18.11.10

Bad cop. Good cop.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-11787126
Put yourself in his shoes. You're struggling with an obviously drunk, combative and very unpredictable woman who latches onto anything as long as she can try to stop or obstruct you from doing your not-very-well-paying job. You finally manage to get her into her cell but she latches onto the doorframe. It's now a question of force to get her to release so you can close the door. All of a sudden she releases and is either pushed or throws herself away, or more likely a little of both.

Very intoxicated person who's acting up completely and has little to no idea of what she's doing and is refusing to cooperate because she knows she was completely smashed on vodka and behind the wheel of a car (albeit sleeping, in unknown area).

1. Should've called for backup. Denied, probably, due to not sufficient personnel available inside the station.
2. A person who's reasonably suspected of being drunk behind the wheel of a car who refuses a breathalyzer - should be possible to get an involuntary blood sample somehow.
3. Could've kept the handcuffs on.
4. Review procedures for dealing with drunks going into the station.

The cop may have used excessive force. The woman may have deliberately launched herself away from the door-jamb she was holding onto - or likely a little of both. Head meets wall - BAM! She's drunk and completely disoriented. The cop could have tried a little harder to safeguard her physical well-being, but fundamentally it's her fault for breaking the law, her fault for getting this intoxicated, her fault for refusing a breathalyzer, her fault for refusing to cooperate with a duly appointed officer of the law, her fault for fighting him every step of the way.

If a person fights you tooth and nail every step of the way when you're just doing your job, I don't see how it's his fault when you get accidentally hurt.

All in all, insufficient evidence to fire the cop. Plenty of evidence to charge the woman with drinking and driving, assuming that's according to the local laws regarding sleeping behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated. Written reprimand saying "Hey - don't get us into the papers this way, please."

Also - let's all sit down boys and girls and figure out how we can fix our station-house procedures to make things easier on ourselves first and avoid this kind of bloody mess in the second.

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