Monday, August 29, 2005

Lakewood, Where Everybody's a Criminal. Unless You're Not.

I tried pawning this on to Samantha Burns, but she refused to take up my slack. I was looking around on CNN and found this. I thought this was utterly ridiculous. Let’s put aside the subjective parts of this and just focus in on the facts.

Mistake #1: Husband’s license is valid but due to a police error is in the computer as invalid.

Mistake #2: Detective at the Lakewood Police Department substitutes wife’s information for somebody with a “lengthy criminal record”.

Mistake #3: Same detective issues warrant for wife’s name (which is an alias for the criminal) instead of investigating whether the (criminal) woman was involved in the incident he was investigating.

Mistake #4: Detective did not compare the addresses or photos of either woman.

Mistake #5: Even though it was clear to the officers at the jail that this woman did not match the description of the criminal the officers made no attempt to rectify the situation.

Wow. This is one of those times where you look at an entire police department and say “you all dropped out of clown school, didn’t you?” If it were one mistake, or even two, I might be able to understand. Maybe. But this was incompetence above and beyond the call of duty. The utter disregard for citizens this entire department showed has clearly made an outright invasion into the realm of the ridiculous.

I can’t comment on the behavior of the state trooper – most of the issues the family had with him were subjective. He wasn’t responsible for the mistakes of the Lakewood Police Department. He was informed that the woman he had in front of him had a warrant out for her arrest and a lengthy criminal record. He has to handcuff her, though I can’t say anything about the family’s feelings on his behavior.

I hope the family sues the Lakewood Police Department. I hope they win a nice settlement. I have those hopes because when a lobotomized chimpanzee in the midst of a seizure caused by a crack overdose could outperform you in your job, a message needs be sent.