The one thing that will get a cop fired

This simple story vividly shows what the police is all about.

Here’s Andrew Fleischman, writing at the excellent Fault Lines blog:

There aren’t many things that can get a police officer fired. A history of incompetence and the reckless killing of a 12 year-old boy, on video, didn’t do it. Choking a man to death in front of a crowd of onlookers, on video, didn’t do it.

But don’t lose hope. There are still some offenses so heinous and wanton that even a police officer can’t avoid consequences. Namely, insubordination.

But not your garden-variety insubordination …

Jay Park was a police officer who worked in Athens, Georgia, a college town built around the University of Georgia. Between prayer breakfasts and abstinence rallies, UGA students are known to occasionally imbibe small amounts of alcohol, presumably filched from communion cups at the local seminary.

Park was called to the scene of a minor suffering alcohol poisoning. His supervisor told him to arrest the student, but Park was aware of one of Georgia’s recent evidence-based laws.

See, since 2014, Georgia lawmakers have decided that it is more important to make sure that underage drinkers receive medical care than punishment. So, under the law, “[a]ny person who in good faith seeks medical assistance for someone who is experiencing an alcohol related overdose shall not be arrested, charged, or prosecuted.”

You also can’t arrest the person suffering the overdose …

So Park knew the law. His supervisor didn’t. But Park’s supervisor ordered him to make an illegal arrest. Park refused. You can probably guess who got fired.

I guess the lesson for Georgia police officers here is that you can shoot unarmed suspects in the back. You can gun down an innocent pastor. You cankill an innocent man in his own home during a botched drug raid. You canblow a hole in a baby’s chest during another botched drug raid. You canrepeatedly abuse inmates after strapping them into a restraint chair. You cango to the wrong house, then shoot an innocent man and kill his dog.

But never, ever embarrass your fellow police officers.

In October, Park settled with the department for $325,000. That settlement included a letter exonerating him of any wrongdoing, which will hopefully help him find another job. The money will come from Georgia taxpayers. Jimmy Williamson is still the chief of the University of Georgia Police Department. In a just world, Jay Park would have his job.

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