Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Jack-Booted Thug(s) of the Week, Bonus Edition...

... are the Broward County, Florida sheriff's deputies who, while responding to a suspected burglary call on Easter Sunday, managed to raid the wrong house and in doing so ended up holding several middle-aged pajama-clad people at gunpoint until the cops realized their mistake.

This sort of careless police error happens all the time without notice. What makes this one newsworthy?  Because one of the people who had guns so cavalierly pointed at them happened to be Broward County Circuit Court Judge Ilona Holmes, someone those officers presumably should have recognized at once.

Oops.  Good luck getting a search warrant from her approved anytime soon, fellows.

Holmes's sister, who owns the home in question, reports that the deputies didn't even bother to apologize for the address mixup, much less their heavy-handed treatment of the family, which certainly qualifies them for this week's award: 

"But Carmita [Scarlett] was downright angry. Remember the man outside her kitchen window who pointed a gun at her? Still wearing her pajamas and footies, she approached him afterward. 'I said ‘you had a gun pointed at me!’ He said ‘because I felt threatened.’ I said ‘threatened how?''

She said other officers explained to her that they have families, too, and they want to make it home alive each night. But she says they did so in a condescending way, lecturing her as if she’d done something wrong.

'I know no one apologized, OK? And, to me, if you want to make amends for something, you want to make peace, you apologize, you shake, you leave, you say ‘I'm sorry,'' she said. 'And, you know, the cop that had his gun on me, he said ‘well, I was fearing for my life.’ I said ‘really! You were fearing for your life? Really?’ He said ‘forget it - I'm out of here.''"

It's amazing how far a simple apology will go in settling such situations, and it's even more amazing how few times one is offered when it is legitimately owed.

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