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Posts made in December, 2011

By on Dec 16, 2011 in Criminal, DUI, Noah Weil, Police | 2 comments

Author’s Note: I took criminal procedure in my second year of law school. The professor gave us the opportunity to earn extra credit if we did a ride-along with the Seattle Police Department, and wrote an essay about the experience. That essay, slightly edited, is below. I have always appreciated the existence of police officers in our society. I am grateful for the “thin blue line” separating us from anarchy. Nevertheless, I was not a fan of the police in my youth. When I was a younger fellow, I was a bit rambunctious and I would occasionally come into the ire of some local cop. Those experiences were generally unpleasant. To be fair, I grew up in Minnesota. Minnesota, and much of the Midwest, has notoriously power-tripping police. The police have power, and they know it, and woe to anyone who challenges their authority. The status quo required a lot of deference. Me, being me, often did challenge their authority, hence the occasional clash. I’ve mellowed out since then. Law school was a good eye-opener on how the system actually worked. And I do respect the bravery of officers who put their lives on the line when things are actually serious. “Rushing in” is not my first instinct, but we’re jumping ahead. For my ride-along, I signed up for third shift, which began at 7pm. People asked, and I didn’t have an answer, how long my ride would actually be. Would we cruise around the city, maybe get some beers and call it a night? Or four hours? Eight hours? No idea. I was told to be at the station by 7:15 to be grabbed by my cop buddy for the evening. At the appointed time, a fairly good-looking, young officer came out to greet me. “Hi, I’m Offic- I’m Dan. Pleased to meet you.” We walked through the back room to get to the garage. Along the way he pointed to some pool tables. “That’s not taxpayer money. We paid for that ourselves.” “You mean the union bought them?” I asked. “…Yes.” The stationhouse was neat. Besides the pool tables and rows of TVs, couches, etc everything looked very clean and modern. Dispatch was a bank of screens and officers...

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