, I think I mentioned something about being in the process of writing a novel based on my law enforcement experiences. The novel is set in the '70's. One character is an old-fashioned copper, hired in the '50's, still stuck in the old cop-on-the-beat way of doing things with a personal touch, lamenting the restrictions on the authority of the police resulting from court rulings in the '60's and '70's. Basically, this character is kind of an awkward wannabe version of the traditional neighborhood cop, who occasionally does manage to handle things the way the best of the old-time coppers would have.

Okay, so this sorta-kinda old-time copper with the personal touch has been known to exhibit that personal touch by applying his own judgment to situations he encounters, regardless of how that judgment meshes with the way the law says he's supposed to handle these situations. In one case, he leans on an unscrupulous landlord who is mistreating an elderly woman tenant, though technically breaking no laws, so the police really have no legal authority to make the landlord clean up his act.

Another time, the old copper relates a story from his early years on the job, before the increased scrutiny of, and restrictions on, the police, about how there had been a man who would frequent the public library, always hanging around the children's section, spending hours at a time just sitting and watching the kiddies, and how the old copper and another old copper he had worked with at the time had gone to the library and "had a little talk" with this guy, after which he had never shown up in the library again, despite the fact that legally he'd had every right in the world to sit in the children's section of a public library during its hours of operation.

But then, this same old copper often bemoans the reduction in the leeway the police have in using their own judgment about how to handle situations. He frequently talks about how back in the day if some guy seemed to be up to no good, even if you couldn't be quite sure what he might be doing that might be illegal, or even if the police had simply had some wise little punk mouthing off to them, why they'd just run the character right downtown and figure out something to charge him with.

In that piece of writing, I'm deliberately trying to explore moral complexities, which is the reason for having this kinda-sorta old-time copper character sometimes do things outside the law which many people would approve of (helping the elderly tenant, scaring off the potential pedophile from hanging around kids), and other times take action which many would see as cause for concern (hauling in someone who seems kind of suspicious, or someone who simply gives the cops a little attitude). These issues seem relevant on this thread, in that it is reasonable to consider the question of how people's attitude toward the police is affected by the degree to which they see the police as acting in their interests in a given situation.

So, how about it? You can choose between the personal touch of the old-fashioned cop on the beat, who knows the people in town, who gets personally involved enough to help them in ways that go beyond the minimum his job calls for, but who, by the very same tendency to exercise personal flexibility in his approach to the job, may also bend laws (of break them) in ways that intrude on those who are more or less innocent, and, on the other hand, the modern professional officer, who goes by the book, who won't be hauling you downtown just because he doesn't like the looks of you, or doesn't care for your attitude, but who is not so likely to be flexible, or tend to go the extra distance, but rather is more inclined to be somewhat businesslike and detached, when you need help. Which do you prefer?

How about those hypothetical situations described above? There is an old lady with a meager income who is being mistreated by her landlord. Maybe she's your grandmother. Only problem is, the landlord has technically broken no laws. Is it okay for a cop of the more old-fashioned sort to lean on the landlord so he cleans up his act? Or does your grandmother just have to suffer? Some guy hangs around the local library, spending hours in the children's section, watching the little kiddies all day. Legally speaking, he's done nothing wrong. He has every legal right to be there. But it's possible that he could be a serious threat to those kids. The library staff may try to keep a close watch on him, but they have work to do, and watching this guy takes time away from that work. And if they turn their backs for even a minute, that just might be the time the guy needs to abduct a child and be gone. And, you know, maybe your kids go to that library. So, is it okay for the police to run the guy off, to "have a little talk with him," when doing so would violate his legal rights?

I'd guess that most people would, in some situations, prefer that the police reach beyond the limitations the law imposes on them. In any case, the questions about police authority get kind of complicated, don't they?

Last edited by ogre; 05-06-2009 at 11:10 PM..
Old 05-07-2009, 12:01 AM
485 posts, read 903,396 times
Reputation: 100
I dont trust all of them!! I believe that crooks exist in all uniforms....police..burger joint workers..and all the way up from there! but there is good one as well...i think?[hope]
Old 05-07-2009, 07:51 AM
3,566 posts, read 4,491,128 times
Reputation: 1846
Again, I don't hate the police. There are reasons that they are not trusted and it does not have to be some major humdinger, it can come from relatively small interactions. I am not talking about speeding tickets. Again, there are some that rock and some that need another job all together and some that are, as I said earlier, burned out. I don't watch Cops, it makes both law enforcement and those arrested look stupid. The whole point of the show is to highlight stupidity and they can edit as much as they like to get it that way. Although, it does not seem to need editing a good portion of the time.

I'm quite sure that you can look at a police report and tell right off the bat that there is no probable cause. Which means, why the heck were they arrested? I'm pretty sure you know why.

I'm also pretty sure that you can understand when an African American child is arrested that the sense of panic that the mother/father feels is coming from some place. The man who used torture to get confessions in Chicago, has recently come under the gun, so to speak. For a good many of us, this is not too long ago. Good old days is relative.

Everything that I had listed prior to this, very real and has a very real negative impact on society. There is a huge amount of discretion that is available to police.

One of the things that blows my mind is the number of kids that are not gang bangers but wind up with that label because of where they live. Kid A has lived in the same house since he was born and has known kid B his entire life. They live two houses down from each other. Kid A is not a gang banger, kid B is. In fact a large portion of the neighborhood is affiliated with the Spanish Vice Lords. So, kid A is labled. Can kid A tell kid B to hit the road? Prolly not. And if you ask them, they will tell you where they stand and you can tell if they are wannabe's or not. That label will affect them for the rest of their lives.

Disorderly Conduct. That charge at 13 will have different consequences then for someone who is 33. Especially, if it is a "teach them a lesson" kind of scenario. What a waste of time and money.
Old 05-07-2009, 08:06 AM
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,556,197 times
Reputation: 35864
To sort of answer your question Ogre, I think any person who is a police officer, no matter how bad, would at least rise to the call of duty in any situation in which a police presence was clearly appropriate, unless he was completely methed out or something at the time.

So, yes, if a citizen needed the police to answer his call about any legitimate purpose, even the worst of cops would set aside whatever axe thay happen to be grinding and perform in some semblance of the call of duty.

In that sense, yes, one can "trust" the police to be a presence in their community standing up against general and random behavior or events that threatened public safety. Having said that, though, the police handbook is getting increasingly restriction-heavy, where even a good and conscientious cop us unable, by regulation, to do ordinary things that a citizen might have need for. Like helping you push a disabled car off the road, or going up a ladder to crawl through an open window if you lost your keys. More and more, if you ask the police for help, they reply "We're not allowed to do that".

Last edited by jtur88; 05-07-2009 at 08:19 AM..
Old 05-07-2009, 11:04 AM
Location: York, PA
2,662 posts, read 5,137,119 times
Reputation: 2562
Originally Posted by subsound View Post
I think there are a great number of good cops, who else would get shot at with low pay but people who in general want to serve and protect. However, there are bad cops like there are jerks in every profession. The problem is that you never know who is pulling up in the car, so I usually treat the situation and the officer with a reserved attitude and politeness.

Officers I DON'T trust are those that carry deep-seeded hatred of minorites and those that dishonor and abuse the power of their badge and profession. I can go on and on, but I'm sure you get the picture.

Thankfully, they are few and far between, yet can tarnish the image and reputation of men and women who are decent, fair and impartial. In turn, the few bad ones result in a widespread mistrust of police officers.

I have met some cops that are the coolest people in the world and love what they do and the people they serve. On the other hand I have dealt with a few who were not so nice.

Overall, though, I would give a resounding "yes"
Old 05-07-2009, 11:17 AM
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 34,366,957 times
Reputation: 4893
This is directed at all those who have said they distrust all Police:

If your home was broken into; someone was threatening you or your family; your child turned up missing -

Would you call the Police to help?
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