Saturday, December 26, 2009

Did Channel 13 News Inadvertently Aid in K9's Death?

While spending Christmas I heard a rather disturbing story. We were talking about the recent tragic death of a Harris County Pct.4 police dog. What my source tells me is the K9 handler let his dog off the leash to go after the burglars who ran off into a wooded area. He lost sight of the dog but was listening as the Channel 13 news chopper lowered itself blocking all sound. The handler couldn't hear his dog barking and running through the trees. It makes one wonder had that damn news chopper not been so low off the ground getting its news shot the handler may have heard his dog being attacked. Anyone with experience knows that when dogs fight it is a rather loud occurrence. So it is possible the dog's death struggle was drowned out by the damned news chopper. I told my source I hope his agency is looking into taking action against Channel 13.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Another 'Misdemeanor Shooting'

With Christmas almost here you would think that people would act right. Not quite. Up until the last couple of hours of my shift I was bored. I was just patrolling (more like wasting gas) and nothing going on. I was even sending random, pointless text messages to friends. I think I had just hit the 'send' button on a text when the radio blares to life. The first broadcast is a man waving a gun. I make the u-turn and head that direction. I'm not anywhere close but nothing else is going on. It won't hurt to drive that way. Then another broadcast about shots fired at the same location. After a few more 'shots fired' calls then the broadcast is someone's been shot. Yeah, there is something to this! Of course by the time I arrive another gunshot victim had been located and both had been carted off by the ambulance. I drive amongst the news vans that are just now showing up and find the sergeant on the scene. The scene is an apartment complex in a bad part of town infested with criminals. So naturally the family is screaming and carrying on (both victims were shot in the leg) however nobody wants to talk to us and tell us who did it. Of course everyone knows who the shooter is. Yet the street culture mentality says people can't help the police. So they don't. In return the police tend to label these kinds of shootings 'misdemeanor shootings.' Not to sound insensitive however it's hard to feel sympathy for people who treat you as the bad guy and refuse to let you help them. What will probably happen is this guy will wind up shot within the next couple days and will be met with the same compassion.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pouting In The Cold

I was coming to the intersection when I noticed a vehicle backing up. I followed it to watch it. I watched it drive in both lanes. Either this person was lost or drunk so I decided to find out which. I pull the vehicle over to find it stuffed with about 7 people. The thing that got my attention was the three year old girl on the lap of an adult. That seriously irritates the hell out of me. They were all headed home and crammed everyone in the car without thinking the 3 year old needing a car seat. I can tell the female driver is going to have an attitude. She isn't looking at me and letting her mother in the passenger seat do all the talking. This also annoys me! The mother isn't driving so I don't need to hear the excuse from her. I ignore her and get the driver's license and wind up writing her two tickets (one for not restraining the child). Then her mother and brother (in the back seat) start talking at once. About this point I've had it yet I keep my cool. I politely tell the mother to be quiet I'm not talking to her. Then the driver, without even looking at me tells me she isn't signing. I think I actually grinned. She is on her way in meeting this guy's fate. I open the door and she still isn't looking. So I tell her to look at me. Her mother is still talking to I have to tell her to be quiet again as well as her brother. I tell her up front if she doesn't sign I will arrest her. I handed her the pen and dared her to tell me she wasn't going to sign the citations again. I could tell despite her attitude she was going to sign it. She realized I wasn't playing and probably could tell I was hoping she'd give me the reason to slap the handcuffs on her. You would think it ends there but it doesn't. I tell them to find a way to secure the child before driving off. Well this whole family must be dumb. The driver turns off the engine and gets out of the car along with her mother. I'm a little surprised. I wasn't expecting this. I tell her to leave the engine on with the heater for the children in the car. However the driver was too busy pouting she didn't seem to care. I told them they could drive off if they could find a way to secure to the child. However the pouting driver and her mother wanted to get out of the car and acted like they wanted nothing to do with it. The brother wound up driving away leaving his mother and sister. They called for a ride to come pick them up. The pouting driver walked away in the cold weather. Oh well she's free to go. If she wants to freeze while pouting that's her problem not mine. The ride finally arrived and picked up the mother. I have no idea if they found the pouting driver. I got back into the warm car and drove off.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

When the kid is more streetwise than his dad!

A father and son were walking down their street. I guess quality time together. A vehicle pulls up with a heavy set guy with a doo rag on his head. He shouts from the car "hey man you wanna buy a plasma TV?"

Now, anyone with a lick of sense should have alarm bells going off at this point. You live in the hood and some fool pulls up next to you in a car selling a plasma TV! Oh hell no!!!!

The dad walks up to the vehicle asking what size screen! The son tugs on his sleeve telling him they need to get the hell out of there! The man gets out of the vehicle draws not one, but two pistols and robs both of them!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Look Back

I found this picture at my parents house. It is my dad and late uncle taken around 1977. My dad was a small town officer and my uncle was a deputy sheriff in Louisiana. I look at this picture and see it as a window into the past. Times were different back then and so was law enforcement. Granted police got away with more stunts then we do now and it's these guys who are now teaching us younguns to someday teach the new generation (if they bother to listen). The pay back then was abysmal to say the least. Yet these guys didn't do it for the pay. They did it because they wanted to. They wanted to make a difference and were thus exposed to a world and a lifestyle that is embellished in TV. I miss my uncle, he was character. I would listen to his war stories and being a Louisiana officer everything was 'this coon ass or that coon ass!' I remember he would tell me of a beer joint in rural Louisiana that they got called out to every weekend. Since it was the 70s, and it was frequented by black people there was naturally a tension between the deputies and the officers. The officers went in about half dozen and took advantage of the L shaped design. They would put their backs to the wall and slide their way to the stage. All the while they heard metallic clicking noises as people would walk out the door. By the time they reached the end of the bar, the floor was littered with knives and small handguns. My uncle had a strong sense of ethics as well. He relayed a story of a Vietnamese family that was stopped and their car searched. This was a rural Louisiana town. They searched the car and found a large amount of cash, but no contraband. They searched that car for over an hour. The chief was contacted who told his officers to arrest the driver, seize the money and bring the car to their impound lot where it was searched again. Within minutes drugs were allegedly found in the car. Anyone else see a problem with this scenario? Needless to say that chief and some officers wound up in hot water themselves. Cancer took my uncle about 8 years ago. He had been sick for some time. I was working night shift at the time and was asleep until I woke too early to find a message on my cell phone. It was my mom telling me to call her as soon as I could. I then knew. He had died. The funeral was scheduled for the day after the next. I had to go to work that night to get leave for the funeral. The night Lieutenant offered to let me have off that night but I declined. Why would I want to go to an empty house and just think. No, I needed to work for the distraction. About an hour later I was following a truck that was speeding, and weaving. I pulled him over. The driver is a middle class looking white guy and the passenger is an older Hispanic woman who spoke little English. He said he was giving a friend a ride but couldn't tell me her name. Oh yeah, somethings up. I suspected she was a hooker and he was a john but he'll never admit to it. Besides, I smell alcohol on his breath. I took him out and did the sobriety tests and wound up arresting him for DWI. I can't remember if he took the intoxylizer test or not. I do remember driving him to jail thinking "this one's for you uncle!"

My dad also has a strong sense of ethics. I credit him for instilling that in me. He hasn't shared that many war stories with me. I can certainly testify to two funny accidental discharges. One with a shotgun and the other with H&K 9mm. I do remember a story he told me of a civil standby he was called to. A man was taking his things out of the house after stabbing his girlfriend (not fatally). The woman's son was there and chatting with my dad. The man's demeanor suddenly changed when his mother's assailant walked out of the house. The man quit talking and responding to my dad and focused only on the other fellow. Without warning the man draws a pistol and shoots the guy right in front of my dad. My dad had his pistol jammed
into the man's face. The shooter then surrendered.

I doubt my dad will ever chronicle his experiences over the last 30 years. Sadly my uncle never did and all of his experiences only live on to a few people that were there or he told. Thirty years of experience that will eventually be lost to time. That's why we should blog.

Inept Courts Lead to Ambush?

This is one of every officer's worst nightmare. As more of this story unfolds the more it makes one wonder just if justice is truly served. The news is reporting former Arkansas Gov. Ted Huckabee (who has his own Fox show at the moment) let this guy out of prison. Teddy said he agreed with the parole's board crap about him being so young when he went out on his crime spree. Since then this monster just couldn't keep out of jail yet the courts doing what they do best looked for the easiest way to ease their burden and let him out. I wish there was a tally on how many people lost their lives because a team of lawyers eased their burden and let a monster back onto the streets. Why are they never held responsible? Police are held responsible for everything all the time yet the courts are inadvertently responsible for countless innocent deaths. We have that problem here in Harris County. Officers get assaulted yet the DA's office refuse to prosecute citing technicalities which reflect that particular assistant DA's incompetence in my opinion. There is one assistant DA who thinks shoving an officer is disorderly conduct despite having the statute read to him. There is another assistant DA who thinks kicking an officer while intoxicated isn't an offense.

Anyhow, anytime we don that uniform we are a target to any psycho like this. The odds are against us because we don't know who they are but they certainly know who we are. The sad reality is we, like the general public are also subject to the deadly whim of any psycho who is let back onto the streets by the courts. All we can do is keep our guard up. Be careful out there!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Crazy Rainy Day

I like it when fronts come in. I like the cooler weather and I don't mind a little rain. However I do mind a lot of rain if I have to work in it. It started with me driving back to the station to get started on paperwork. Then I hear the words "rollin' stolen!" That means someone ran a license plate and got a stolen hit on it. I'm just a few blocks away. So I start racing down a wet street trying to catch up to him. By the time I get there about two other units have caught up to him as well. The car stops and all of us jump out with guns drawn. One of the other officers gets on the speaker and does the classic 'felony stop.' I cover the passenger as the female driver is taken out and handcuffed. Then comes the passenger. We clear the car and get to work on the vehicle recovery. We call the car owner and he first says he came out of work to find his vehicle gone. Then when told the name of the woman driving he says he knew her and lent her the damn car! Then we ask why the hell did he even report it stolen and his answer was that she didn't return it when she was supposed to but he didn't want to press charges on her. So of course no sense in wasting the district attorney's time for charges on her. I suggested that we try to file on him, but doubt they would take anything on it. Anyway, we tow the car and send the two walking. While we're doing paperwork we learn this intersection is where school buses stop and drop off kids. So I holster my weapon and help the crossing guard get the kids across.

I leave that scene and head back to the station. I'm behind on paperwork that I need to catch up on. While on the freeway a detective from the next county gets on our radio looking for help. He was sitting on a car of a burglary suspect that lived in our district that was supposedly filled with stolen guns. The car was moving and he wanted one of our units to stop it. Sadly everyone in that district was tied up so we had to send units from adjoining districts which will take time. I hit the gas pedal trying to get that way myself. Although with afternoon traffic in rain I can't go too fast. I'm thinking "great, two felony take downs in an hour span in the friggin rain!" The day gets better and better. By the time I get there another unit caught up to him and they got the occupants in custody. The female passenger has nothing to do with it, she just hangs out with turds. We find a little marijuana in the car and arrest the driver. Then we find stolen property inside the vehicle. So quite a few burglaries are going to get cleared by this pop. I talk to the female and suggest she hang out with better people. She says they are good friends to her and that's all she cares about. So I ask her if it's okay to steal from other people. Of course she says no. Even though her friends are burglars she says that is their choice. In a silly demonstration I snatch her purse and tell her it's my choice to take her purse and it doesn't matter what she thinks. I think it went in one ear and out the other. Oh well.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Oh You're Good!"

They needed someone with a camera. I had to shake my head. Does anyone in this damn district bother to carry a camera? Apparently not! I get to the house to find an extremely drunk woman with a black eye and busted chin and bruises on her arms. She quit talking when I walked in which isn't a good thing. Come to find out she hadn't even given a complete statement. Everytime someone came into the room (i.e. original officers, EMS) she would stop talking and go off on a rant about her missing dog. This is a clear case of assault family violence. Her roommate (still considered 'family' under Texas law) beat her up and fled the scene. He tried to ride off on his motorcycle but he was so drunk he dropped the bike in its parking space and decided to run on foot. We ask what happened and she says she doesn't want to talk anymore. I have a feeling that she really does love to talk it's just a matter of buttering her up. I get her talking about her dog and then get ready to steer the conversation towards her assault when she quits. She gives this creepy, drunk smile and says "oh you're good!" Damn! Didn't think she'd catch on. Okay, had to try a more direct approach. Finally we got somewhat of a statement out of her. I then go to take pictures of her injuries and she at first refuses. I start again with the chatting until she decides she wants him to see what he did to her. Perfect! I can use that. I shoot some pictures of her face and she tries to grab my camera! Now this isn't department issued. This is MY damn camera with a 4 gig memory card. I spent about $300 on this equipment and I'm not about to let some drunk woman take it out of my hand. For a split moment a thought popped in my head that only someone with a dark sense of humor would appreciate. In that thought I was testifying and the defense attorney asks how one of her eyes was blackened. I answer his client did that. Then he asks how did her other eye got blackened and I answer I did that when she broke my $300 camera! That would be bad! I managed to keep her from doing any harm and then left to tag the photos.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Irony! Defense Attorney Tells a Truth

I encourage everyone to read this article in the Houston Press about local DWI attorney Tyler Flood. All this article is the bragging of a defense attorney who has a self inflated image of himself. Here are some memorable quotes;

"Listen, most of the people we get off are intoxicated. But that's the justice system," he says. "I've always thought people would be very concerned if they knew what we were doing."

So there you have it folks! A defense attorney admitting most of his clients ARE GUILTY of the offense they have been charged with and it takes creating an impression with a gullible jury of people who don't know any better to convince them otherwise.

"Defense attorneys lie. They lie their asses off, " Egdorff (an HPD DWI task force officer) says. "He's the only person in there that's not sworn to tell the truth. I get indicted if I lie. He gets a bigger paycheck."

Nothing could be further from the truth!

"His (Flood) suits are custom made. He wears a Baume et Mercier Swiss Luxury watch and writes with a Montblanc pen. He gives Astros tickets to court coordinators and is friends with at least one DWI cop on facebook. And (sic) he loves to boast about getting drunk drivers off the hook."

So all his truth twisting gets him steadily paid and he likes to spend his money. I've always said that DWI attorneys will claim they want to get innocent people off the hook. In reality they derive pleasure from getting people they know are guilty off the hook. It's a sort of bragging right. Imagine the bragging Johnnie Cochran did when he got OJ Simpson acquitted of two murders! That's the perverse thinking of an attorney.

"Flood failed the sobriety tests and blew a .12 (blood alcohol content)."

No sh**!!!!!

So read this article and enjoy it. This is what just about every criminal defense lawyer thinks.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Couldn't Have Asked For Better Luck

The call was a missing 11-year old autistic child. So I began heading that way. While everyone else was out looking I was planning on checking the house first. Halfway there a woman calls from one of our substations saying she found an autistic child. So I change course and go and turns out it is our missing boy. The woman who found him has an autistic child her self. She saw the child wandering in the street flapping his hands looking confused. She saw the same symptoms she sees in her own child. So, being the decent and caring woman she is she stopped and picked up the child and brought him to our substation. We bring the child's frightened mother who holds him for dear life. The woman invites the mother to join her support group for autism awareness. You couldn't ask for a better ending than that.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Gun To Head Just Like Last Time

Remember this kid?

He's acting out again! The other week a call comes in that he got a hold of a pistol and fired a few shots in the air and now was holding the gun to his head. Officers get there and set up their perimeter. Just like last time the kid (K) isn't responding to dialogue very much. He just says he wants to die, and he wants the officers to kill him. Just like last time, he knows not to point the pistol directly at the officers yet he keeps shouting for them to kill him. Just like last time, he's drunk and high. It's a good thing I wasn't on when this situation occurred. I would have a hard line approach. My approach would be like "Look here K, you pulled this stunt last year! So what is that you want to happen. Your fate is in your hands so make a decision!" Of course to people, especially brass, who don't know the history of dealing with K would probably freak out. They would think we have to make sure K doesn't actually kill himself. Now anyone (especially street officer) with any sense and experience knows all we can do is try to redirect his focus and convince him not to kill himself. If he does, then his mind was already made up and we did was delay the inevitable. Anyway, just like last time he surrendered and just like last time he went to the psych hospital who has let him out by now and he's back home. Just waiting until the next time K wants to throw and extreme temper tantrum. I don't think he has the nerve to end his own life, however I suspect one day he will work up the nerve to coax us into killing him which will be a tragedy for the officer forced to do it. It will also be a tragedy for his family who have had to live with his mental state his whole life.

If Anyone Got Special Treatment, it Wasn't the Sherif

Sometime during the night or early morning of October 23, someone stole the tires off of Sheriff Garcia's county owned vehicle.

Well, this crime happens frequently. I've made many calls where a homeowner comes out to their car and finds it either burglarized, tires stolen, window shot out, etc. In the dead of night when most people are asleep, thieves "go shopping" in residential neighborhoods and most often time the crime isn't discovered until people get up to go to work or school. Many people would ask since it would probably take a little time to remove these four tires, shouldn't someone have been alerted? More often than not, most people are asleep and hear nothing. So this in a nutshell of a crime and the only reason it's so noteworthy was that Sheriff Garcia was the "victim". I suspect there is a buried feeling in the mentality of the public (and fueled by the media) that police officers should never be victims of crime due to the nature of our occupations. This falls in the same category among the general public (again fueled by the media) that forget police officers are also human beings and go through the same trials and tribulations everyone else does. I've known officers who come home and find their houses had been burglarized and unfortunately there is little evidence to go on, just like any other burglary. So, the crime happens, a report was made and life goes on.

Then I read the Houston Chronicle version;

"The vehicle was towed to a county impound lot to be examined for fingerprints or other possible evidence."

"A spokeswoman for his office said Garcia was getting no special treatment and that investigators did not give his case higher priority than any other citizen's theft complaint."

I have never heard of an instance in which Joe Citizen's car was vandalized, burglarized, or parts stolen from in which the car was taken to a station for evidence processing. Sometimes, individual officers will attempt to dust certain areas of the vehicle in an attempt to find fingerprints. However, most often time the officer shows up, gathers information and writes a report and the citizen is spending money to fix the damage to their cars. Now don't interpret this to suggest that Sheriff Garcia demanded the vehicle get processed. This would have happened regardless of whom was Sheriff. People should also understand that this was a police vehicle, not the Sheriff's personal vehicle and a little more attention will be paid to it. So, Sheriff Garcia isn't getting special treatment, however this case is getting a higher priority than the "average" auto part theft case just by it's very nature. The odds of this case getting solved are about the same as Joe Citizen's case which are not very good. However in law enforcement anything can happen.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Post About Dealing With Mentally Disturbed People

The call went out as a young man who was preventing his mother from leaving. At first I wondered if the suspect was a 5-year old child. When they said he was now jumping on the mother's car shot that notion out the window. By the time I'm there the parties are in the driveway. The officer is listening to the mother however her son (an adult) was listening and kept interrupting. I intervened and put the son in a patrol car. He doesn't need to be listening to his mother describe how he grabbed her and kicked her trying to keep her from leaving. Understandably the mother doesn't want any charges, she says her son has mental issues and has acted out like this before. At this point I'm thinking he is either going to jail, or to a psych hospital. We tried to get charges for either family assault (since mom won't say she felt any physical discomfort) or unlawful restraint however the DA's office won't take anything. That leaves us with the psych hospital (even though the son is telling us he does this to get attention). Either way, I don't think he should be left in the house. We wound up taking him to the psych hospital. It kind of annoyed me that the mom was upset. She didn't want him to be taken from the house. I explained to her that he is lucky he isn't going to jail. I tell her we cannot just leave him here and hope things will get better. She can't control him, that's why she called us out and we're dealing with her problem.

On that note, I read this story. What offends me is that every news outlet reports he was gunned down by the officer and only gives bare mention that the office was attacked by this guy who has mental problems.

"The city of Stafford's statement about the case said Aaron Hobart “charged and viciously attacked the officer. The officer believed his life was in jeopardy.” The city release stated its officials are unaware of a legitimate basis for a lawsuit over this incident ."

Usually agencies use the "we don't comment on pending litigation line" to get out of having to comment. It's not often an agency or government entity will go on record with a comment like this unless they are confident about their officer's actions. Unfortunately this type of lawsuit has become commonplace. We can't go to a training class without hearing the phrase used to sue "failure to train and supervise." The incident is all too familiar. Someone is off their meds and the family can't control them. They call the police who respond. The mental person attacks or threatens the officer and/or someone else forcing the officer to use deadly force. The parents then get on the news and sue because they (and often times the media) think that we should allow ourselves to be hurt because someone is trying to harm us because they think we're a demon and cannot grasp the nature of their actions. I don't want anyone to misread this and say I have no sympathies for parents with mentally disturbed children. I know the parents sacrifice a lot to raise and protect their kids and they suffer for it. I know they do it out of love for the children. I also know there comes a time they need to pick up a phone and call for help because they cannot deal with the situation. However they need to understand a couple of points. First and foremost, no officer is going to lay his or her life down because their child isn't meaning to harm them, just can't comprehend the harmful nature of their actions. Another important point is that CIT (crises intervention training) does not guarantee a happy ending. All CIT teaches is patience and different techniques of communicating. It's success depends on the actions of the mentally disturbed individual. If the person is receptive then the encounter and training is a success. If the person screams and attacks the officer then the CIT training goes out the window and the self defense training comes to play. While no officer ever wants to have to kill someone, especially a mentally ill teenager, parents need to understand that they are the best communicator with their child. Not the police and not the mental health 'experts.' If their child has decided to attack people then all bets are off. Just because they don't understand the harm they are causing doesn't mean we as police should turn the other cheek. We have better things to do than go to the hospital or the morgue!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

From the "What Were They Thinking Files"

A man driving an ugly ass VW was stopped on traffic. He had a suspended license and open warrants. So naturally he was going to jail. He gets taken out of the car and told to "put his hands on the car" which I really hate. After refusing two commands he takes off running. The officer yells for back up and it comes. Another officer cuts off the suspect and tackles him to the ground where the fight continues. The suspect attempted to take the officer's pistol which got him a whiff of OC pepper spray and the fight was over! Of course by the time I got there it was all said and done. I was listening to the man's protest about being treated unfairly! I couldn't believe my ears. This guy ran, fought, tried to take an officer's pistol, and is now protesting his treatment. I asked him why he ran to start with. He said he didn't want to go to jail. I politely remind him that is where he is going now and I remind him that it is his fault he is in this mess. Of course he suffers from the denial of responsibility mentality that many crooks suffer from. Nothing is his fault, he's just a victim of mean old policemen!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More Bad Luck

Remember the poor woman whose car dragged her across the street causing an accident? Then she had open warrants and went to jail. Well the bad luck didn't end there apparently. A man called up to the station asking about the letter sent to his house informing him that his vehicle was towed. He was told what had happened and he was surprised. He had been loaned his vehicle to a friend and had no idea it had been involved in an accident and towed. Ouch! Guess you need to be careful who you loan your car to.

What Was This Guy Thinking?

A man is stopped on traffic. The officer makes his approach and starts talking to him. The man totally ignores the officer. He won't talk to him won't answer any questions and won't get his driver's license nor insurance. Okay, maybe the guy doesn't speak English. However that theory is shot to hell when the guy gets out of the car and tries to walk away from the officer! The officer goes to stop him and the fight is on. So needless to say for whatever reason this guy thought he didn't have to go with the program and wound up in jail for it. Again, what did he think was going to happen?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Blame It on the Rain...Perhaps

It rained pretty hard down here. I didn't mind it since I was still in bed. By the time I get to work it's still cloudy and drizzling. I go to rolling the streets and pass by a Motel 6. I get flagged down by a young couple living there. Now, why are these two living in a Motel 6? I wondered the same thing but I didn't ask. As I'm learning how her car was struck in the parking lot and the person didn't leave a note I notice all sorts of unsavory looking people wandering around. This is one of these motels where nobody that stay there is any good.

The next thing I roll up on is a strange accident. A woman's car dies at an intersection so she gets out to mess under the hood. As she tries to get back in the car something happens and the car starts rolling across the busy intersection. She is being dragged with the car as another passes on the right side. The driverless car hit the other car. I had to think for a moment how to work that one. You have two cars, one with no driver, but she will be counted as a 'pedestrian.' Then come to find out, her license is suspended and she has warrants for her arrest. I felt sorry for her, today just wasn't her day.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Party Experience

After writing the last post, I felt I should share my similar experience with a party call and the reason I hate party calls.

One night got a call of a teenage party. I know it's one of those things that will never go away. So instead of wasting time and energy fighting it I figure there has got to be a happy compromise. So I knock on the door and when someone answers it I put my foot in the doorway to prevent it from being slammed in my face. I politely ask for the resident (the owners i.e. parents are out of town). The young man says he lives there and I flat out tell him I know he's got alcohol in the house and nobody there is 21. He doesn't admit it, but doesn't deny it either. So I tell him I am putting him in charge. He needs to keep the noise down and keep all intoxicated minors in his house. I tell him I will arrest anyone who leaves. He agrees to this. Simply, I'm letting him continue his party as long as he keeps it quiet. As we're reaching this compromise I hear some scuffling on the other side of the fence. I watch as a young man about my height (about 6 ft. 2) come over the fence. He heard the cops were there and is trying to escape. Well, he lands right in front of me and I say "hey Spiderman! No need to run so I suggest you get back on the other side of that fence and chill!" He laughs and says I'm cool and goes back inside. I didn't return to that house that night.

The next night we get a call, same complaint, same location. Okay now I'm irritated. I thought we had an understanding and now I feel like I got taken advantage of. Another officer (now one of my best friends) checks by with me, but he arrives first. As I arrive, I see the other officer shouting at Spiderman from the night before (unbeknownst to me at the time Spiderman shoved him). I get out of the car and can hear Spiderman shouting at him "you said it was cool that we party!" Uh oh! That isn't quite what I said. I can also tell he is drunker than hell. I decide that I'm going to make an example in front of all those party goers and arrest Spiderman. I walk up to him and tell him to come to me but he starts backing into the house. I grab his shirt and he slaps my hand away. Now he's fu**** up! I grab him again and he punches me in the face. How he's really fu**** up! The punch didn't hurt but it did royally piss me off! He then runs into the house (keep in mind he is a guest it is not his house) and I go after him and the fight is on! We're knocking down chairs, breaking lamps, turning over tables! At one point I realized his hand was around my neck! Before my brain synapses could register a counter move my buddy whacks him with a baton so hard that the baton goes flying out of his hand (spraining it). I then wind up with him on a window sill in a choke hold, er, I mean a restraint. The fight ended with that. We put him in the car then my buddy tells me of the previous shoving as he was chasing another kid who tossed a pipe. Amazingly this same dumbass kid was still there protesting his friend's arrest. So, we arrest him and put him in the same car. Then you would think the story ends but someone called dumbass kid's mom who would not leave us alone. So we go to arrest her and the bi*** fights us! She proudly declares she will go to jail with her child. Little did she realize that she goes to another jail because she's a bi***,er, I mean a woman. We're being gentle because it's a middle aged woman, and everyone is out watching this ordeal. One guy takes out his pepper spray and gets ready to use it. Now, at this point we could articulate having to use it, but I know how the perception is going to go and how the administration will react and nit pick. I stop him from using the spray. I have a better idea. I grab one arm, he grabs the other and we twist and lift and drag this lady to a car and throw her in. Problem solved. In the end, the charges against dumbass kid got dismissed, the mom took a plea deal, and Spiderman got probation and had to write a letter of apology to me which I still have.

More From the What Were They Thinking File

The first loud party call was 'routine.' A neighbor calls us complaining about a loud party. Officers make the location and politely tell them that they are too loud and to turn it down and leave. A couple of hours later they are called back to the same location. They go to the back yard to talk to the homeowners. I guess by this time the alcohol has flowed more freely and the husband and wife team scream at the officers. Then they charge them. The wife shoves one officer and screams at him to leave. Well, she's now fu***** up by shoving him so he goes to arrest her. Then the husband, thinking he's defending his wife assaults the officer who promptly takes him to the ground. The wife tries to jump in only to find herself wearing bracelets. They both get arrested and taken to jail. I sure hope their little party was worth it.


I returned to work and reviewed our log of significant events. Earlier in the day our guys were dispatched to a suicide call. A woman locked herself in the bathroom. She sat in the bathtub then shot herself. She died at the hospital. Now of course the death isn't official until the investigation is complete. Plus, women don't usually commit suicide by gunshot. Naturally the detectives will take a good look at this. Anyhow if this is an actual suicide talk about a lousy day for the family who was there. My boss and I talked about suicide. He jokes with me that if he is found dead and it's ruled a suicide then my job is to blow the whistle because he wouldn't do that. Then he tells me about his old friend and mentor when he was told he had terminal cancer. He was the same way, no way he'd kill himself. However before he died he confessed that he did consider it. My boss was shocked, this was the last man he'd expect to ever consider suicide. However he was in pain and every man has his breaking point which brought me to a tought. According to Christianity suicide is the ultimate sin. Taking one's own life, God's ultimate gift if unforgiveable. However what do you do when you're already dead and slowly suffering and in pain? There was an old episode of Night Court where a woman walks into the court and claims to have murdered her husband. Come to find out he was in pain and he took his own life. Charles Robinson's character says a line saying that there is a point that God did not intend for man to go past. It makes for an interesting debate.

Anyhow, my boss told me a story. He worked a suicide years ago when he was a deputy in a rural Texas county. An elderly couple who had been together their entire lives had both been diagnosed with terminal cancer. They were both dead and they knew it. One day they decided they were going to end their lives together. Rather than one of them die first and leave the other a grieving widow. They killed themselves on the front porch of their country home. Their bodies sat on the front porch for a few days until someone got close enough to realize they were not chilling, they were dead!

I made a suicide scene a few years back. A guy was living alone in a house his parents owned. He was broke and had no running water nor electricity. It was a sh**** way to live. I could never live that way. One day, after snorting some cocaine he decided to hang himself and that's how he was found. He was wearing boxer shorts and a white t shirt. The rope was tightly wound around his neck and went up to the roof. I would like to think that if I found myself in that situation I would resolve to work and bust my ass to get the water and power back on. Perhaps kicking the cocaine habit would help.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What Was This Guy Thinking?

I was minding my own business. I was driving down a well traveled street when the car in front of me darted into another lane without signalling. Okay, no big deal. We keep driving then he does it again. Okay, let me keep watching. He does it again a couple more times. That is one of my pet peeves. I hate it when someone cuts in and out of lanes without signalling. So, I decide to pull him over. I was planning on politely reminding him to use that signal and give him a warning. I walk up to the car and he's already on the offensive. He rants about harassment, and I'm not a good man and a bad cop! Huh? This guy is cutting in and out of lanes without signalling, passing other cars and I'm no good? What kind of twisted logic is this? He gets on his phone and starts talking and ignoring everything I'm saying. This is not good. On top of that he doesn't have his insurance with him. I go back to my car and start writing the tickets. I get back up and he's still on the phone. He then tells me he's not signing the ticket. I ask for back up in case he decides to back up his threat with force. I keep my cool and go through the motions getting information then the line about signing his promise to appear. He says no! I tell him to get out of his car quite a few times but he ignores me until I open his door and tell him one last time. If he ignores me this time it's hands on. He must have realized I was serious because he gets out of the car. At this point I can arrest him now for refusing to sign the citation. However I feel it's fair I give him one warning. He's still running his fu***** mouth about how I'm a bad cop, not a good man, and he isn't signing his ticket. While he's still running his mouth I tell him if he doesn't sign it he's going to jail. He says "I don't care arrest me!" Do I need to keep talking to him or is the time for talking over? Yep! You guessed it! I grab his arms and handcuff him. At this point another vehicle pulls in and a woman gets out. I presume it's his wife with his insurance. I know where this is going. So as I handcuff and search him I tell her to wait by her vehicle and I actually thank her. I'm thinking ahead if this goes to internal affairs he will say that I shouted and cursed at her. Turns out I was right, she did have his insurance. So I knock off the no insurance charge which leaves him with the fail to signal lane change and violate promise to appear charges. Plus, I'm committed. I've already arrested him. Too many times officers have arrested people for refusing to sign the citations then talk them into signing and letting them ago only to have the guy come in later and make a false arrest complaint. He must have realized he'd gone too far because then he starts claiming he doesn't speak English! Great! Again I'm thinking ahead. If he goes to internal affairs he's going to claim he didn't understand what I was telling him and that I was mean, harsh, and an a****** who was biased against him because he didn't speak English! That's why I wrote a detailed report quoting what he said to me. He may not speak English fluently but he knew damn well enough to tell me I'm a bad man, no good, and he isn't signing the citation. I don't understand why wanted to make my job, and his life difficult. What did he think he was going to accomplish?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Whom Do You Believe?

An instructor tells a story of a robbery trial. The officer goes to a convenience store to get a quick drink. Unfortunately this store is being robbed at the moment. The officer shoots the robber, but doesn't kill him. About a year later the robber is on trial. The officer takes the stand and is asked what he observed;

"I approached the store and observed the defendant there pointing a pistol at the head of the clerk. He was screaming 'give me the money!' I felt the clerk's life was in imminent danger as was mine if he turned his head to see me. So I drew my weapon and fired a shot at the suspect who dropped his weapon."

The robber takes the stand and is asked what happened;

"I was dealing with the clerk when this dude comes up behind me and says "surprise mother fu**** and shoots me!"

Friday, September 4, 2009

Someone Make a Damn Decision!!!!

I was sitting down to dinner with the watch commander when she called. She was on a child custody dispute call. She sounded unsure because she was in uncharted territory. A woman had dropped her daughter off with grandparents and now returned to pick her up and they weren't there. The woman then demanded kidnapping charges and a supervisor make the scene. When the officer calls me I start quizzing her which she doesn't have all the answers. For one, I'm not going to go out there when she hasn't gotten the entire story. Two, it's clear to me she's wanting me to come take over the scene. Three, I'm hungry! So I tell her to do some more probing then call me back. During my dinner she's called twice and come to find out, mom is a meth addict who dropped her child off for a few days then went to God knows where doing God knows what and now wants her kid back. The grandparents claim Childrens Protective Services (CPS) placed the girl with them. Well, if we can confirm that then the problem is solved. We'll tell meth head mommy to get lost. I tell her to call CPS herself and see if we can verify the grandparents' claim. Low and behold there is no order. All we're told is there is an investigation into the meth head mom. They tell us they would prefer the kid stay with the grandparents but will not actually tell us we can make the kid stay with them (she wants to stay with her grandparents). We ask can we prevent the mother from taking her and they can't answer that. The way I see it, with CPS in the news over this fiasco they are hesitant in giving us a straight answer. We all feel bad for this girl. She's terribly upset and crying. She loves her mother but wants her to clean up first. Now when a 12-year old girl understands first hand the impact of drug abuse that is sad. To make matters even worse, the meth head mom, and her hoodlum boyfriend are telling her if CPS takes her she will be placed in an orphanage forever. This pisses off the watch commander (who I brought with me to the scene after dinner). This is the type of call where our decision can drastically affect many peoples' lives. This girl already has several strikes against her. She's still a good kid at this point, but can easily turn into a worthless piece of sh** like her meth head mom and her hoodlum boyfriend. The primary officer is lost and is too worried about making the wrong decision that she's having difficulty making one. Since everyone has a hard time making a decision I'll make one. It's a gamble but we got to do something and keep that girl from leaving with the meth head mother. So I instruct the officer to take the girl to CPS ourselves. Basically, we're going to take her there and give her to CPS and tell them they need to get their act together. I try explaining to the girl in my calmest voice what we are doing and why we are doing it. I tell her we're gonna try to tell CPS to give her back to her grandparents and that her mother lied when she said she was going to an orphanage. We cleared out the front seat for her (I felt putting her in the back seat wasn't the right thing to do) and I told her to play with the lights and siren if she wanted. We run off meth head mom and hoodlum boyfriend and the officer takes the girl to CPS. The officer sends me a message later on thanking me for the help and I tell her that sometimes we have to make hard choices involving children. Nobody else will do it. Later on she calls me from CPS and tells me she told them about the mom and they said that the girl's MOTHER will have to come there and tell them who SHE wants her daughter to stay with. Which means that she will come take her daughter back to their small residence that belongs to someone else and the girl won't even have her own room! So we probably just delayed the inevitable.

Taking The Law in His Hands

A watchful man spotted a woman going into his neighbor's house. Since he's been taking care of the pets, mail, etc, he knows the residents are out of town. He does what any good neighbor does and calls the police. While he is awaiting their arrival he sees her walking out of the house carrying a big ass piece of furniture by herself! This woman should've been in the military, not burglarizing homes! As she's putting it in her car the neighbor goes outside and takes out his knife. He then punctures the woman's tire as she backs out of the driveway and leaves. When police arrive the car is limping along the street, making it easy to catch her. She was arrested and connected to more burglaries in that area. Good job to the watchful neighbor!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another Robbery Arrest

While I'm certainly glad arrests were made in Houston City Councilman M.J. Khan's robbery case there was another robbery arrest. A 14-year old boy was walking home from school when a 16-year old walks up to him. The 16-year old asks what time it is. As the 14-year old looks up at his watch the 16-year old tried to swipe his cell phone out of his hand. When that didn't work he pounced and hit the 14-year old in the head and stole his glasses. He was found at a nearby school and earned himself a charge of robbery.

Monday, August 24, 2009

If At First You Don't Succeed

I heard this one from a Metro buddy of mine. Two officers were checking train fares when a small group of black ladies attempt to walk right by without paying the fare. The first officer, who is white stopped them and informed them they needed to pay the fare.

"You're stopping us only because we're black!"

The second officer, who is black, steps up to the women and informs them they needed to pay the fare.

"You're stopping us only because we're dykes!"

They ended up paying the fare.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Story I Heard

Got a call about a suspicious vehicle sitting in a driveway for the past five hours. Either the slowest burglar in history, or someone on a stake out. We get there and I shine my light because I can't see the person as I'm walking up to them. I instantly shut it off when I see the shoulder patch. I apologize in case I screwed up something but I lucked out, he was working an extra job house sitting. He gets out and we get to chatting. We get to talking about the Pasadena Officer that was killed that day and he tells me the story of his shooting.

He was running with narcotic units on a drug raid. He was in uniform and helping with the outer perimeter. In narcotic raids, the team goes in. Anyone who comes out is a bad guy for obvious reasons. My new friend was on the other side of a fence when someone came climbing it. As he was climbing it, he had a .32 caliber pistol and began shooting at the officer. He said he remembers is three bullets going into his leg. He did not remember drawing his .45 caliber pistol and firing one shot, killing his shooter. That was learned later from all the evidence (i.e. the single bullet in the suspect, the missing bullet from the officer's gun, the angle of the shot, etc.). Unfortunately he had some difficulty afterward because the whole shooting was witnessed by a woman. It was a typical racist scenario, black suspect, white cop. The woman gave a sworn statement saying the officer stood over the suspect and "assassinated" him by firing "several" shots. Fortunately all the evidence refuted the woman's ridiculous claim. However the officer is still annoyed that no charges on her were ever filed which is the same story. Anyone can swear to a false statement against an officer but the police administration and the DA's office will not file charges because they are afraid of the ACLU. Regardless, this officer is alive and working a cushy extra job and the crook from the drug house is long dead, never to shoot another officer. It was nice to meet him. I wished him well and cleared the call.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Classy Family

That whole family drove me nuts. A young woman living her ex in-laws called us saying her ex-father in law pulled a shot gun on her. I'm the second one there and the first officer is talking to the alleged suspect and his wife. I then go to the house and see a young girl come out of the house. She only heard the argument, but claims she didn't see the incident where her father walked out with the shotgun. However she says her parents are crazy. She begs me to take her somewhere. I ask if she is being abused or harmed and she says no. Then she tells me she is 16 and they are her parents. I can see the desperation in her eyes, but I cannot help her. She is going to have to tough it out for two more years. The argument erupted between the parents and their ex-daughter in law who was living there with her kid (their grand daughter) and her new boyfriend who is a meth head. They argued over money when the old man walked out with a shotgun, didn't aim it or threaten to use it, just held it. The ex daughter in law calls the police while sending her boyfriend away with her kids. The old man said he was threatened by the meth head boyfriend. We want to talk to him, but he's gone so we run him and find the child support warrant. That's why she sent him away. Then they argue back and forth about stolen merchandise in the house from the meth head couple. I ask the old man how long has this scam of stealing merchandise been going on and he says a while. So I get it. It's okay for them to steal stuff until they fall behind in rent payments and we come out there now everyone is discrediting everyone else. I can see why that teenage girl wants out of that house. Nothing but trashy people!

Friday, August 14, 2009

One Of Many Reasons It's Good Women Are In Law Enforcement

She called up to the office where me and one of my partners were shifting through paperwork. She had spent the last 24 hours chasing a bad hombre. This guy has violent tendencies towards women which really pisses me off. This is the kind of guy the evil part of me wants to resist arrest. If he likes to hit women I'd like to see him go against a man who will knock his ass out. Anyway, she has a lead on him but can't find anyone to back her up because every officer in that district is tied up on a report call or a disturbance. So partner and I tell the watch commander we're going to help her out and we meet her outside a convenience store. We gather up and she starts to brief us. I listen to about the first two words when someone catches my sharp, cop-eye. A woman in super tight jeans and what is clearly an enhanced chest comes walking out of the store and right past us. I watch her go by and get to her car. I then stop the officer "I'm sorry what were you saying?" She notices what distracted me, sighs, rolls her eyes, and shakes her head and starts over. As she is running it down again, a Hooters girl drives up and catches my, and the partner's gaze as she walks into the store. He then cuts her off "I'm sorry what were you saying?" She turns and spots the Hooters girl. Again she sighs, shakes her head, and rolls her eyes. "***damn men!"

Good thing this guy wasn't hiding in the Playboy Mansion right?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Murderer Tries Race Card

The informant called and said he was in a local Walmart. So a small squad of officers converge on it looking for a man wanted in a 2-year old homicide. The informant gives a general description, black male, certain clothing. Problem is that description fits about 100 people inside the Walmart. As officers are fanning out new information comes in. The suspect is with a woman wearing certain clothing and two kids. One sharp officer spots a man in the checkout line next to a woman (with those clothes) and two kids. Although he isn't wearing the clothes originally described he sees the officer looking at him, picks up a kid, and walks towards the other exit. The officer's alarm bells are ringing and he goes to confront the man. Immediately the man shouts "you're only stopping me because I'm black!" (Can it be that this tactic has been so overplayed that it's finally starting to lose any merit?) He gets detained and keeps playing the race card. He gives a name and sticks to his race card until someone brings a portable fingerprint reader. Once he sees that, he changes his tune to "baby I love you, they got me!" He was their wanted murderer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Some People Can't Help Themselves

It's hard to want to help or cut someone a break when they act stupid and won't quit running their mouths. We had a young man realize an officer was going to stop him for his expired tags when he hit the gas and started weaving in between cars and making a sudden turn down a side street. Now, my wife refuses to believe that anyone can figure out an officer is going to stop them before the lights actually come on. However, as anyone who has worked the streets know when you make eye contact with a passing car, then make that u-turn the game is up. The officer catches up to the guy as he's pulling into his driveway and tries to get out and make it into his house. Another clue that something is up. The officer orders him back into the car and surprisingly he complies yet refuses to get out for the officer until a bigger officer shows up and gives him one chance. When the guy's license is run it shows two traffic warrants for his arrest. Then, it shows a hit where he's been the victim of identity theft. His brother (a registered sex offender and all around bad, bad man) had used his identity. Now this places us in a dilemma. The guy is running his mouth how it's not him (yet it's all his information in the warrant) and how we shouldn't be harassing him like this. The officer gets more information about the warrant and even calls the sex offender brother who (not surprisingly) denies he got any traffic tickets. So we have a guy with two traffic warrants who is also flagged as a victim of identity theft. He claims he never got any traffic tickets and says it's his no good brother who did it. The no good brother says it's not him either. The guy did try to duck and dodge the officer when she tried to stop him. Plus, he will not shut the hell up! I know he's frustrated but lashing out at us when he has two warrants for him is not going to help his situation. He keeps alluding that he's been stopped before, but won't say if he was warned about the traffic warrants for him and given a break but he blew it! I think he was fully aware and given a break last time and is trying to bully us into letting him go this time. After some consultation we decide to arrest him for the warrants. The only way he's going to resolve the issue is to demand a trial and force the officer who issued the original citations to look at him and say yay or nay. Understandably the guy's wife is upset. He's fussing at her which pisses me off. I tell him not to fuss at her, I'll explain what she can do to bond him out. He then goes into me trying to argue the merits of the stop and arrest. I quote Ice Cube "tell it to the judge" leaving out the whole line "tell that bullsh** to the judge!" I take his wife aside and explain her options. I also tell her how I think he knew he had those warrants and had been given a chance to fix it before and he blew it. That explains why he tried to avoid the officer and why he's acting a fool now. She seems to understand (my philosophy is to explain to people why things happen, I find it draws people to our side more often than not). Her little girl is looking out the window and the woman starts crying. She doesn't want to see her daughter watching her father going to jail. I suggest she tell the little girl that daddy had to come with us to help us out and he will be home later. I find that works with very young children. So ends that ugly little episode. I imagine the guy was given time served and is now home.

On a side note, my argument was proven when my wife got stopped by a DPS trooper. I knew when he made that u-turn he was coming after her. When I pointed this out she said it proves nothing, I knew but she didn't. Well, that just proved another point. She doesn't pay attention. She didn't notice the trooper nor her speed! However that was another argument, er, I mean debate.

Victim of 200 Crimes Goes To Jail

It was a major accident at a busy intersection. So naturally the officers have their work cut out for them securing the scene, getting medical help for injured people, controlling traffic, and trying not to get run over themselves. One officer parked half-in half-out of a driveway due to the placement of other vehicles, including ambulances. As the officer is doing his job, some nut rides his bicycle on the sidewalk and comes up to the police car. He then starts screaming at the officers to move their "fu***** cars" and they shouldn't block his "fu***** sidewalk!" At first they ignored him but he came onto the scene screaming and cursing. After about a minute of this the officer couldn't focus on the scene and have this guy screaming at him. So he confronts the man and tells him to leave which he doesn't. The man wound up being arrested for interfering and when asked why he acted like that. He said he's been a victim of 200 crimes in his lifetime and was frustrated. Hmmm, okay!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ewwwwwwww Yuck!!!!

I wound up behind a truck swerving all over the narrow neighborhood street. Fortunately there was no other traffic. I followed a couple of blocks watching the truck drift. I got a little excited thinking I had a drunk driver. I decide it's time to stop him. I walk up to the driver to find a kid who couldn't have been more than 17 years old. I don't smell alcohol nor are his eyes red, the first two signs I look for. However he has this 'deer in the headlight' look about him. Still something isn't right here. I tell him why I stopped him then I notice something disturbing! His pants are unzipped! I then ask him what the hell he was doing. He says he was jerkin it (surely you can figure out what 'it' is) and that's why he was all over the road! Oh dear lord! I advise him to beat it at the house, not in the street and walk away. I don't feel like asking him for his license after where his hands have been!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Victim Attitude Almost Helps Robbers

While the news buzz about the racist, jackass Harvard professor dies down the mentality that fuels that kind of nonsense still persists. It reared it's ugly head the other night. I'm talking about a racist mentality. A mentality of a segment of the black population against cops who are not black. I have to massage my temples when I hear the term 'racial profiling' and bla bla bla. How about the problem of some blacks getting confrontational with cops who are not black? How many times have these people demanded a black officer because they refused to deal with a white/Hispanic/Asian officer? How come these so-called 'ministers' don't ever call on their own people to be open minded and tolerant of others?

Anyway...this is what happened. Two guys robbed an older couple. As this was going on there is a group of party having a party a few houses down. It's a black family that lives there and having their friends over. Officers get there and start asking the crowd if they've seen the robbers. A teenage girl had seen them run off. An officer talks to her to get information. The girl's mother (who did not see anything) shuts her daughter up and gets in the officer's face shouting at her. Now, why would a woman take on an officer who is looking for two robbers in her own neighborhood? I honestly feel it's because the officer was white and the woman has that 'black victim' mentality. Why else would the woman want challenge an officer instead of letting her go look for robbers? The officer cuffs up the woman and puts her in a patrol car. I decide to ask the woman a simple question. Why is she acting like we're the bad guys when two criminals with guns are running around her neighborhood robbing people? How are we supposed to keep her and her family safe when she wants to prevent us from catching criminals. Yes, I was laying it on a little thick but I was wanting to get my point across. She seemed to understand my point, that or she realized her big mouth has gotten her in trouble plus her crew (whom she was showing off for) wasn't around and was trying to placate me. About that time other officers found the suspects so we cut her loose and went to join the party. They fit the description perfectly and even had guns to match! Of course the G mobile network is in full effect and the fu***** family starts showing up. They think they have the right to know what's going on. However I know how this game works. They are expecting the mean white cops to force them to leave and they start whining even louder and playing that victim card. So I try to throw a monkey wrench. I flat out tell them their relatives are out robbing people and show them the guns we recovered. Only one mouthy girl wasn't going to hear it, but the rest of the family shut up and moved her away. I was amazed it worked. The best way to sink the race victim strategy is to show you have them dead to rights and they can't say sh**! I tell an officer to go get the victim so we can get an identification. This officer is brand new, a kid, very polite, but sharp as a noodle. He returns with whom I guessed was our victim. However when the crowd starting coming back along with the shouting I realized he brought back that same damn woman from earlier! I couldn't fu***** believe this! I pull him aside and express my extreme displeasure with him. Again I lay it on thick for the woman explaining that since he saw her talking to us earlier he simply thought she got robbed and thought she was going to identify our bad guys. I think she bought it. We get our victim out there who identifies the robbers and they go to jail.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dumb Luck Helps Out

The gangbangers, for some reason, decided to stop in an intersection and shoot a gun out the window hootin' and hollering. I'm guessing in that petty street mentality they thought it would get them 'respect.' Amongst their peers it may have gotten them 'street cred' but to the rest of civilized society it got them some 911 calls from people who got the vehicle description and their license plate. A few minutes later, by dumb luck, an officer who just came on duty (and heard the broadcast) looked up and there they were! He gets his back up and the van takes off. These guys weren't trying to get away, they were trying to get far enough ahead to throw out the gun (which was recovered and later found to be stolen). They eventually stop and get arrested. So a kudos out to that officer and dumb luck.

"I Thought You Paid!"

The other day my partner and I stopped into a BBQ joint. We got our orders and came up to the register. Usually they give us half off which is nice of them. My partner went first and I came up to the register with my wallet out. The manager waved me on. How nice, my partner got me today. At the end we got up and left. We got on the freeway heading out west when I thanked him for dinner.

"Thanks for dinner!"

"Oh you're welcome...wait a minute! I didn't pay for dinner!"

"Well I didn't pay for dinner, I thought you did!"

"I thought you did!"

"The manager waved me through!"

"Oh sh**! I hope someone paid for it!"

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Someone Told Her Wrong

A young woman gets stopped for traffic. The officer proceeds to write her a ticket. For whatever reason she decides she is going to refuse to sign it. The officer explains three times that she is only giving her promise to appear in court but she ain't having it. So it comes time for him to arrest her. He opens her door and she yells for him not to touch her. She's not having it. He has to pull her out of the car and arrest her. She screams, yells, and cries when the realization that she's going to jail hits her. At the jail when she's calmed down she is asked why she refused to sign the ticket to start with. She says she just wanted to get home to her family! Huh? Then she said that one of her friends told her that she really can refuse to sign the citation. I suggest when she sees that 'friend' again she slap the hell out of him for giving her bad advice. Had to have been a dipsh** lawyer or law student!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lunacy In the DA's Office

This maybe a regular feature here. Everyone, in every profession starts out wet behind the ears. Nobody expects them to be on top of their game for some time. Some people catch on quick and learn the ropes quickly and within a year or less are kicking ass and taking names. Others (like me) can be a bit slow learning and takes a while to catch their knack. However after some time and some experience start to catch on and kick ass and take names though from time to time have a 'duh' moment. Some get the same experiences over and over and can handle routine matters perfectly, but if they stray from their routine they are lost. Yet some others never seem to catch on and make the same mistakes over and over. Or, they make all new stupid mistakes and makes the rest of the crew wonder how in the hell did they pass the tests. Sadly, there are some officers whose work I review and shudder. I learned that quickly. However I was surprised when I learned this also applies to the district attorney's office.

Incident #1:

I was eating dinner when I got a call. Earlier that night a man had been arrested for aggravated assault of a family member. Generally, when we make an arrest for family violence we file a MOEP (magistrates order of emergency protection) which is a court order for the offender to stay away from his victim and not to assault, harass, contact, etc. The law says the victim can apply for it, or a peace officer on behalf of the victim, or a prosecutor. For whatever reason the original officers never filed the MOEP. We get called back and the victim is afraid and asks for one. The officer's call the DA's office and the assistant DA says they cannot file it because the relationship is landlord/tenant even though they live in the same house. The law defines a family as anyone sharing a household. So, this applies. It astounds me that this ADA does not realize he's not doing his part in trying to protect a victim here. I first told the officer to speak to the intake supervisor. However the more I thought about it, the madder I got and I called him back. After making sure the guy was still in jail (MOEPs are served in the jail before they are released on bond) I told the officer to fill out the MOEP application and fax it to the intake anyhow. If they don't want to file it, and something happens to that victim it will be on them!

Incident #2:

A warrant for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle (layman's term auto theft). The guy first calls up to the office trying to tell us the car owner wants to drop the charges and asks if we can help him. We tell him no. The warrant is filed all he can do is post a bond, go to court and let the charges get dropped there. Then, he calls the car owner (ex wife, girlfriend or something) and offers her more child support money to get the charges dropped (I know classy guy). Then, he calls up and tells her if the case goes to court he will kill her. Now, any rational individual knows this is against the law. The charge is either tampering with a witness, or retaliation. However when the DA's office is contacted, they refuse the charge because they don't want to stack charges on the 'poor' guy! So, according to this assistant DA, a man with a felony case pending can threaten to kill the person who filed charges on him and the assistant DA is worried about stacking charges. Unbelievable!!!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Don't Care What He Has To Say

I came back to work after a few days off. I found a note from this guy. It took me a few minutes to recall who he was. It was one of those "I know this name but dammit! Can't place it! Oh yeah!!!" I'm guessing he got the two citations I sent him certified mail. Part of me wonders what could he possibly say. He's been cited and he has a court date. The hell with him! If he thought he was going to get away Scot free someone done told him wrong! I should have attached that note to a citation. I can see it now. He opens the marked envelope with a court notice, two citations, and a note reading "someone done told you wrong!"

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Game Player

The officer knew it was going to be a difficult stop. The guy's registration was expired, didn't have his driver's license with him, and didn't have any insurance. Yet, since it wasn't his car he didn't think he should be given any tickets. So when it comes time to sign the ticket he refuses to sign and demands the officer's supervisor. The supervisor is 20 miles away trying to catch up on paperwork when the officer calls. Not surprisingly, the supervisor is already irritated that he is behind and now he has to make a 20 mile drive because some fool doesn't want to sign the ticket. State law says if a violator refuses to sign the ticket the officer shall bring him/her immediately before a magistrate. Meaning the violator is arrested and brought to jail and will see a judge during the next court session. The law also says if the officer does not then he/she can lose their job. Some departments do not know this. They say write 'refused to sign' on the ticket and let the violator go. Even when they were made aware of this some administrators still haven't comprehended that. Anyhow, the officer tells the man a supervisor is coming and then says he has to leave and cannot wait! This guy demanded the supervisor to start with and when one comes he wants to leave. What kind of game is he playing here? He must have been trying to bully the officer by trying to make his job more difficult and intimidate him into giving up. The officer goes ahead and arrests the man for refusing to sign the citation. When the supervisor gets there the guy claims to be a former cop (so he should know better than to refuse to sign the ticket.). He denies he refused to sign the citation, he claims the officer never asked him to yet on the video the officer is handing him the ticket to sign and the guy won't shut up. I'm still trying to figure out what this guy's strategy was. Instead of driving off with three tickets he went to jail for refusing to give his promise to appear.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Think I Got Played

I was leaving dinner. I made a right turn and was in my own lane, minding my own business. This clown comes from the u-turn lane and cuts across three lanes cutting me off. Being a fan of the show Martin, I can picture;

"Hold up! Hold up! Oh no you did not shoot across three ***damn lanes cutting me off! Oh hell no!"

I pull him over and before I can even tell my dispatch what is happening he jumps out of the car apologizing. He says he's almost out of gas and he says we made eye contact and thought I let him go. I don't know what kind of crack he's on but we did not make any damn eye contact. Next he starts dropping another officer's name. He says they are good friends. That's nice but it's not going to make a difference. Then he doesn't have his driver's license. This is getting even better. I run him and find a license as well as a warrant for his arrest. Sweet! Dude flies across three lanes of traffic, claims our supposed 'eye contact' told him to do it and now he's going to jail. I hook him up for the warrant then he clutches his chest and fades in and out. He spills his entire medical history which nothing is life threatening. It all sounds like preventative type stuff. However, on the off chance this man is dying, nothing in the world is going to excuse me not taking action. So I call an ambulance and they check him out. Amazingly he is slightly better, but he can talk clearly when the ambulance arrives. Ever fiber in my being is screaming this guy is a con artist. He has a long history so he has to know how it works. He also has to know that I'm not going to waste resources sitting at the hospital over a single traffic warrant. Reluctantly I concede and he goes to the hospital. As I said, I'm not going to risk a death in custody and not having taken basic actions (i.e. calling the ambulance). My gut still says he conned me. However he better hope his address is current because today I'm sending two citations via certified mail for what I stopped him for.

I just got a call from his "good friend" the other officer who first made it clear they are not friends. The guy runs an extra job he works and is one of those who will drop names. He even told me he's known for taking his animals to the vet and demanding to be put ahead of all others. Dammit! Makes me really want to put this guy in jail now!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sorry Boss!

I was driving my supervisor today. I was driving him on a fact finding patrol to orient districts and activities. In other words we were going to dinner. Another officer calls me and I'm talking to him on my blue tooth. He's having problems with his report so I'm trying to explain what he ought to do. At the same time I am making a turn down a street off a main highway. There is a coffee shop and I happen to notice a fly honey wearing a red shirt and tight jeans. Well, I'm looking at her, talking on my blue tooth, and turning all at the same time. As you can tell this does not make for a good cocktail. I inadvertently turn into the wrong lane with traffic coming at me!

"Oh sh**!" I exclaim as I jerk the wheel and get into the correct lane.

"Sorry boss!"

I let him think I was distracted by the blue tooth. I didn't have the heart to tell him it was the fly honey that distracted me!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

July 08, 2009

After the complimentary phone call from the grateful wife (two posts prior) another call comes in. A woman from a bank calls up saying the parents of a missing teenager case we started yesterday came into the bank. Because of privacy laws she couldn't tell them anything. However since their son went missing she wanted to help, but didn't want to get jammed up. I faxed her something that should cover her in exchange for her telling me the missing person's credit card was used to check into a motel in Beaumont. I go to google and find the address and the phone number of the hotel and call it. The clerk there was no help. In this day and age she tells me they do not have computer records and the manager keeps them. I guess they have a folder where one can sign in under the name Mickey Mouse if they want to. To make a long story short I have Beaumont police make a stop out there and locate him. The detectives hadn't even touched the report yet. It's nice to start and close a case before the detectives even scratch their butt with it.

Later on I was getting something to drink when I get called and asked to come to a call. It was an injury to a child call. They already had charges on him however he had locked himself in his bedroom and wasn't coming out. Normally I hate these kids of situations but something about this got me excited. No way this guy was going to barricade himself in a bedroom. If he wasn't out by the time I got there that door was coming down. I was picturing all sorts of scenarios getting ready for a fight. A block before I arrive he comes out. Damn! When I get there everyone is crying because he's going to jail. He hit his son so hard he left some pretty nasty bruises. There's disciplining a child, and going overboard. However, the neighbors and other kids are mad at us for arresting him.

Misdemeanor Aggravated Assault

Two guys were literally partners in crime. From what I was told they smoked crack together, stole together, and robbed together. For some reason this relationship went sour. Last night they got into it and one of the guys got beat down. Today, in retaliation he took a blunt object (more than likely a bat) and beat his former friend almost to death. They are saying if he survives he'll be a vegetable. Officers went to do a welfare check and found the front door cracked. They knocked on the door and it fell in revealing the bloody carpet and walls. They check the house and find the guy almost dead. While homicide detectives were out and interviewing the girlfriend, the assailant calls. He says "you like what I did to *******? I'm gonna do that to you and your kids!" Now, I'm no detective but I'd take that as evidence of his guilt.

The Knuckleheaded Sergeant

I was trying to make my way to a weapons disturbance call. A man called in after a black male pointed a gun at his neighbor (come to find out his neighbor was getting robbed). I'm at an intersection when I spot a car going the wrong way. It's going west in the east bound lane. I watch it drive over the median into the correct lane, make a u-turn and come back. I then see the front of the car of caved in and has one working headlight. All the classic signs of a drunk who had just gotten into an accident. I cut in between some cars and go after the vehicle which takes a while stop. We pull into a parking lot and a 78 year old man with thick bottle glasses steps out. Okay, this is another explanation. I examine the damage and it looks old. Still, I check to see if anyone is working an accident looking for this vehicle and nothing. What gets me is that the front is caved in, both stickers have been out for over a year, and both airbags have been deployed. How the hell is he driving like this? I cannot let him drive off. I ask him if he has anyone he can call but he can't. Now, had he been about 30 years younger I can simply arrest him for all the traffic violations (called an instanter arrest), tow his car and be done with it. However no way I can instanter a 78 year old man simply because it was too dangerous for him to drive and plus it would look really, really bad. He lives way out of my district, yet the only option I can come up with is to have him park his car here and get another officer (who works until 2AM) to drive him home. I choose that option. The other officer takes the old man home.

This took place last night. Today I get to work and there is a message from the man's wife looking for the car. I call her and explain what happened. She then says I must be a man of God. Well, I wouldn't go that far with a compliment but I'm flattered nonetheless. She tells me that he is an Alzheimer's patient. They were staying at a hotel because their air conditioning at home went out. He was supposed to be going by the house to check on their animals and hours later I find him about 20 miles away! I had no idea the family had been looking for him (he wasn't reported missing at the time). So, turns out I made a good call on him. Because I felt so adamant that he was not driving away from that parking lot I more than likely prevented him, or someone else from getting hurt. His wife said he's a two time purple heart winner and he was a "knuckleheaded sergeant" who is used to taking orders, not giving them. I can certainly understand where he is coming from. He doesn't want to listen to his wife (don't most men). Yet he is a danger to himself and others on the road.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Misdemanor Homicides and Revelations

Texas Ghostrider had an interesting post. I have a similar post titled 'Misdemeanor Shooting.' The principal is the same. I remember a story an officer told me. I was in the academy and we had to do one ride-a-long as part of our training. At the time I worked at a grocery store and had a police sergeant come through my line so many times we became acquaintances. I asked him about doing a ride-a-long and told him I was in the police academy so he wouldn't dismiss me. He arranged an evening shift ride-a-long. To him it was a 'routine' shift. For me it was an adventure! I saw a call of a 15-year old acting disrespectful to his mother. It was the hood. He was a teen, no job yet wearing expensive sneakers. I remember the officer asking him how he paid for those shoes. The officer said he hustled but the kid denied it. When we entered the apartment the kid was holding a screwdriver which was promptly removed. The kid pushed his mother and was acting tough. So the officer picked him up and shoved him against the wall. He then looked at the mother and asked "is this how he shoved you, or like this!" The officer again rammed the kid into the wall. Now, even back then I knew the officer was going too far. However the statute of limitations has run out by now and plus I couldn't recall the officer's name if I was water boarded. The kid deserved it though.

Anyway, in relation to Ghostrider's post... The officer told me a story. We passed some apartment complexes that were full of crooks. He told me he made a shooting scene out there one evening. The victim was a drug dealer. He was shot by a rival drug dealer and was still alive when the officer arrived. The officer saw this young man die. I think he had kids but he got caught up in the 'game' out there and paid with his life. Yet before he died, the drug dealer apparently came to a revelation. He realized he f***** up his life and said so to the officer. The officer bluntly said that he's dying because of the choices he made. The drug dealer realized that before he died. That always made me wonder. Can someone get into heaven making that final realization at the last minute? Normally I don't care about drug dealers, however in the case of this young man, I do hope so. It's just tragic it took his death for him to realize it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

"What The Hell Are You Doing?"

I was driving down the street to make roll call. Out of the blue this Camaro shoots past me and keeps going. Of course I'm thinking;

"Oh hell no! No you did not just fly past a marked patrol car going over 50 MPH down this street!"

So I promptly pull his ass over. I walk up to the car and see it's one of my officers! One who is supposed to be in roll call with me. I chew his ass out for hauling ass past a marked patrol car in front of everyone thus putting me in a position where I have to show who is boss or I, and my department lose face out in this neighborhood. He tells me he is running late and just didn't see me. He says had he known it was me in that car he'd never have passed me. I tell him to get his ass to command. He's having a bad week. Just the previous day he was driving and his wheel fell off in the middle of rush hour. That wasn't his fault but still, it took up most of my shift doing the paperwork on that. Then he wants to blow past me like I'm not even there in front of the neighborhood! I'm not having it! Hopefully he learned his lesson.

Administrative Walls

Aside from the general public, the crook on the street, the inept justice system that puts repeat bad guys back on the street who do even more damage, the most infuriating aspects of our jobs are our own administration. There is a saying that the higher up the ladder one climbs the less backbone (or schlong if your mind works that way) one gets. A friend of mine was telling me a story. He works for a transit authority police department. He told me of a bus driver who picked up two teenage girls. We're talking about 13 years old. The girls don't have the bus fare but he lets them on anyhow. Okay, so far so good he's being generous. However during the bus ride he eyes her in the mirror and tells her how pretty she is. Uh oh! Trouble brewing! He then tells her she looks like she could suck a mean ****! Uhmmm, you don't tell a 13-year old girl that. He gets her phone number (I bet he pressured her) and makes several calls to the house. Not surprisingly her parents find out and make a complaint. The bus driver gets charged with something, solicitation of a minor I think. The officers want to run on his house but their administration tells them no! They are dumbfounded. They have a felony warrant but their chief won't let them serve it. They employ a ruse to call him in to give a statement for his job and that's how they got him. Reminded me of a story.

I came to work one night to find a flyer with a guy's photo and information. He lived smack dab in the middle of my district. Unbeknownst to me, the previous shift had learned he was living there and had a felony warrant. A friend of mine wanted to serve the warrant but the watch commander wouldn't allow it. His reasoning was that he was afraid if something went wrong (i.e. a shoot out) he didn't want to explain to the chief what they were doing there. Talk about cowardly in my opinion. Anyhow, I pick three guys and we go serve the warrant. I don't ask my watch commander for permission, I tell him what I'm doing and he says "be careful!" I knock on the door and low and behold the fugitive opens the door. So I say I need to speak to him as I'm grabbing him and pulling him out of the house. When I left work that day, I proudly wrote on the flyer "Arrested by Parsons!" Yeah, I admit I was sort of bragging. When my friend saw it he was pissed again. Not at me, but because his watch commander lacked the balls to let them serve a felony warrant in the middle of our district while I went and did it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rest In Peace Officer Henry Canales

"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."

Charles Dickens from A Tale of Two Cities

"I took one of you out!"

We were holding roll call and I noticed an officer was late. As we're discussing stuff someone's phone rings and he answers it. He then hangs up and gets up. I'm mildly curious where he's going.

"Oh **** is outside she has a guy exposing himself!"

Turns out some bum (we call them Metro patrons) was urinating on a tree, next to a police station of all places. About 5 of us come rushing out to confront the guy and I see the knife in his pocket. I get behind him and toss his knife and handcuff him. I can already smell the booze on him. We walk him to the nearest patrol car and he's already running his mouth about how he works "every ***damned day!" I look at the cell phone attached to his belt and ask how does a homeless man afford a cell phone. Again, "I work every ***damned day!" If he works every day why spend his money on booze and urinating with his schlong out in front of a lady police officer. He's stupid, he can't answer that one other than to say he "knows the drill" and he's been out since 1991. I bite the hook;

"What were you locked up for?"

"You don't wanna know!"

"C'mon man! You're the one who brought it up. Clearly you want to brag! Let me guess, you're gonna say you killed someone!"

He tried giving me cold stare. Then Ice T's lyrics in colors played in my mind "don't' try to act crazy cuz that sh** don't phase me!"

"You want so bad to say you killed someone don't you!"

"I took one of you out and they let me out! I got away with it!"

Not quite the answer I was expecting. He was still trying to give me the cold stare so I had to throw some cold water on his attitude. I said;

"Why does my gut tell me you're full of sh**? You're trying to act Mr. Get Bad!"

"I could take any of you on!"

"Well smart ass you had your chance before I handcuffed you but you waited until after to start talking sh**!"

He went to jail to urinating in public and public intoxication. He's another who can't seem to grasp the concept that his dumb decision got him into trouble. I plan on looking into his claim about killing an officer but I doubt I'll find anything. Later on it's kind of ominous because later on that night we all hear the radio traffic that an officer was shot and killed.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Search Warrants in Heat

An ICE agent calls up asking for help with a search warrant. Cool! Gives me something to do. The officer answer the calls recruits me and in the parking lot I come across another officer who is a good guy. He and I go way back and he's training a rookie. So I recruit them. We all drive out and meet the agents. They are serving a search warrant for a child pornography investigation. This is getting better and better. The plan is to call him out on the phone, if not then forced entry would be made. We get there and half the officers/agents set up on the south neighbor's house as I and the others set up on the north neighbor. The subject of the warrant is known to have at least a pistol and an SKS rifle which goes through body armor. I ponder if I should bring my shotgun, but the problem is having to keep up with it. I decide not to bring it. For the next half hour, in the 90+ degree heat the agents are trying to get the guy on the phone. I'm ready to bust through the door despite the rifle, and camera set up filming the front driveway. I was willing to risk going against a 7.62mm round as opposed to this cursed heat. I can imagine the neighbors looking out their windows and seeing us, and about 6 other people with black tactical vests saying "ICE" on it. Finally the guy walks out and we swoop down on him and then I and an ICE agent clear the house. It's a good learning experience. I've taken a class on these kinds of investigations yet have never seen one in progress. So I hang around and watch and learn. The guy had a hell of a computer set up as well as a DVD burner. So he's bootlegging stuff as well. In the upcoming weeks he's going to have problems. I imagine they will file a warrant on him and we'll be back out there again.

Another "Misdemeanor Shooting"

Two Houstone gang members were doing what they usually do, hanging out doing nothing when a vehicle drove by. Clearly a rival gang member fired on them with a shotgun hitting both of them. It didn't kill them, but they went to the hospital. Nobody was overly concerned.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cop Bloggers

An English Police Constable is probably in hot water now that his identity has become public knowledge.

"The officer also criticised and ridiculed “a number of senior politicians” and advised members of the public under police investigation to “complain about every officer . . . show no respect to the legal system or anybody working in it”.

"Some of the blog’s best-read sections, which on occasion attracted half a million readers a week, were anecdotes about cases on which Mr Horton had worked. The people and places were made anonymous and details changed, but they could still be traced back to real prosecutions."

Public servants (i.e. police officers, clerks, etc) walk a fine line when they decide to blog. Blogs can be a great public relations tool such as Houston Police Chief's blog. They can tell positive stories about the department that the media refuse to touch and counter the image the media creates that nothing good is being done. However, these blogs usually read like press releases. The reason I started this blog is I wanted to chronicle things I've experienced, and others. I have always felt police agencies do themselves a big disservice about being tight lipped when bad news flies on the front page or on the 6 o'clock broadcast. Police agencies should either say if there is a problem they'll deal with it, if there is no problem then that should be broadcasted as well. Over the last few years cops have discovered blogging and felt the same way I did. Some just want to share their stories with the public. Some use it as a pedestal to air their grievances. Yet some go even farther and attack people by name and there lies the double edged sword. These guys see themselves as whistle blowers. Yet half the time they only tell their side of the story which casts them as the victim. Most officers will own up to their mistakes. Lord knows I've had to own up to a few over the years. Yet there are some who refuse to believe they are wrong and will argue with God himself over it.

Police agencies by their very nature aren't too fond of unauthorized bloggers. No agency likes to have their dirty laundry aired and all departments have dirty laundry. Now, some may say "the public has a right to know!" Wrong! The public doesn't need to know everything. Every business has its skeletons and if they want to know everything that goes on in a police department then they should open their closet doors and reveal their skeletons. Naturally police agencies are usually tight lipped about internal matters. The last thing they want is their closet door to be opened. My department has its skeletons but I will never reveal them. For one, it's not my business, and two I don't want them coming after me.

Overall, I think cop bloggers are great, as are prosecutor and defense lawyer bloggers. You can learn some interesting things. I like the defense lawyer blogs because I can learn how they see the world and can learn some of their tricks in court. You can also learn there is a side to life that is kept from the public eye. You can also learn there is an explanation for all our madness. What do you think?