Friday, November 19, 2010

Special outcomes for special people

Montgomery County, Maryland Police Officer Jason Cokinos, traveling 26 mph over the residential speed limit, mows down a 14-year-old boy crossing the street in front of his house, leaving the kid a brain-damaged quadriplegic.  The sum total of consequences for the cop?  A $185 speeding ticket.

Yep, that's it, despite a police investigation that showed "that the boy would not have been hit had Cokinos been traveling at the speed limit".

Then the charges at least should include felony criminal negligence.  Unless you wear a badge for a living, apparently.

We wonder what that very same department would see fit to charge a mere peasant had that commoner committed a similar negligent act which ruined a young boy's life, not to mention the lives of his family.  We highly doubt the agency would be so lenient.

It's important to note that "Officer" Cokinos was off duty and not responding to an emergency call at the time, although he was in uniform and in his marked cruiser while on his way to an off-duty job.  It must have been one heck of an exciting opportunity. 

"State officials won't say whether Officer Jason Cokinos was disciplined following the April 2008 incident in Clarksburg."

Well, he still has a job, so we'll go out on a limb and speculate that whatever sanction he did receive wasn't nearly proportional enough to his crime to count as punishment.

The news gets even worse for the family of the child:

"The county will pay the Jovel family $400,000 in damages. The amount of damages the family could request was limited to $200,00 per case by a state law that restricts the legal liability of local governments."

That will maybe pay for one year of care for someone who will need round-the-clock assistance for the rest of  his life, which due to his young age may be 60 or more years.

"[Cokinos] is now canvassing neighborhoods that show spikes in crime."

At least the brass isn't hypocritical enough to stick him on speed-enforcement duty.

The apparent moral of the story - It's good to be a "special person".

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