Mimesis Law
20 October 2019

If Dead Black People Don’t Bother Cops, What Does?

Aug. 19, 2015 — In Texas, a deputy was negligent with his squad car and this resulted in a death. The sheriff, looking at all of the facts and circumstances, terminated the employment of the deputy. In other words, he fired him.

The sheriff didn’t come to this decision lightly. First, he placed the deputy on paid administrative leave, sometimes called suspension with pay, while he investigated the deputy, his acts, the squad car, the conditions that existed at the scene, and what the proper conduct would have been. Then, and only then, did the sheriff fire the deputy.

Granted, it only took one day to determine the facts, but the sheriff followed the proper procedure. Texas law requires that an investigation be conducted before a peace officer is fired. I’m all for that type of protection, the deputy had been on the job for seven years and should not be fired on a whim. In this case, he got a full investigation prior to his termination.

What is more unusual is that the sheriff is looking into criminal charges now that the deputy has been fired. The range of possible charges go from a second-degree felony (2-20 years in state prison and up to a $10,000 fine) down to a class “A” misdemeanor (a $4,000 fine and up to a year in the county jail).

From the facts available, it is clear that the deputy was negligent, and it is also clear that he is torn up about the death and has shown a great deal of remorse. Part of the problem is that a safety device which had been installed in the squad car to prevent this type of event from happening, had been deactivated or disarmed, presumably by the deputy.

What is even more surprising is the reaction from the guys at PoliceOne. If you remember, even when the evidence is strongly against the officer, as in the Eric Garner case, they tend to stand firmly behind the officer involved.

Here, for the most part, the reaction is just the opposite. Their reactions on the private part of the board are surprising:

“As he should be fired. No excuse for this.”

“I’m having a hard time finding sympathy for this former officer.”

“I can’t excuse this. Even if your on duty 24 hours or more working and so tired you can keep your eyes open…..NO EXCUSE FOR THIS.”

“I’m sure this deputy was devastated by this but it is inexcusable.”

“Why does this keep happening? What is wrong with people?”

And it doesn’t stop at the lack of sympathy for the deputy by his former colleagues. Some are calling for his head on a platter, wanting, no demanding, that he face criminal charges:

“I hope there are criminal charges, I think negligence is a little light on the description!”

“Amen to facing criminal charges!”

“I hope Deputy S***head faces some criminal charges. This is appalling.”

Of course, there are some apologists, but in this case for some reason, they are almost completely silent.

You see, until you know the rest of the story, you can’t really evaluate this. The deputy was fired because he was negligent and left his K9 drug dog in the car, where it died from overheating. Most of the officers are fine with him being fired, and as shown, some want him prosecuted. They talk about the life of the K9 and what he does for others.

Uh, guys?

Why does a dog’s life matter more to you than a human life? You want this former deputy sheriff to face potential jail time because his dog died by his own acts, noting that the heat alarm in the squad car was turned off. Yet when a human being is killed at the hands of the police, there should be no inquiry into the matter, no criminal investigation, not even a possibility that the officer should lose his job?

You want to know why the public doesn’t believe in the police as much any more?

Look at Eric Garner and Officer Daniel Pantaleo—none of you believed that the officer should face scrutiny.

Look at Christian Taylor and Officer Brad Miller—all of you were outraged when the probationary officer was fired after leaving his FTO and entering the building, resulting in Taylor’s death.

Look at Sam Dubose and Officer Ray Tensing—none of you think he should have been arrested, or that the public should determine if this was justifiable.

Look at the situation in Baltimore—you were absolutely livid that the officers were charged in the death of Freddie Grey.

Look at the shooting of James Boyd—you wanted the District Attorney’s head on a platter when she wanted to prosecute the officers, never mind that the Attorney General of New Mexico cleared her and a special prosecutor filed murder charges against the officers.

Yet a dog dies, and all of you are good with firing the officer, and a good number of you want the officer prosecuted.

Do you really want to know why the public doesn’t believe in or trust the police as much any more?

Look in the mirror. You value a dog’s life more than theirs.

6 Comments on this post.

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  • Scott Jacobs
    19 August 2015 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    It isn’t that it was a dog, it is that it was a POLICE dog…

    • Greg Prickett
      19 August 2015 at 9:58 pm - Reply

      Exactly, and they don’t, for the most part, understand the point I was making.

      Had I said the same thing to them, face to face, I would bet that I would just get a blank look in return.

  • Burgers Allday
    19 August 2015 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Wow. This is the best article I have read in months. Doubt your message will get through to those who need it most, but I don’t think that you could have been clearer, or more succinct. BTW, the weekend where I got to comment at Policeone News (before they changed policy to police only on commenting — this was like 5 years ago, or more, now) was one of the funnest weekends of my life. Man did we run up the post counts on a few threads! Wish I still had the transcripts.

    • Greg Prickett
      19 August 2015 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Burger.

  • Stephen Ivory
    19 August 2015 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    I miss being able to read PoliceOne comments. Very telling that they put those behind the paywall. I’m guessing PoliceOne’s traffic took a hit because they backtracked a bit and put the “top comments” outside the firewall.

    • Greg Prickett
      19 August 2015 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      I’m sure the traffic took a hit, but PoliceOne is a site that markets to cops, and they still do well in that regards.

      The comments have not changed much, either.