Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power. George Bernard Shaw
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. Abraham Lincoln
Hypocrite: Urban Dictionary
- A person who engages in the same behaviors he condemns others for.
- A person who professes certain ideals, but fails to live up to them.
- A person who holds other people to a higher standard than he holds himself.
Holy Bible: Read Mathew 23:13-29
For the record, I despise Hypocrites and crooked cops if you have not realized this in my previous chapters.
He was junior to me and liked by most officers in patrol and investigations. He was raised in the ghetto. We respected he survived and made something of himself. At first I liked him and was part of his admiring crowd. With this as my foundation, I trusted him and thought he would be there if things ever went south. As a street cop, he arrested a man in a bar and patted him down. Another officer met him and to transport the suspect to the police station. The suspect was placed in the back of the officer’s car with his hands cuffed behind him. The transport officer respected this cop. He asked if the suspect had been searched for weapons. This cop assured him a thorough search was performed and he had nothing to fear. One block from the arrest scene the transport officer was shot in his back as he drove. The car coasted to a stop and the suspect exited the unit fleeing on foot. The transport officer died moments later. This cop missed a gun on the suspect. It cost S.P.D. a great, honest cop who trusted this cop with his life. This cop was forgiven for his mistake and later promoted to detective.
I will write this story in greater detail later. I share the background information here because this story is set when I was a criminal investigator. This cop was assigned to work a couple of cases with me.
One day I was called to the Chief of Detective’s office and handed a case file. Also present was this cop/detective whom I will call G.B. (Golden Boy) going forward. The chief had been contacted by Internal Affairs investigators. They were conducting a police misconduct investigation on an officer I will call Tango.
It was instantly clear why G.B. was chosen by the chief as my partner. Political correctness was well rooted within S.P.D. by then and everything we did was with P.C. consideration. Since Tango was African American, S.P.D. did not want two white detectives investigating possible criminal violations against him. Having an African American detective like G.B. on the case would prevent any outcry of racism. I was happy G.B. was my partner. I had never worked a case with him but heard nothing but praises from the shift detectives. Some actually loved him, took him to lunch often, and gave him an endearing nickname.
We went to my office and read all of the police reports on the case. Tango was the son of a well respected detective at S.P.D. G.B. and I both respected the father. We were working in the same office as the father and about to launch a criminal investigation on his son. It made us both uneasy.
The complaint was unreal. A young, adult male living in the Cooper Road neighborhood called S.P.D. the day before to report he was kidnapped and beaten by Tango over a personal debt. He called officers to a small grocery store on M.L.K. Drive to file his statement. He stated he purchased a television set from Tango and still owed him $50 for it. He did not have the money and told Tango he was waiting for his monthly check to come. When it did, he would pay the debt in full. The first of the month came and went without final payment on the debt. Tango confronted him at this small store. Tango drove his nicely restored Chevy Pickup to the front door of the store and found the complainant inside playing a video game. Tango was wearing civilian clothing with his department pistol on his hip. He told the complainant to follow him outside. Tango was a weightlifter and had muscles galore so the complainant did as he was told. The complainant was intimidated by the armed man and feared for his personal safety if he failed to obey. Tango then lead him out of public view to the back of the business where he was beaten to his knees. Tango dragged him to his truck, tossed him in the bed, and drove off at a high rate of speed. He drove to the complainant’s house where he was made to get out of the truck, dragged into his own home and forced to give back the TV. Tango placed the television in the bed of his truck and left.
G.B. and I asked the complainant to our offices for a formal recorded statement. He arrived a short time later. I asked if there were any witnesses to the confrontation. The store clerk saw him leave the store and go to the back. He would have seen Tango drag him to the truck and leave.
G.B. and I went to the store and recorded a statement from the clerk. He confirmed Tango entered the store wearing a gun, spoke to the complainant and walked him outside. He did not see where they went. He later saw Tango place the guy in the bed of his truck and drive off. He did not see what, if anything, happened behind his store.
After we finished with the clerk, I walked outside and to the rear of the store to view the scene. The store stood on the north side of M.L.K. with a small residential street to the left. I looked to the west and noticed a lady across the small street sitting on a porch with a perfect view of the back of the store. G. B. and I went to speak to her. I took the lead and asked if she saw the two men behind the store the day before. She did see the big guy push the little guy along the side of the store until they were at the back. The big guy beat on the little guy and then dragged him back to the front of the store. He put the little guy in the bed of the truck like a dog and drove off.
G.B. asked the lady a few questions. The words and manner he used surprised me. He was confrontational and accusatory with her. He asked how she made a living, implying since she did not have a job she was a prostitute. He asked if she drank beer. When she answered yes, G.B. ended the interview and we left.
Back at the station, G.B. and I went over the details of the case. We had a victim and two outside witnesses. Tango was armed, beat the victim, took him from the store against his will, forced his way into the victim’s house and collected the TV. I went over a list with G.B. of all the points of probable cause. He nodded as if he agreed. We went to the Chief of Detectives to brief him on the details of the case. He asked what we planned to do. I wanted to go the the District Attorney’s office and run the case by them. Since it was a city cop, I did not want to draft an arrest warrant just on these facts. I wanted the support of the D.A.
We met with a senior D.A. who played the recorded statements and reviewed the reports. He turned to me and asked, “What do you want to do, Pat?” In my mind it was a clear kidnapping by an armed suspect and a simple battery. I wanted to arrest the suspect. The DA turned to my partner G.B. He did not feel we should arrest the officer based on a drunk whore’s testimony. G.B. added the store clerk did not see anything. I countered stressing the clerk supported the victim’s statement. The suspect was armed and placed the victim in the bed of his truck and drove away.
The D.A. announced, “If my two detectives can’t agree and I don’t have both of your support, I will not permit arresting Tango.”
We left the D.A.’s office and went back to S.P.D. Neither of us spoke as I drove. I went to my office to write my report and close the case. I met with the Chief of Investigations and told him the D.A. reviewed the case and did not support the arrest of Tango. I had a feeling G.B. was telling his buddies around the office I wanted to arrest Tango but was turned down by the D.A. for lack of probable cause. I was right. Before the day was over, several fellow detectives passed me in the hall and asked the details of the case. When I told the facts, I could see G.B. had spun the statements of the victim and witnesses. They acted interested but really wanted to see my expression as I told the story. They wanted to see if I was upset. Most of them were G.B.’s lunch buddies who called him by his special nickname. I realized their petty game and did not take the bait.
(To be continued)