Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Leaches and Your Money will Soon Be United

More from my Foreign Corrospondant :

Remember when a traffic stop was an opportunity to show how civic minded you were and all you wanted to do was get it over quickly and be on your way.

Well it seems to some it is an opportunity to vent your frustrations at the officer who pulled you over and then walk away belligerently when you don’t get your way. The prize is you get $40,000 of taxpayer money if you get tazed in the process.

I’m sure you have seen the video of the officer, tazer gun drawn, yelling commands at a young kid as the kid walks back to his car. After repeated commands the officer fires and the kid drops to the ground.

If you look at the video closely you will see what the officer is so afraid of. As the kid walks toward his car, he turns his back to the officer and puts his right hand in his pocket. If you watch any of the “cops” shows on TV you will know that often this leads to the officer being shot.

The officer may have been a little over zealous, but he was following department policy in a very difficult situation. A department policy designed after many cops have been killed thinking “this is only a kid giving me a bad time – he’ll just go away”.

Police work is dangerous and unpredictable. When an officer orders you to put your hands on your head and stop what you are doing, you should do what he says.

The District Attorney’s office made the right move in saving taxpayer money by avoiding a lengthy trial, but if it were my vote I would have paid a little more just to see the officer vindicated in the civil proceedings as he was in the criminal investigation.

OK so you are feeling morally outraged at the audacity of this kid’s lack of personal responsibility in this matter. Why didn’t he just take his ticket and say “lesson learned”?

Here is another example of someone who doesn’t know when to let things go.

About 10 years ago 4 guys stole a truck, robbed a convenience store in Colorado and headed into the desert southwest, the 4 corners area, to hide out. A massive man hunt ensued. The FBI offered a $150,000 reward for the capture, arrest and/or information leading to a conviction of these heinous criminals. Three of the fugitives are captured, the fourth is never found.

Fast forward to today, Dickie Hicks (not his real name) is walking along a sandy river bottom in a desolate canyon in extreme southeast Utah and he comes upon the decaying remains of criminal number four.

Dickie immediately notifies the FBI and they give him $75,000 as a token of their appreciation. No criminal to convict, no bad guy to bring to justice, just an end to a frustrating case.

Dickie Hicks could have just walked away and said thanks, not a bad days work. But no, “the FBI said the reeeward was $150,000 (one hunred and fity tousand dollars)” and he deserved it all. He is suing the FBI for the remainder of the reward money.

Aside from the fact that $75K is probably more than Dickie Hicks has earned in his life, does he really want to make the feds mad? Does he really want them crawling around in his tax returns (assuming he filed them)?

I’m sure both of these men deep down at some point said about their adventure “boy that was lucky”. But someone or something told them they deserved more, this was their opportunity to get something out of this situation and they should take it. The unfortunate thing is that we as taxpayers are paying for these individual’s greed.

I can’t wait until my turn comes up, until I am in a situation where the government will pay me for doing something stupid or just ambling along a dry creek bed. I think I’ll speed down to the 4 corners area for a hike.

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