Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Two sets of rules

Austin, Texas police officer Damon Dunn, having just finished a traffic stop, decides to not stay parked and finish the paperwork but instead dumbly types merrily away on his squad car's laptop while driving down the street.  The inevitable then happens as Damon runs a stop sign and takes out a 74-year-old motorcyclist:

Unbelievably, the officer faces no sanction at all for his dangerous and harmful behavior, despite the above clear evidence of his guilt:

"No disciplinary action was taken against Officer Dunn.

There is a law enforcement exemption that allows police to use mobile data units, such as computers, in their vehicles while driving."

Sorry, no dice.  Police exemptions such as cell-phone use while driving, ignoring stop lights and other traffic laws, carrying guns in certain prohibited places and the like are in place to help protect public safety, not endanger it.  Officers are supposed to use reasonable care and discretion when using their dispensations, not just go ahead and ignore all the laws whenever they wish simply because they can.

Officer Dunn wasn't on his way to another emergency call, and the data he was entering was from a traffic violation, not a felony crime, so it couldn't wait until the next red light or coffee break to be entered?

This cop should absolutely be held responsible for his negligent behavior that most likely has left an innocent man crippled for life.  That sadly looks like it isn't going to happen solely because Dunn happens to be a "special person" who is above the laws the rest of the peasants must follow.

Austin cyclists, be mighty careful when riding around that town from now on.  Apparently it's A-OK for cops to bowl you over with impunity, so long as they do it on duty.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...