Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What would you do...

...if you were a police officer, and watched a couple people who seemed to be making book in the stands during high school tournament basketball games, right in plain view of the security staff, off-duty uniformed police officers, and other fans--even if the amounts were small--and hands full of dollar bills were being openly exchanged?

...if a man passing out religious literature on the arena property had been warned three times not to do so, provided with an alternative location a few steps away on the sidewalk, and decided instead on an act of civil disobedience? Would it make any difference to you if you realized that allowing him to continue would mean that this could be thrown back in your face (so to speak) in the event that other groups decided to do the same thing in the same place with quite different literature?


15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was shocked and saddened by the hateful frenzy aimed at LPD by LJS commenters, in regards to these stories. Most were left on, in spite of reporting them as abusive. Naturally, a verbal 'mob effect' filled the site. What do people expect the Officers to do? Look the other way? Refuse to do their jobs? Once again, damned if they do, damned if they don't. Eventually, the editor of the LJS contacted me about the situation and assured me that most comments on the 'basketball bookies' story would be removed when an updated story was printed. Most of the nasty comments were removed. (Thank you, Dave!)

I do what I can. But there's no fixing hateful.

Steve said...

I would want to know more about the law before I made a decision one way or another on the arrest of Mr. Ball at the arena. Personally, I feel it is public property and that he wasn't doing any harm to anyone. I'm not sure exactly why he was arrested and jailed. If he truly was breaking a law, then I'm okay with what happened. If, on the other hand, it was simply a matter of officials at the arena upset at Mr. Ball's presence persuading officers to remove him from the area with no real legal backing, I feel an apology would be in line for the actions of police. You see people all the time doing much more than Mr. Ball and not being ticketed or arrested. Demonstrations of all sorts, sometimes interfering with traffic, or even scuffles breaking out, and yet the demonstrators are often allowed to continue, even with protection by the police. I'm no lawyer, but something is wrong with this picture.

As for the gambling, it is illegal, whether you feel it should be is another matter. Nothing irritates me more than seeing someone obviously breaking the law and cops ignoring it. I realize there are priorities, and a cop on the way to an armed robbery is not going to stop and ticket someone for failing to signal a lane change. On the other hand i've witnessed many instances of people breaking various laws right in front of police who do not appear to be engaged in anything in particular, and they do nothing about it.

I don't expect every law breaker to be caught, but allowing people to "get away" with illegal activity breeds disrespect for laws in general. If I can change lanes without signaling, why can't I speed a little, too? If I can speed, why can't I run that red light? If I can run a red light, why can't I drink and text while I'm driving? We need to enforce the laws or change them if public opinion deems them wrong. Otherwise, there's no point.

Anonymous said...

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Welcome to the life of a cop.

Anonymous said...

I suppose enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 had to be done, just because it was the law at the time. It was the law of the land for a few years, and even gave rise to jury nullification, one of a civilized society's best weapons against unjust laws.

Does a LEO have the moral duty to refuse to enforce unjust laws, in the same way that a soldier has the duty to not carry out unjust orders ("execute that baby")? I think they do.

Anonymous said...

Most support you even though it doesn't always feel that way. Thank you for doing what you do!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:17 -
Are you seriously comparing an officer making an arrest with a soldier shooting a baby? Really?!
If you don't like a law, do YOUR part and call your representatives to get it changed. Otherwise, don't criticize officers or question their morals for enforcing them.

Anonymous said...

11:42,

It's a matter of degree. In any case, it's apparent that you would likely have enforced the Fugitive Slave Act, and told those who thought it was an unjust law that you were just enforcing the law, and told them to petition their legislators if they wanted the law changed.

It's also clear that you would have enforced any state laws requiring racial segregation in public facilities following the US Supreme Court's Plessey v Ferguson decision of 1896, which upheld the constitutionality of such laws, because, hey, it was the law of the land!

Just v unjust might mean less to you, as long as it's the law. Some other commenters likely have the same attitude.

We won't even go into the hypocrisy of enforcing laws regarding gambling, when the state and city allow Lotto, Keno, etc etc etc. Oh, that's right, the gub'mint gets their kick-up taste from those...

Anonymous said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

OH but even a bigger question minors after dark in a bowling alley that serves alcohol a true sin....

Anonymous said...

Gotta have laws to keep the police employed.

Anonymous said...

These dastardly sports gamblers even issued press releases detailing what items (which have monetary value) they would use to pay off the wager if they lost. You can't get more flauntingly public than that. It was in the newspaper and everything.

One of these gamblers lived (and still lives) right by the Capitol building! Any guesses on whether or not either of the gamblers were cited by LPD, LSO, or NSP for gambling? Oh, that's right, one's job and pension are more important than enforcing the law, in this case. Some animals are indeed more equal than others.

By the way, who was LPD Chief back in late 2010? Whoever that was probably should have seen to it that the Lincoln gambler was cited at the time.

Steve said...

I suspect that many of those whining about unjust laws dislike any law that keeps them from doing what they want to do, but they are the first ones to complain if someone else does something that offends them or that they think interferes with their own freedoms.

Anonymous said...

5:55,

What comfort it must be to never doubt the justness (or lack thereof) of the laws made by those who rule their lowly subjects. If only I could just accept everything as it is, as some seem to, I'd no doubt be far more content.

Anonymous said...

I need to clarify who my comments were directed to because they did not come out in the same sequence on this page, as they appeared on my phone.

My comment 3-18-14 @ 10:11 AM, was directed at Anonymous 3-18-14 @ 8:51 AM.

My comment 3-18-14 @ 12:17 PM, was directed @ Anonymous 3-18-14 @ 11:42 AM.

Thank you. So sorry!

The cheese stands alone said...

It often amazes me that just because people don't see the police pull someone over for every single traffic violation, that they assume the officer just isn't doing anything. Just because an officer isn't blazing lights and sirens, doesn't mean they still aren't trying to get to a call they've been dispatched to, or on their way to contact someone on a case that is expecting them.

It's kind of like the assumption of officers using their overhead lights 'just to get through a red light'. They probably need to get somewhere in an expedited matter, for reasons unknown to the person passing judgement, but it doesn't justify going lights and sirens to get there.