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Last year L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Wood killed Milton Olin Jr(the official line seems to be that the officer's car struck the victim).  The officer was completing email on the computer, drifted into the bicycle lane, and killed the Olin who was riding a bicycle.

The officer is not facing any charges because it is apparently perfectly legal for a cop to operate a computer while driving.  Records show that the officer was also texting of the phone, but not during the time the car was moving and struck the victim. The officer apparently did not face any sanctions and was moved to other duties.  There also, surprisingly, is not effort to limit the playing on computers while driving.

I get that we can't put cops in jail because they will immediately be killed.  I get that we can't just panic every time a cop murders a civilian because it an inconvenience to not murder that civilian.  But in this case we have a dangerous practice that put lives at risk with no apparent balancing factors.  Shouldn't officer be trained to quickly file computer reports in a few minutes before driving away from the scene?  Isn't that what we are told as civilians?  To take a few minutes to stop and do what we need to do on our mobile devices?  I mean if a trucker kills someone in the line of her duty, there are calls to change the laws to make the trade safer.  A cop does the same thing, and everyone is like, well, what else were they supposed to do?

It is not lost on me that this is a old white man who was killed while the egregious cases involve non-white children and young people being gunned down in the street.  However I think it important to remember that the ability of cops to oppress is not limited by race.  There is no limit to a cops ability to kill the innocent, be it fear, hate, or poor judgement.  While I am sure that the vast majority of cops are safe drivers who are not looking for an excuse to kill, the fact that there appears to little effort to 'police' those who are is frightening.  That further reinforces the fact that limiting the right of cops to kill innocent people is something that we all must promote.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is doing. -Kurt Vonnegut Life is serious but we don't have to be - me

    by lowt on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 09:27:35 AM PDT

  •  I wonder is no-texting laws have exceptions... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    konving, enhydra lutris

    ...for police, EMT's, long haul truck drivers, etc? I doubt it and so there's probably a civil case to be made against the cop.

  •  Probably not even a reckless driving or (5+ / 0-)

    unsafe traffic manuever citation. Cops in this country have pretty much full immunity for anything that they do.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 10:20:49 AM PDT

  •  another example, among many (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, NoBlueSkies, chimene, George3

    State trooper was reading his personal email on a laptop and rear-ended a car on the interstate. Killed a child in the womb, badly injured the mother ($500,000+ in medical bills).

    Trooper was found guilty of careless driving and had his driver's license suspended for 6 months. That's it. That was the sum total of his punishment.

    He was placed on desk duty (paid, obviously) temporarily, and now he's back on regular duty, as if nothing ever happened.

    Link

    If a regular citizen had done this, they would have been charged with vehicular homicide and would be in prison now.

    •  err, wait, I was wrong about homicide (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, snoopydawg

      It wouldn't be homicide, since nobody died other than the unborn infant, but there would certainly have been a stiffer punishment than 6 months suspended license.

      •  personhood (0+ / 0-)

        Certainly one of the reason why, if Marco Rubio got his way, personhood would be a very bad thing.  It would be used to put women in  jail who had miscarriages, but a if cop or a husband beat up a woman and caused a miscarriage nothing would happen.

        She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is doing. -Kurt Vonnegut Life is serious but we don't have to be - me

        by lowt on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 12:22:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Cops are not held to a higher standard. (8+ / 0-)

    Fact is, they are allowed a much LOWER standard, and always have been.  They can abuse and beat people, even beat them to death.  They can shoot them, choke them, suffocate them, do whatever they want to them.  They are encouraged to fake or tamper with evidence and lie under oath. The court has even ruled that police are under no obligation to tell us (the citizens) the truth.  For all their crimes, mistakes, and overly violent and aggressive behavior, there are no consequences - just lip service, administrative leave, or reassignment, until the "story" goes away.  Very few are ever reprimanded, fewer lose their jobs, and a miniscule number are prosecuted.

    This is liberty?  This is the freedom we're supposed to defend?  We are all either cops, criminals, or suspected criminals.

  •  Yup they can why are you complaining? (0+ / 0-)

    I hear that from whitesplainers/copsplainers.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 11:16:11 AM PDT

  •  I don't get this... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    getlost
    I get that we can't put cops in jail because they will immediately be killed.  I get that we can't just panic every time a cop murders a civilian because it an inconvenience to not murder that civilian.
    I hope this is supposed to be snark. Because there's no reason we can't put cops in jail and while there's no need to literally panic, it comes across as though you're belittling the cries of outrage after cops kill people for no good reason.

    As for the cop not being charged, I really don't understand that, as he killed a person due to his negligence in operating the vehicle. Whether or not it was legal for him to use electronic devices while he was driving, it was illegal for him to not pay attention while he was driving and as the driver, he is solely responsible for where his vehicle goes. He should at least be charged with vehicular manslaughter.

  •  I was hit by a police car (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George3

    while getting into a parked car.
    I was charged $500 for damaging the police car by hitting its bumper with my ass. (actually the damage to the cop car was from hooking my door after it hit me, but I've always told the story that way, to illustrate the injustice of the situation)

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