When I saw Die Hard in the theaters, I was a 19-year old college kid who thought cops were the greatest people in the world. I was a Criminal Justice major – believe me kids, it was a terrible choice – and wanted to become a federal agent. I remember watching the film and saying to myself, “Wow, these police supervisors are so comically portrayed that they’re hardly believable.”
Looking back, John McTiernan portrayed Dwayne T. Robinson and both FBI Agent Johnsons perfectly.
Tuesday night, one of our dumber districts called and said they had an arrest for aggravated assault. Apparently the doer threatened the victim with a knife, and during a scuffle, the doer sliced open his own hand.
Yes, the residents of my division are mostly mutants, thanks for asking.
Anyway, the district officers arrested the offender and claimed they would bring up the victim and witnesses for interviews. The time of that call was 6:07pm. In the meantime, we were busy as hell – see yesterday’s TDS – so I eventually forgot about this particular arrest.
The night dragged on, and around 9:45pm, I looked at my queue and still saw the district’s job, but the officers still hadn’t arrived. “Yo, did anyone see the aggravated assault from the southern district? They called nearly four hours ago?”
Nothing. They still hadn’t brought up the paperwork, the victim, or the witnesses. I figured it was just southern being southern, since they take hours to drive a few miles to the division, and when it was quittin’ time, I went home…
On Wednesday afternoon, I sat at my desk and searched for the job from southern. It was nowhere in the queue, so I assumed the overnight shift took it and processed the paperwork. I went about my day and forgot about this nonsense job once again.
At 5:35pm, twenty-three and a half hours after the arrest, this dopey female cop comes to my desk and says she’s from southern.
She claims she was the arresting officer from the aggravated assault the night before. I look at her dead in the face, and ask, “Where have you been?” She stares blankly at me before saying, “Um, we were shorthanded last night, so I figured I’d bring the paperwork in today.”
Dumbfounded, I replied, “Did anyone ever do any of the arrest paperwork, because holding someone for an entire day will get you and your buddies fired, and maybe arrested.” The officer’s response was a shrug, admitting she didn’t know if anyone handled this assignment yet… twenty-three and a half hours later.
I took her paperwork and searched through the queue. Apparently someone from the day shift processed the arrest, but it will likely be declined since the detective had no discovery data to scan in. You see, assistant district attorneys like to be able to prove a crime, and they cannot do that without reports, interviews, etc.
“Yeah, it looks like a daywork detective handled the job. eighteen hours after you said you were headed up here. You do realize if this case is declined, or the offender files a lawsuit, you’re the one who is going down for this, right? Because I’m going to be honest with you; I’ll tell Internal Affairs what time you called, how you said you were enroute up here, and how paperwork arrived a day later.”
And then it happened.
“Well, my sergeant told me to hold on to the paperwork until today because we were short on manpower.”
New police officers apparently have no problem blaming supervisors – or subordinates – for mistakes they actually make. Why go down alone when you can use the buddy system? I told this dope it was not a good idea to wait an entire day to bring arrest paperwork to the division, but I am certain she and her sergeant learned a valuable lesson about the Constitution, the Sixth Amendment, and rule of law.