I always liked this scene from the Andy Griffith Show.
The reason I bring this up is because of this story I saw in the New York Post. It would seem that in New York there are indeed two sets of laws, as Gomer Pyle says, one for the citizens and one for the police and their friends and families.
Hundreds of NYPD cops rallied in front of the Bronx County Courthouse yesterday to support 16 colleagues who were indicted in a long-simmering ticket-fixing scandal.
The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association was out in force, passing out various signs to the off-duty protesters.
One sign asserted the supposed mild nature of fixing tickets: “It’s a courtesy, not a crime.” Another called it “NYPD Culture.”
Well, PBA culture, anyway.
When the trials get under way, it will be interesting to pull back the covers of these “courtesies” — and the underlying culture.
Apart from the blatant criminal charges against Jose Ramos, the police officer whose ties to a drug dealer first sparked the investigation in 2009, the “courtesy” in ticket-fixing seems pretty much an insiders’ game.
Call it cops’ “Friends-and-Family” plan — with union officials cutting breaks for the rank-and-file’s relatives and pals.
But over the course of the investigation, wiretaps revealed widespread fixing that extended beyond parking-violation favors to potential cover-ups of DWI and domestic-disturbance incidents.
In short, it’s serious stuff — and it sure doesn’t seem like a “courtesy” that’s ever been extended to the general public.
Another sign at the courthouse read, “Collective prosecution is unfair.”
Yeah, and so is “selective enforcement.”
Fact is, the best way to cultivate contempt for the law is to create the impression that the rules apply only to some.
It’s ultimately for a court to determine whether crimes were committed.
But if it comes out during the process that PBA officers plotted to help out friends, family and those in a position to help the organization, then the union itself needs to be prosecuted as a criminal conspiracy.
“A courtesy, not a crime”?
These police officers who are rallying in support of this practice fail to understand that if people begin to feel that there are two sets of laws, or that the police are to be considered above the law, that will, in the long run, make their jobs a whole lot more difficult.
Where is Sheriff Taylor, when we need him?
- Epithet-hurling cops from PBA make NYPD look worse (nydailynews.com)
- NYPD officers deny corruption charges (cbc.ca)
- NYPD officers charged with fixing traffic tickets for friends (guardian.co.uk)
- Indictments Reveal Police Procedures (New York Times)
And thanks once again to Instapundit.