San Bernardino will pay $390k to settle suit against cop who arrested 7th graders "to prove a point"


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/12/28/point-proved.html


#2

Tax dollars at work, folks!


#3

“Somehow the county thought that if it just litigated hard enough, it would somehow talk a court into agreeing law enforcement can arrest people just to ‘teach them a lesson’”

COUNTY OFFICIAL: I don’t know where we went wrong. Our team of litigators assured me that litigation was the way to go! Ah well, break out the checkbook.


#4

“writing check from taxpayers wallets…”


#5

And nothing will change. :cry:


#6

Why haven’t insurance companies leveraged this market opportunity to offer “officer settlement insurance” ?


#7

There should be stipulations that the money awarded in lawsuits like this must come from the defendant’s own pension, and not taxpayer funds.


#8

Why bother when governments can legally cap their own liability? The cost over time of insurance to cover the (well deserved) huge payouts will exceed the cost of the relatively small payouts they are making now.


#9

even when those ‘someones’ were teens who committed no crime and posed no safety threat to the school or the idiotic law enforcement officer it had hired.

Is it not difficult to escape the impression that there’s no shortage of victims out there clamoring for justice, whose oppressors very conveniently “committed no crime and posed no safety threat” ?


#10

Look on the bright side - it’s being redistributed downward, to those who have the least: children.


#11

One of my very few memories from pre-school was a friend’s Dad – who was a policeman – was having a career day kind of thing. Brought the cop car, hit the sirens – great fun for a four year old. At recess I decided I didn’t want to come in, despite my teacher telling us, and that guy came out and literally put me in handcuffs. I still remember the look on his face – a look I’d only have accepted from my parents – and since I was all of four, the cuffs had to be set all the way through the ratchets, so there was enough play in it to wrench my hand free. I busted out and ran inside. This was not a great act of disobedience, but I’m still a little proud of it.


#12

The citizens of San Berdoo must be thrilled to be paying all that money because of this guy…


#13

Came in here for a respect mah authoritah and was not disappoint.

In the little burg where I grew up in SW Ohio, the local police chief was called “Carl the Cop”. I dated his niece for a while and once picked her up at the house. Most of the force was in there watching a ball game. Drinking all the confiscated beers from the night before (all mismatched and 3-4 of each with some crappy canned beer thrown in there as well). They sat in their sleeveless Ts, loudly talking and squawking until we passed by on our way out. Sudden silence. Carl called out “be good while you are out and have her home by X” “yessir!” They all laughed. First girl I ever kissed.


#14

According to the article, there were only 3 girls involved in the settlement.

The complaint asked for $10 Million and another $10 Million in damages.

Settling for $400K is pretty small. I hope the settlement included payment of legal fees, or most of that money is gone already.


#15

Why would it, there were no consequences for the Deputy, and indeed the law gives him complete immunity in situations like this.


#16

Not enough money. Not nearly enough money. (Unless it’s being paid directly by the cop in question. In which case: still not enough money.)


#17

Back when there were curfew laws, the county and the cities had different curfews. As teens, we were often escorted from the county line to the 24hr diner that was just on the edge of the county line. Here both sets of officers sat and wrote reports and took breaks. When they got calls, we’d leave and go home, or back to somebody’s house to play D&D (usually with a mad dash to 7-11 for more food and GM kibble). One elder sheriff could not stand it.

Long story short, after being harassed and stopped a dozen times, being checked for alcohol, drugs and tobacco he thought he’d catch us in the act. Sitting at the end of a dead-end road we sat drinking caffeinated beverages (I think we had discovered espresso) reading poetry and looking at the stars. (I think we had also discovered Neruda.) We were really nerdy, and very socially awkward. There was only one couple in the group, despite there being a good gender mix and a lot of tension.

We got spotlighted and did what we always did- stood still and followed directions slowly. We were all handcuffed, separated and integrated. The guy was nuts. He found some muddy dew filled wine bottle that had be submerged in gully and tried to get us to admit we were drinking. He dug himself in with terrible lies, and I ended up “popping off” and just not taking him seriously.

Luckily his boss? Rolled up and yelled, “What the hell do you think you are doing?” His boss apologized after talking with him, and we were told to go home.

I didn’t tell my parents.

A week later, coming home I get spotlighted and the guy holds me past curfew. Then escorts me home to talk with my parents.

My parents were pissed but saw through weirdness of it all. “When did you stop him?” "So you held my son for 15 minutes so he’d be past curfew. And you are the reason he’s past curfew. " There was a little stammering and then the story about how boys and girls had been supposedly looking at the stars.

Both my parents were pissed at me for not telling them about the week before and for not understand that this guy had it out for all of us.

There is always at least one officer that undos all the good that others try to do. That day, that one undermined a lot of public trust. He also caused my parents to have the conversation with my sister and I of, "If you are ever arrested- Don’t say anything and DON’T CALL US UNTIL AFTER 6 AM, because your mother and I want some sleep. If you WAKE US, we will leave you there all weekend! Do you understand?

My sister and I - “Yes.”

Mother- “Now don’t get caught.”

There was no recourse for bad policing back then. At least there are limited options now.


#18

Who could have guessed that trying to get 12 and 13 year old girls to “mature faster” would generate anger and suspicion?


#19

unresponsive and disrespectful

Thats every teenager ever (parent of a 16 year old here)


#20

Articles like this need no mention the names of the specific county officials who made the decision to litigate, rather than just “county officials.”