Tuesday, August 03, 2010

CRAZY GUN-TOTING COP!!! ...Not so crazy?

Boingboing strikes again.

So I'm perusing the site, which is usually pretty interesting, and come across this post that seems to relate the story of a crazy, gun-waving cop caught on video pointing his firearm at a motorcyclist who was speeding. The story goes on to tell of the crazy lengths the DA is going to to back the officer.

The DA part of the story is one thing, and yes it sounds a bit out of touch with reality ("wiretapping"? Really?) but what pissed me off was the way the officer was portrayed and the way the biker's actions were overlooked.

The picture seems damning, but watch the video. In it, we see the biker speeding and driving recklessly. We even see him pull a wheelie. That's f***ing insane. Right there, this guy loses any sympathy from me. The guy should have his licence revoked for life. Honestly. WTF?

The video shows the speeder passing a police car, and the bubble pops up: "69 MPH" as if that was the speed he was doing when the cop caught him on radar. Less than half a minute earlier he was doing 127 MPH.


That's some 205 km/h for us Canadians.

So do you really think the cop caught him at only 69 mph? Do you think radar only works the moment you are passing the cop car? Really?


The guy starts checking his mirrors repeatedly, then speeds up to at least 82 mph (132 km/h), and takes the first exit he can. At this point, he knows he could be in trouble and he's CLEARLY trying to elude any police vehicle that may be pursuing him.

Now we don't know if he knows the cop is chasing him because there's no sound and we can't see what he sees in the mirrors. But once he gets on the ramp, we see him check his mirrors and then turn his head - that's when we can see the police vehicle in pursuit, lights flashing (notice there's still no sound at this point). Does he pull over immediately? Nope. He rides up to the light where the traffic is stopped and then stops.

This is where we see the unmarked cruiser (a gray sedan) pull up alongside. The officer gets out and unholsters his gun as he says "get off the motorcycle". What was the biker doing at the time? BACKING UP. So even before the cop can get out and say anything, the biker is making a move away. Where the heck is he going? Is it possible the cop sees this as a potential fleeing manoeuvre? Could that be why he draws his weapon? Notice that at no point does the officer actually raise his firearm at the biker. He puts his hand on the bike to arrest the biker and identifies himself.

Crazy cop? I dunno. Seems pretty calm and in control to me, especially since he's facing a biker who was endangering the lives of others.

And let's get something straight: this guy was not just "speeding", he was stunt driving and weaving dangerously around traffic. The guy is lucky the cop had that much patience with him. Had someone been hurt the public would be asking for the biker's head on a stick.

But who is the bad guy here? The police officer. The "out of control" cop. Are you kidding me? This guy was super calm.

I watched the video again, trying to find where the unmarked car might have seen the biker. Look back at the car in the passing lane next to the bus at the 0:34 mark. Think that might be him? I don't know where else it might have been. So was the cop really pulling his gun out for a guy doing a measly (?!) 69 mph on a highway, or had he been trying to catch up to the idiot who had passed him doing a wheelie at 127 mph?

Check out this news story about the incident. Regardless of the recording felony charge, the "victim" makes the disingenuous statement that he thought someone might be stealing his bike or trying to shoot him when the officer unholstered his weapon. ...Really? You KNOW you are being pulled over by a vehicle with flashing lights and you figure maybe you're being mugged? Really?

But the media outlet eats it up and paints the cop as the bad guy.